It’s going like clockwork for Norfolk computer game developers
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013
Two Norfolk computer game developers have released an addictive puzzle game starring a clockwork robot.
Sophia George, of Runham, and Kristian Francis, of Great Yarmouth, have been working on Tick Tock Toys on and off since Sophia had the idea two years ago.
Yellow robot Tic Toc is the star of the game, and players must help him to his goal by ensuring he does not crash into toys.
Levels quickly become more challenging, with a jumble of blocks, toy trains and pirate swords strewn across Tic Toc's route.
The iPad game was released on February 28 – and Kristian said it was a surreal moment after so much work.
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'It's really weird,' revealed the 24-year-old. 'I was thinking about it the day the game came out.
'One of my friends was saying 'congratulations on it coming out' and it doesn't feel normal.
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'It was a bit anti-climactic I guess.'
While their first experience of seeing an idea become a game for others to play came as a shock, they say they are already looking for their next project.
Things took off for the former Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) students when they graduated and formed their company Swallowtail Games.
While at Abertay University, in Dundee, they won a Bafta for an early version of Tick Tock Toys and grant money to develop it.
And now the pair are plotting a return home.
'There are no games developers in Norwich and we think there's a good chance for us to set up there and be the first,' said Kristian.
They have already been invited to be guest lecturers at NUA, and hope to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
'I've always known I wanted to do games, but it's quite an insular industry,' said Kristian. 'It doesn't open itself up for people to look inside it, which I think is a problem that definitely needs to change.
'Games get a bad rap and people don't take them seriously, but there's no reason they shouldn't as much as film and TV.'
Merchandise will form part of the pair's long-term strategy – similar to cult game Angry Birds – but their goal is to find a wider audience.
'One of the things we want to accomplish is getting more people to play games,' explained Kristian. 'But what we want at the same time is for our games still to be good games, not just fluff.
'I would like to see more people playing games that people who buy games would be playing anyway.'
Sophia, 22, said they will wait to see how Tick Tock Toys does before planning their next move.
But she added: 'We want to keep making these family-friendly games.
'People have a bad perception about games that they're all about shooting and killing.'
The free game is available from the Apple Store, with the full version costing £3.99.