Toolbox: Irish Indie Game Developers 101

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Irish Game Developers DublinGlobe.com

We produce a lot of games for a small island. Not only that, but we produce weird and wonderful, curious, diverse and intricately-crafted games, ranging from little iPhone shoot em ups to mythical MMOs.

Irish games exist on the world stage now, found on Steam or the iTunes store or Google Play or Gamejolt. And the wealth of creativity here is difficult to ignore – GameJolt even celebrated our industry last week with a St. Patrick’s day Irish game marathon.

We’ve rounded up Irish indie game companies below: if you’ve noticed any people we’ve left out, as usual, tweet it at us!

BatCat Games
‘Furry, leathery-winged independent games await you with nasty, big, pointy teeth…’ It’s hard not to like this little studio. They have two games so far: P-3 Biotic, an arcade-style shooter, and Onikira: Demon Killer, a ninja beat em up.

Why you should know them: How many games are set in a petri-dish? P-3 Biotic sounds truly weird, wonderful and inventive.

bitSmith
bitSmith build weird and wonderful ‘handmade games’ for PC, Mac, Linux and PS4. Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan is a celtic steampunk puzzle game with Irish language options, and upcoming release FranknJohn is an adorably deranged roguelike featuring a hero with two heads.

Why you should know them: Aside from creating games, bitSmith advise the Irish government on developing our games industry.

 

Digit
Founded in early 2012 and based in Dublin, Digit’s first game is Kings of the Realm (KotR), a massively multiplayer strategy game released along with a book series from Penguin.

Why you should know them: Digit raised €2m in venture capital funding before releasing Kings of the Realm, making it one of 2014’s biggest European game releases.

 Eyesodic Games
This small Irish developer is the force behind the fantastically creepy Life After Us series of horror games for PC inspired by the works of Poe and Lovecraft,  featuring lurchy, atmospheric gameplay and desolate interiors.

Why you should know them: Life After Us won Best Digital Game at the Eircom Spiders in 2014.

HAIL Studios
More steampunk, you say? Why not. Clockwork Damage is an action RPG by HAIL, backed by Enterprise Ireland and ESAT, in Valencia, Spain. They operate on an ‘open innovation’ model–there’s even an open call for beta testers on their site.

Why you should know them: Because how many indie game studios get the Google seal of approval? (HAIL have it!)

GoneGaming
GoneGaming create mobile games and apps with 3D graphics and memorable soundtracks. Their first game, The Jump, is a futuristic street racer with a neon Skrillex-y vibe.

Why you should know them: The Jump is notable for its soundtrack, created by Poet from Black Eyed Peas.

Kahoot Studios
Kahoot are an independent, idiosyncratic team of two founders, a web designer and a ‘(fictional) demon division’ (take a closer look here). So far they’ve made browser games Kahoot Untangle and Game of Hoot, and a new and exciting creation called Project Space Cat Moon Puncher is in the works…

Why you should know them: Because they tweet the most adorable concept art known to the internet.

LoPoly Games
An independent Irish company founded in 2012, LoPoly have produced the Daft Punk-inspired Discman, the Legend of Danny Crask. Their site is full of pixelated loveliness and something very exciting called ‘Slice of Cheese’, coming soon.

Why you should know them: LoPoly also create middleware tools like the Educational Synth and the Ice Cream 8-bit mono/poly synthesizer.

Nevermind Games
A young studio with two products to their name: TroubleSUM, a maths puzzle game, and Solar Sprint, an endless runner. 

Why you should know them: Nevermind are based in Thurles rather than Dublin, but we’re not going to hold that against them.

SixMinute Games
Born out of PopCap Games, which closed its Dublin studio in 2012, SixMinute are a team of nine creating colourful smartphone games with a kawaii, cartoonish look to them. Pick-a-Pet is an addictive puzzler while Monster Mini-Games offers a full suite of games.

Why you should know them: SixMinute secured funding from Delta Partners, ACT Venture Capital and Enterprise Ireland before the release of their first game.

Snozbot
Best-named Irish game studio, anyone? Snozbot sounds like something from a book by Roald Dahl, but is in fact an Irish privately-funded gaming company. They’re the creators of side-scrolling runner Super Sword Sword Shield.

Why you should know them: They’re also the creators of Fungusa Unity 3D extension for creating story-based games.

 

StoryToys
One for younger gamers: StoryToys write that they invented the ‘digital pop-up book’ for children. They have thirty-nine apps listed on their site, including one for cult favourite The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Why you should know them: The Very Hungry Caterpillar was awarded the BolognaRagazzi Digital Award at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the world’s leading event for children’s publishing.

Studio POWWOW
Studio POWWOW are an interesting hybrid of gaming, animation and transmedia. They created ShipAntics: The Legend of the Kiki Beast, available for iPhones and iPads.

Why you should know them: This week, Studio POWWOW’s ShipAntics won best app at the Irish Animation Awards.

WarDucks
WarDucks is a small Irish startup which creates games which can be played across devices. Their first is Global Agents, a Facebook game about a ‘global counter-terrorism’ spy force with and Archer vibe.

Why you should know them: Because even pink ducks can be war-ready…

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