Behind Great Games: AWS is How Game Tech Edition 2
Over the past year, many of us have felt compelled to escape into a game, even if only for a few hours. Technology has been our salvation and our solace. When we’ve been forced to stay apart, tech has helped us to feel connected, whether by racing strangers through virtual cities or teaming up to battle awesome foes in Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem.
There has, perhaps, never been a greater need for the escape that gaming gives us. So I’d like to say an extra thank you to the studios we’re featuring in Volume 2 of AWS is How the Game Tech edition, which we’re proud to launch today. Without you, lockdown would have been just a little bit harder for so many millions of us gamers across the globe.
Like most businesses around the world, 2020 wasn’t easy for the developers you’re about to meet. They’ve had to cope with unprecedented challenges, but they harnessed their grit and their determination to forge new experiences for players all over the world. Most importantly, they didn’t face these challenges with corporate firepower, they created these incredible experiences with audacity, creativity and the simple desire to make something fun.
These studios know when to play it safe and when to take calculated risks. When to keep pushing forward on a bumpy road and when to somersault onto a new one.
Building on AWS gives studios the chance to experiment, innovate, and make mistakes in order to keep forging ahead. I’m 100 percent with Roberta Lucca from Bossa when she says: “I think entrepreneurs are half-scientist, half-artist. You start by failing many times. Always be ready to learn and experiment.”
As ColdFire has discovered, AWS gives studios the chance to test, analyze, predict, target and act on player feedback. Agility is crucial when you’re a developer, so the ability to pull a 180 when the odds are stacked against you is as important for development as it is for game play. Traplight’s Valtteri Pirttilä told us: “It’s always been about seeing where we are and working out the best way forward, instead of sticking to a plan that no longer fits. New ideas come through all the time and you have to embrace them.”
For some of the developers we spoke to, the pandemic has been just one of many hurdles they’ve overcome. Just five years after escaping civil war in Syria, the founders of Wolves Interactive built Traffic Tour, which has now reached 40 million downloads.
And Creative Mobile only came about after three gamers lost their jobs. Co- founder Vladimir Funtikov told us: “I took the chance to do something I loved, with people I liked, and who shared an audacious spirit.” The Estonian studio has gone on to create an open, transparent working culture that puts people and core values at the very heart of the business.
Perhaps one of the key things we can learn from these studios is that adversity can spark the creativity we need to build something truly spectacular. In many games, your character levels up and gets stronger regardless of your own skill, which can be liberating. But sometimes, as in real- life, games can be uncompromising. Some games insist that you—the player—must improve to progress. That can be rewarding in itself. 2020 has certainly felt that way for me, but Praise the Sun, I think that’s a game worth playing.