On the back of a lot of activity in Europe we wanted to share the story of one of our first German customers who will be launching with us later this month.
smuttewerk interactive is a German based developer who has had critical acclaim with a number of its games. In particular their game Nosferatu has had critical and commercial success. Nosferatu is a lovable small vampire who just wants to be loved and help his friends, all of whom are misunderstood due to their appearance or reputation. The player’s goal is avoid natural and unnatural dangers and keep Nosferatu safe. The first version of Nosferatu has been downloaded over 4m times to date and also managed to attract the interest of ProSieben in Germany who did a television promotion around Halloween in 2012.
On the back of this success smuttlewerk decided to create an ambitious follow up which will serve as a basis for a transmedia property that extends to digital publishing, short form animation and collectibles such as digital trading cards and virtual toys. The longer term plan is for players to be immersed in a world of content about Nosferatu and his friends.
As a small and ambitious studio it was critical for smuttlewerk that they focus their resources on the game playing experience. They made the decision therefore to look for a back end platform that could support both their short and longer term goals. The rationale for smuttlewerk was that for Nosferatu 2 to become a success player engagement in the story, characters and game play would be the key. In addition, sharing of game content and experiences would be critical . However, all of these things required substantial back end technology that had they built it themselves would have limited their time and focus. The back end, though incredibly important, is not the reason player’s engage with a game. After a number of months of looking at solutions smuttlewerk settled on GameSparks.
As co-founder Martin Giaco explained, “We fell in love with Gamesparks during the live demo we took. The feature set is incredible and unifies all the points we were looking for. Now we can implement multiplayer, downloadable content, a virtual store and much more cool stuff with ease. If we had to do all the server backend stuff ourselves, our game wouldn’t have been ready for another 3-6 months. Support is also top-notch and any problems we have had thus far were solved quickly and straightforwardly. Gamesparks rocks!”
The point here are that smuttlewerk are an experienced developer with a fair level of success and they decided (rightly in our opinion) that focus on game design and development was far more important for them that building back end systems. Given how hard it is to create a compelling game the question is “why do you want to try to make a game AND the back end to support it?”