Stadia Makers

Stadia unveils the first seven games under its Stadia Makers program – We talked to the developers to find out more

Stadia has unveiled the first set of games to coming to the platform as part of its ‘Stadia Makers’ program.

The program, which is run in partnership with Unity, is designed to encourage more indie developers to self-publish their titles on Google’s streaming platform, and offers three key benefits to the studios chosen: technical support from the Unity team, up to five physical development kits, and direct funding from Google to assist with the costs of bringing a game to Stadia.

Today Stadia has unveiled the first seven games coming to Stadia as part of the program, Fireheart Games’s TOHU, Bedtime Digital’s Figment: Creed Valley & Figment, Furyion Games’ Death Carnival, Vox Game Studio’s Kaze and the Wild Masks, Spooky Doorway’s The Darkside Detective Season 2, 2 Ton Studios’ Unto The End and Fishing Cactus’ Nanotale – Typing Chronicles.

To find out more about the games, and the benefits of being part of the Stadia Makers program, we reached out to each of the seven studios.

Tell us about your game!

 

TOHU – TOHU is a brand new adventure game that’s set amongst a world of weird and wonderful fish planets. Combining traditional adventure game mechanics with an approachable design, TOHU features a variety of enchanting locations and strange scenarios.

Figment – A musical action-adventure set in the recesses of the human mind… Welcome to the world of Figment. Join Dusty and his ever-optimistic friend, Piper, on an adventure through the different sides of the mind, solving puzzles to set things straight. 

Figment: Creed Valley – Figment: Creed Valley is an encore to Figment. Dusty and Piper have restored peace in The Mind, however, a new adversary is threatening its balance. Our two heroes must travel to Creed Valley, where The Mind’s beliefs and ideals are formed, to face their most menacing and theatrical foe so far.

Death Carnival – Death Carnival is a fast-paced top-down shooter with extreme weapons & online multiplayer mayhem.

Kaze and the Wild Masks – Kaze and the Wild Masks embraces all the classic 90’s platformer elements and gives it a personal touch with modern-looking pixel art graphics. Thanks to the powers of the Wild Masks, players can pounce ferociously like a tiger, soar through the sky like an eagle, sprint fiercely like a lizard, and rule the sea like a shark.

The Darkside Detective Season 2 – The Darkside Detective Season 2 is a brand new collection of comedic point-and-click adventures that will see Detective McQueen in six new standalone cases as he investigates a creepy carnival, explores a retirement home, and even tries to unwind on a trip to “sunny” old Ireland…

Unto The End – Unto The End is a 2D cinematic combat-adventure, featuring a nuanced combat system and handcrafted encounters, which follows a father’s journey through an unforgiving wilderness to get back to his family.

Nanotale – Typing Chronicles – Nanotale – Typing Chronicles is an atmospheric typing adventure RPG set in a colorful vibrant world. Follow Rosalind, a novice Archivist, as she journeys out to explore a distant world.

What processes are involved in becoming part of the Stadia makers program?

TOHU
Fireheart Games’ TOHU

Unto The End from Stephen Danton (Game Designer, 2 Ton Studios): It was all pretty painless, we filled out a form, showed some folks Unto The End, and then made it official.

Bruno Urbain, CEO @ Fishing Cactus for Nanotale – Typing Chronicles: Applying for the Stadia Makers program is straightforward and does not require much outside a pitch but as always the more the better. After a first selection phase, the title is evaluated by the Stadia team and if the game resonates with their editorial line we move forward and agree on the terms. Then there are two distinct things to take care about: developing the title with Stadia specificities and preparing content for Stadia’s marketing team.

Linda Bendsneijder, Junior PR Manager at SOEDESCO for Kaze and the Wild Masks: We have been talking with the Stadia team ever since we met them back when we were still allowed to meet people face to face. Once we started working with PixelHive to publish Kaze and the Wild Masks, we figured this was a great fit for the Stadia and entered the Makers program.

Figment
Bedtime Digital’s Figment: Creed Valley

David Logan, CEO at Akupara Games for Darkside Detective Season 2: We’ve had a great relationship with Google for many years, and had been chatting with them about Stadia right from the beginning. The Maker’s Program was exciting to us because we received the added support from Unity. The game had to be evaluated by both the Google and Unity teams for consideration.

Hans Haave, Communications Manager at Bedtime Digital Games for Figment: Creed Valley: Not sure, we were approached by Unity as we were posting often on the Unity subreddit (r/Unity3D).

 

What kind of technical support have you received from the Unity team?

Death Carnival
Furyion Games’ Death Carnival

Unto The End from Stephen Danton (Game Designer, 2 Ton Studios): We (and our game Unto The End) just recently joined Makers, so none yet.

Bruno Urbain, CEO @ Fishing Cactus for Nanotale – Typing Chronicles: So far, we did not need Unity tech support to get started on Stadia, it might come handy as we dive into the specificities of the platform.

