The accelerator came out of a chance meeting of Alistair Doulin (who had just released his game Battle Group from his indie studio Bane Games) and Steve Baxter. Baxter had created a not-for-profit co-working space called River City Labs, and was hosting a games-themed night when his meeting with Doulin saw him take interest in getting into gaming more seriously.
Baxter hired John Passfield: a game designer with a penchant for creating new studios and new IPs (having been a founder of Krome and Red Sprite Studios) to run Right Pedal Studios as the Program Manager, and the accelerator was quickly populated by a number of indies.
"We did learn a lot about making games for mobile, how to market the games, how to use analytics and work with teams. We pivoted our approach for the next intake, moving from smaller casual titles to games that are bigger and deeper."
Those bigger titles are its big releases for this year, those being Battle Group 2, the upcoming Tail Drift from Attract Mode Games, and today’s big launch with Ninja Raft from Geek Brain Games (pictured with some of the Right Pedal team), which is currently featured in Best New Games on the App Store worldwide.
It’s fair to say the accelerator is off to a strong start.
It does, however, ask a fair chunk of the developers it houses, splitting profits from releases 50/50. But Passfield and Baxter have surrounded the talent in the accelerator with support from all directions. Teams are housed, guided and financed when they’re accepted into the program.
"Right Pedal Studios offers an investment of up to $50,000 to indie game developers in exchange for an equity stake in their game, not in their company," Passfield explains. "We also offer access to mentors, legal and accounting services, a place to work at River City Labs, monthly games testing and general guidance to help the team make the best game they can."
It’s a package which sees the indies there wanting for nothing, and fills in the myriad of gaps usually present in first-timers starting a new studio, and the list of mentors is an impressive who’s who of Brisbane industry veterans.
Passfield contrasts their investment to the advances more common in a publisher model, and is quick to stress the benefits of indies seeing instant royalties out the gate rather than waiting until a third party has recouped its investment. Indeed, the delay in receiving funding from sales can be the death knell for indies working with the kind of budgets Right Pedal is targeting.