Hear from a fledgling studio in the heart of hurricane country
It’s been a lifelong dream of Jason Clark to work in the games industry. Earlier this year he formed Gale Force Logic to do just that.
Selected as one of five companies to participate in Joystick Labs’ inaugural game studio incubation initiative, Gale Force Logic aims to rise to the top, but know they have to start small. President Jason Clark says their immediate goal is: “To have a small team of passionate developers churning out quality titles that captivate our target audience.” We asked him to lay out their forecast.
How did you start your company?
Gale Force Logic started out as an indie development team, looking to do something unique with the Unreal Development Kit. After meeting with Juan Benito, co-founder and creative director of Joystick Labs, we pitched our company vision and title ideas to them. Through partnership, they have helped in accelerating us into a full fledged start-up game studio.
How many people work at your company?
Our company has a total of three co-founders. We also have five additional team members working for GFL from a contractual/consulting perspective. About a third of the team is full-time, and the remaining team members work on a part-time basis.
What's your company culture like?
I think our company culture is being formed as we progress through our development cycles. I can say that we use a modified agile process for development, and we evaluate early and often. We’ve come to understand that in the early stages of development, it’s important to get what has been characterized as the MVP stage - minimum, viable, and playable. This is the approach that we are currently adopting for all of our titles. It gives us a chance to evaluate the fun in them, and to accept ideas and feedback from everyone on the team at the infancy stages of the projects.
Tell us a little-known fact or anecdote about your company.
Our company is based in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area, home of the Carolina Hurricanes, and Red Storm Entertainment. We selected the name Gale Force Logic as an interesting and subliminal way to connect us to the region.
What could you, and/or your team members, not do without on a daily basis?
Ear buds and Skype. When we are heads down working on our games, we all tend to shut off the surrounding world by plugging in our ear buds and zoning out to our respective iTunes playlists. Skype is also a godsend. We all meet from time to time via Skype and that helps when distance gets in the way.
Why did you decide to enter the casual gaming market?
Although we have aspirations of becoming the next blockbuster triple-A game studio, we have to start somewhere. We believe that the casual gaming market has the lowest barrier of entry. We feel that the casual games audience will gravitate to the kinds of games we have to offer, and that will help to solidify us as a competitive company in the market.
What games/tools/services have you made since forming, and how have they been received?
We don’t have anything on the market yet. That will certainly change very soon!
What are you working on right now, and what stage is the project at?
We are currently in the development stages of two titles, both destined to be available on iOS platforms. We’re remaining a bit tight lipped on details, but we can say that one is an interesting twist on a classic arcade-style game, and the other is an interactive crime drama.
What are your aspirations for the company?
At the end of the day, we’re looking to attract gamers that want more than just the light-hearted escapes and amusement from their gaming experience. We want gamers that appreciate a good story, yet find simplistic game mechanics valuable from a mobile gaming perspective. So I’d say that eventually we want to be the A&E or the History Channel of the game industry, and known for matching simplistic game mechanics with compelling and provocative storylines to create brand new gaming experiences.
Who do you admire in the games industry and/or beyond?
We certainly admire companies like Epic that make their tools available to the indie games community.
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