Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Game development in Newfoundland?

When I was going through my B.Sc. at Memorial there was one industry that really didn't exist here on the island - video game development. This has changed quite recently. Today there are at least four operating video game studios in or around town, with more on the horizon. I've linked these studios in below so that you can explore this growing local industry.

Other Oceans Interactive:

Is the largest of the game development studios to setup shop in Newfoundland. They have a wide variety of game genres and platforms that they have released upon - including titles such as "Dark Void Zero" for DSiWare, "Super Monkey Ball 2" for iphone, "CSI: Deadly Intent - The Hidden Cases" for Nintendo DS, and "Puffins: Island Adventure" also for the DS (a much longer, detailed list of their products & platforms can be found here). 

Bit Trap Studios:

There isn't much that I can write about Bit Trap at this time. They are a very recent addition to the local scene, receiving assistance from the provincial government to help with the establishment of their studio. This being a small town, I know of two awesome former Progress employees joining this venture - I can't wait to see what they produce :)

Source Studios:

A locally developed company, Source Studios was founded in 2007 by a group of computer engineering students from Memorial University. I actually worked with one of the founders of this group, training him in QA/testing procedures at the former Consilient Technologies. Their first title "ProtoGalaxy" is an online, multi-player, space based action-puzzle-adventure game.

Binary Dawn:

Our last company to look at is Binary Dawn. They're a small locally grown and owned operation that released their first title "Through To Iota" in September of 2009. As with the previous group, I worked with one of the founders of this company at the former IONA Technologies. Binary Dawn's current games target the iphone, with their second title "WordUs2" coming soon.


Sam Russell said...

I've been following most of these companies too.. It's cool to see game development flourishing a bit here lately.

Adam Burry said...

What??? You haven't worked with anyone at OOI? Surely you jest.

Jamie Goodyear said...

@Sam, I wonder what the barrier to entry was that prevented the industry from flourishing like this before? Has the costs of development dropped enough? Did some government program silently encourage its growth? We certainly have had the creative, artistic, and technical minds for this to have happened earlier.

@Adam, I know, it's a small town, normally I know someone in a shop :P I'm sure they have good people too like the other companies :)

RoddieKieley said...

@jamie Thanks for the mention of Binary Dawn, it's great to be a part of a growing community of game developers locally.

Outside of who you mentioned, there is also Celsius Game Studios who specialize in iOS apps as well as NewIsland Interactive, both of whom released entertainment apps in the last year.

I believe there is also a group specializing in QA as well but don't know their name off hand.

Anonymous said...

Here's a list of NL companies for easy reference:


Jamie Goodyear said...

Thanks for the link :)

Unknown said...

No mention of Best Boy Entertainment?

Jamie Goodyear said...

Back when I wrote this post I was unaware of Best Boy Entertainment.

The local game development community has changed somewhat since 2010, there was a IGDA NL chapter for a while but its since disappeared. I'm not fully aware of the current crop of companies still producing games in town, 3 years is a long time in the industry.

Sapphyre said...

Looks like there are coders, devs, but no CS companies? Are they doing their own CS in house? (Customer Support)
Would any of them want 2 highly professional, responsible, experienced CM and CS people out there?

Ms.C.J. Rideout

Jamie Goodyear said...

Good question. I think they all handle their own customer support in house, I'd suggest getting in contact with the studios you're interested in. The local IGDA hasn't been as active lately, so I'm not tuned into what they're looking for these days :(

Sapphyre said...

My partner and I are looking at moving back to Canada, and I've got more cousins in Newfoundland than even I know about! So it looks like that's where we'll head!
We have both worked in the games industry, mainly CS though my partner was content design for a while on Anarchy Online.
We will have to see who is alive out there!

AbriiD said...

Well we would be really happy if people would answer e-mails. My partner tells me he's e-mailed a few game related companies out on thee rock, but hasn't had one answer him yet.
Is the industry dead before it got off the ground?

Jamie Goodyear said...

The local IGDA hasn't been as publicly active... I know there is an active community, not sure why they're not replying to emails however.