Meet the Devs: Reign Bros
Such is the case of the Copenhagen-based developers at Reign Bros, the creators of the multiplayer game Stikbold, which took its first steps during Nordic Game Jam 2013.
The team worked together to produce a weird experimental multiplayer game for 2-10 players, which ended up winning the “Most Fun” award at NGJ13. The original game was a fun, last-man-standing experience that mixed a traditional ball game with lots of crazy events, such as the arena breaking down into a platform floating on the sea with huge whales jumping out of the water and crushing unsuspecting players while trumpets fall out of the sky for the winning player to annoy the rest.
With such a success in their hands, the 5-person group formed by Jacob Herold, Anders Østergaard, Lars Bindslev, Martin Petersen and Simon Engelsted Vestergaard decided to apply for other awards and funding opportunities, beginning with CREATE, organized by OUYA and KillScreen Magazine. It won the “Best Game in Unity” award, putting them one step closer towards the realization of a game studio.
Thanks to funding programs such as Nordic Game Program and the Danish Film Institute they were able to officially start the company and work full time on Stikbold, as well as focus on some of the bigger players in games distribution like Sony and Microsoft, so their current focus is consoles and PC.
Since then, the game has been gaining a whole host of new features. Perhaps most notably since the game’s inception (besides making the multiplayer even more fun than the original NGJ prototype) is the addition of a story mode for both single player and 2 player co-op. This was born as a way to let players experience the crazy universe of Stikbold and meet the colorful characters that inhabit it.
The company believes in creating the games they find interesting to play and work on, something they are confident will give the best results rather than making the same type of game over and over and letting that become the company’s identity. There’s also a high degree of freedom in the team to work on different projects as a way to keep everyone inspired.
The biggest difficulty for them so far has been making people notice their game in order to establish the company properly, though they consider themselves fortunate for being picked for various showcases at Nordic Game Conference, IndieCade East, A Maze Berlin and more. Something that definitely helps the team gain the necessary attention to attract distribution deals.
Their advice to newcomers to the games industry and those looking to establish a games studio? “To start as small as possible and scale the project up according to budget. After all, scaling up is always easier than scaling down”, says Martin Petersen.
|Stikbold (Under development – PC and consoles)|