Share Your Start-Up Story: Teaboy Games – ‘Fallen’
Teaboy Games is a games studio focused on designing unique arcade-style mobile games for all ages.
The business was set up by three graduates in 2014, all aged between 22 and 25, after meeting each other through the Games Hub scheme run by Eastern Enterprise Hub.
Frazer Merrick, Scott Taylor and Aidan Randall’s first game ‘Fallen‘ hit over 50K downloads in its second opening week in August 2015 and was featured by Apple in more than 100 countries.
About Fallen (as told by Frazer Merrick)
As a music graduate, I’d never made a game before but upon meeting Scott and Aidan we hit it off really well and quickly found shared goals and ambitions.
Fallen is a reaction game set in a beautifully minimal world. We like to call it a cross between pinball and Tetris. As it was the first game we’d made as a team, we decided to focus on learning our tools and the workflows in releasing a game in the App Store.
With such a minimal marketing budget, getting featured was a pipe dream, so it was mind-blowing when it happened. Apple didn’t tell us they were going to feature Fallen – I was in an art gallery when I got a tweet from a friend in Germany congratulating me for getting featured.
Our dream was to hit 100K in a year, and after the feature from Apple, we got 50K in a week. To have the nod from Apple was huge, and it gave us the confidence that we have the skill to succeed in this incredibly competitive environment.
How It Was Discovered
Fallen came about from discussing our favourite mobile games and de-constructing their origins. We looked at children games for inspiration, specifically a child’s block-and-hole game.
During early development, Fallen had different shapes falling downward but later we chose one shape and used different colours to give us a stronger art style.
Why The Interest In Mobile Games
Although I didn’t study games design, I’ve always had a passion for interactive media and have been intrigued by the possibilities of new technologies.
I worked for Apple Retail after graduation and there I learned more about the nature of the App Store and the incredible power of that device in your pocket.
Interest in Entrepreneurship
As a musician, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, from running my own gigs to recording, producing and releasing my own music.
I see a lot of similarities in starting a games studio and running a band.
In small businesses it’s hard to specialise in just one aspect – You have to be able to wear lots of different hats.
You need to have a great game and great art, an understanding of monetisation and then the ability to stand out in a stupendously competitive marketplace.
We all want to make games, and starting our own venture gives us full creative control over our projects. It’s a dream job.
Future of Teaboy Games
We’re called Teaboy Games because deep down, we’re all teaboys. Like the intern in an office, we want to learn from those around us and continue to improve our skills.
This could mean developing on new platforms such as tvOS and watchOS, or perhaps working with brands or organisations to create new games – Continued innovation is important to our success and growth.
We’re currently developing a minimal puzzler with the working title ‘Pendulum‘, which sees you battling against time as you control a swinging pendulum avoiding obstacles and attempting to reach targets – Due for release in August 2016.
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