This Birmingham studio work beneath a dragon, thatâ??s only some of their medieval madness

Start-Up Spotlight: Chudio

Birmingham’s Custard Factory, a plot of riverside factories more than a hundred years old, is now a major creative sector in the city.

And it’s a fitting home for quirky start-up Chudio. This independent studio formed in April this year, and aims to become a recognised name in the digital entertainment space.

The company’s first iPhone app, kaSmash, launched last week, and has inspired more medieval antics at their offices. They also have a project known as The StoryMonster in development for a media company.

Develop took along some gold pieces and asked Chudio’s marketing goddess Jennifer Francis to tell us more.

How did you start your company?
We were working with some really talented graphic designers and game writers with compelling ideas however, they were unable to bring their games to market. We set up Chudio Ltd as a vehicle to exploit this great opportunity.

How many people work at your company?
As a new, growing business at present we have three full-time and two part-time staff.

What’s your company culture like?
Although we work very hard here, we are also a very laid back and relaxed company. If something doesn’t work then… try something else! We enjoy coming into work on a Monday morning, we don’t do rules and we definitely don’t do politics (oh, unless we’re drafting contracts for clients!). We work in the Custard Factory in Birmingham, UK, one of the largest creative hubs in Europe where there’s always something going on.

Tell us a little-known fact or anecdote about your company.
If we look up from our desks, gaze across the lake we can see a dragon. This is no lie. The Custard Factory. Google it.

What could you, and/or your team members, not do without on a daily basis?
Office banter, gadgets, office banter about gadgets, random ideas and Earl Grey tea.

Why did you decide to enter the casual gaming market?
We didn’t want to be the only people on the planet without an app in the app store.

What games/tools/services have you made since forming, and how have they been received?
It’s early days and we currently have one recently released app, kaSmash for the iPhone and iPad. It is an exciting and incredibly addictive multi-touch puzzle game complete with great graphics and awesome sound effects. The game has been added to the iTunes staff favourites and so far been received very well.

What are you working on right now, and what stage is the project at?
Currently, we are working with a major media company and TV network to develop a branded version of the game featuring a hugely popular children’s cartoon character, due to be launched this Christmas. We are in the process of talking to other IP holders about further branding of the game.

What are your aspirations for the company?

To sell it to EA games for $29 million!

Who do you admire in the games industry and/or beyond?
Without a doubt, Chillingo. They came out of nowhere and we admire their talent for spotting exceptional gameplay and exploiting it successfully in a very cluttered app store.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your company?
This week we will be mainly dressing up as knights and fair maidens and generally causing medieval mayhem outside our office as part of the new kaSmash viral!

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