Back to one of Australia's older development studios today, with a look at Wicked Witch Software from Melbourne
Wicked Witch Software is one of the many offshoots of Torus Games, itself an offshoot of Beam Software / Melbourne House.
It's one of the more prolific studios in Australia, based out of Melbourne and being responsible for a series of AFL (Australian Football League) games as well as a slew of original titles across multiple platforms.
Wicked Witch prides itself on its ability to create concurrent development piplines across all platforms - a process it's handled successfully over the years and led to it handling such titles as Jumper: Griffin's Story on Xbox 360 and Heroes of the Pacific for consoles. Then there's Space Chimps, Grand Slam, Turbo Tennis, Space Marines, its own line of 'Wicked' branded sports titles - all in all some 100 titles have been released in the studios 13 years of existence.
"There are several challenges to working in Australia, and there are several advantages also," says Managing Director Daniel Visser. "The main challenge is the fluctuating Australian dollar, and how that impacts our ability to compete globally. The time difference is a factor, although we can usually work around this by staying late to talk to Europe, and coming in early to talk to America with Asia is usually a similar time zone."
"The advantages are that we have some government support from time to time that helps us offset some of our costs and get more original IP into the market. Also being Australian and multi-cultural allows us to communicate well and get along with people all over the world."
Such communication is of course vital for a studio which produces original IP and works on licenses. Wicked Witch has teams anywhere from five people to forty depending on the scale, and runs projects from those as small as six months to full scale two year development cycles.