More and more people are veering off of AAA game studios to instead enjoy a, usually low-budget, independent game. Independent games, also known as indie games, have been on the rise for some time now in part thanks to initiatives such as the ever-growing Indie Megabooth, a collaboration of several independent studios that show off their work within a larger game conference. The attraction is that indie games are usually more creative and simple in the sense that they can pretty much do anything they can afford, without risking to sink a billion dollar company if the game isn’t well received.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC), which attracts over 23,000 industry professionals, has become the primary forum where everyone involved in the development of interactive games can gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry. Because of the interest for indie games these recent years, Indie Megabooth and it’s now over 70 collaborators, are also to be found at this year’s GDC, which is held in San Francisco, USA. This year, the Megabooth is presenting 15 titles, among which Danish Machineers is one of them.
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The Machineers game is a construction puzzle game with robots, and the objective is to repair broken contraptions and to build mechanical inventions using various items. The game is available on Android and iOS already and is released episodically with a premium model in mind. A PC and Mac version is slated for release in 2014 as well. Five episodes, or “cities,” are planned, each city containing 12 puzzles. Every episode will teach the player to build a specific vehicle.
The Copenhagen-based team behind Machineers, Lohika, has been working on the game for quite some time, starting as a design experiment for a Master thesis project at the IT University Copenhagen. Three students; Niels Gamsgaard Frederiksen, Henrike Lode and Giuseppe Enrico Franchi together with Michael Fischerson from OmniSound Copenhagen decided to find out how to create an educational game that children would have fun playing.
After a demo was launched in June 2012, the game was invited to be showcased at a number of conferences, attracting massive attention for its innovative approach to the merging of fun and learning. After receiving the award for the Best Student Game at the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge in Orlando, Florida, the team then decided to found the company Lohika.
The team applied for a grant from the Danish Film Institute to make their demo into a full game, and after receiving it, they started turning the small team into an actual company. Soon after that, more contributors signed on, and the team has since April 2014 been working from Spilhuset in Copenhagen and has employed a full-time team.