Mark Offenberg, Programmer at SOEDESCO for Kaze and the Wild Masks: So far, the Unity team has been very helpful in thinking along with us. They provide assistance with issues during our development and look into any bugs we encounter. In doing so, they assist us with getting Kaze and the Wild Masks ready for launch.

David Logan, CEO at Akupara Games for Darkside Detective Season 2: Unity has been available to answer any questions for us, big or small. They promptly got hardware into our hands, which isn’t an easy thing as our team is spread out around the world. We also are a part of a Stadia/Unity exclusive forum where we can get direct tech support from both teams.

Hans Haave, Communications Manager at Bedtime Digital Games for Figment: Creed Valley: Unity has been quick to answer our questions when facing new situations. 

 

How beneficial is the part Stadia funding and dev kits to an indie development team?

Kaze and the Wild Masks
Vox Game Studio’s Kaze and the Wild Masks

Unto The End from Stephen Danton (Game Designer, 2 Ton Studios): It’s nice for sure. Sara and I really appreciate it. It lets us focus just a little bit more on delivering the right experience for Unto The End.

Bruno Urbain, CEO @ Fishing Cactus for Nanotale – Typing Chronicles: First we have been able to add more time to the project. it means that some post-release features have been integrated into the initial release plan which is always a good thing for players.

Mark Offenberg, Programmer at SOEDESCO for Kaze and the Wild Masks: The dev kits have been a great benefit in developing for Stadia. It gives us a reliable source where we can continue to test Kaze and the Wild Masks at all times. Debugging the game is also significantly faster with the dev kit.

Ben Marquez Keenan, Developer at Spooky Doorway for Darkside Detective Season 2: The funding is hugely beneficial to a team of our size, it has allowed us to hire in the people we needed and the dev kit makes the whole porting process possible. A few teething problems have made the process a bit slower than we like but Google appears to be working hard to address these issues and make development more streamlined for indies in the future. 

Hans Haave, Communications Manager at Bedtime Digital Games for Figment: Creed Valley: Very. Allows us to increase the scope of our game and work more efficiently.

 

Are there other benefits in being part of the Stadia Makers program?

The Darkside Detective Season 2
Spooky Doorway’s The Darkside Detective Season 2

Unto The End from Stephen Danton (Game Designer, 2 Ton Studios): More people get to see Unto The End, and we get to learn from and work with some of the folks shaping the future of gaming. It’s extremely exciting. Beyond the Makers program, the ideas behind Stadia have the potential to change gaming forever. A world where you can pick up and play from pretty much anywhere, makes games accessible in a way previously reserved for television and radio. Sara and I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of that and can’t wait to see how things unfold from here.

Bruno Urbain, CEO @ Fishing Cactus for Nanotale – Typing Chronicles: A complementary marketing campaign provided by Stadia which is kind of helpful whenever you are developing an indie title like we do on Nanotale. It is a game that press doesn’t usually pickup so getting visibility through Stadia is a more than welcome aspect.

Linda Bendsneijder, Junior PR Manager at SOEDESCO for Kaze and the Wild Masks: It’s the complete package! The technical, producing and marketing support have all been really helpful to us. Whenever we faced any hiccups or had any questions, the Stadia team has always been understanding and contributing to solutions.

Unto the End
2 Ton Studios’s Unto the End

David Logan, CEO at Akupara Games for Darkside Detective Season 2: The Stadia Makers program is a perfect fit for small to midsize indie developers. With their marketing support and funding they help amplify our team and project, and it has created a lot of opportunities to reach a wider audience than our title would have otherwise had.

Hans Haave, Communications Manager at Bedtime Digital Games for Figment: Creed Valley: It’s always interesting to be working with cutting edge tech and pioneers developing in a new space. It helps sharpen our ability to be first movers in an ever increasing digital age.

 

Do you feel initiatives like Stadia Makers will allow for the development of indie games that may not otherwise receive enough funding?

 

Unto The End from Stephen Danton (Game Designer, 2 Ton Studios): Very hard to say. We hope so 

Nanotale - Typing Chronicles
Fishing Cactus’ Nanotale – Typing Chronicles

Bruno Urbain, CEO @ Fishing Cactus for Nanotale – Typing Chronicles: To be fairly blunt, I would never count on Stadia alone to fund my indie game. For example Nanotale is already available on Steam (Early Access) and funding has been secured way before we enter into a partnership with Stadia. That said Stadia can be an interesting leverage to retain ownership or to put more resources on your game.

Linda Bendsneijder, Junior PR Manager at SOEDESCO for Kaze and the Wild Masks: Yes, we come across a lot of developers with small budgets and I think the Stadia makers program would certainly be beneficial to many. And it’s not just the funding either, as Stadia is able to contribute to the overall success of a title by providing the full package, from tech support to marketing. Offering this complete package helps developers beyond the development of their current game, and also contributes to them (financially) being able to create a second or third game.

David Logan, CEO at Akupara Games for Darkside Detective Season 2: Absolutely! Indie projects in Unity that need a bit of a financial boost to complete their project should definitely consider developing for Stadia Makers.

 

 

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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