Date: 2009-08-27 Category: Profiles
ChaosTrend is an exciting new computer games development company based in Swansea, South Wales, whose members strive to develop games that have interesting style and substance. The team consists of four former Metropolitan University members that have obtained degrees in programming and game design. The founder members of ChaosTrend are: Darren Adams, Russell Drodge, John Franklin, and Ian Malsbury. New ChaosTrend members include the two excellent artists Adam Smith and Jon Puddick.
Whats the history of your company?
ChaosTrend Ltd was established in October of 2008 with the sole purpose of becoming the biggest games development company in Wales. As the original founder of ChaosTrend, I kept an eye out for the best and most talented people currently studying at Swansea Metropolitan University whilst doing his programming degree. Over the three years, John Franklin, Russell Drodge and Ian Malsbury were scouted out and offered a place on the core team, which they happily accepted.
9 months later ChaosTrend have released three games and gained Nintendo Wii developer status, which is an amazing amount of work to be completed by an independent games development comprised of 08 graduates in their first year.
What unique products/services does your company provide?
To date the team have released three PC games, two of which were game commissions for Telesgop media and Carmarthenshire Heritage Renovation Trust. Fleeced World Tour was a sheepdog trail game commissioned by Telesgop media for launch at the Royal Welsh Show and was officially launched by the Minister of Agriculture. Llanelly House Hunt is a hidden object game which is used to encourage younger people to get involved with the renovation project of Llanelly house which is currently being undertaken. We are also making a new game for CHRT which is titled Ghost Hunt which is a far bigger game than the previous title and will be completed for August 09.
ChaosTrends first independently developed game Everfall is available from us and many sites across the globe and is featured on PlayFirst.com. Current projects are SweetShop currently on hold, the aforementioned Ghost Hunt and our main title that is the excellent Fuzzums which should be available for purchase in the December period if everything goes according to plan.
Whats been the key to your success?
Everything in life is affected to the interaction of people and I believe the secret to our success is the amazing team and creative atmosphere we have at the ChaosTrend offices. Many courses are run on how to maximise staff output whilst maintaining a feel good factor and high morale amongst the team. ChaosTrend have a team dynamic that is sought after in many businesses and it helps to keep the focus of the project whilst maintaining a good level of morale.
In ChaosTrend we have a very loose hierarchy and as Managing Director I am a very hands on type of boss which helps me lead by example. The knock on of this is that all the team have a say in all development issues that arise and we move extremely quickly due because of this, which is what all games development companies need in this ever changing environment.
What one piece of outside technology software/hardware/other has benefited your company most?
The most beneficial piece of equipment we have at our office is a 3 metre whiteboard which helps visualise ideas quickly and allows us to keep focus on the project in hand. As far as software goes, we have the Adobe CS4 package which is used on a daily basis and Flash is one of the most useful prototyping tools that we have at the moment. We also use Flash for web based games and any interactive components that our website may need.
What one piece of advice would you give to start-up companies in your field?
Dont do it!!! No, seriously, games development is not for the faint hearted and should be approached with extreme caution. Unlike many industries, the computer games development business model is unconventional and very high risk, but conversely the returns can be immense. Generally a developer will need to secure funding for the duration of a particular project and ensure that there are enough resources to cover problems you will encounter. Once a game has been completed, the title will go on sale and you have to cover the costs that you were given by your investors/publishers before you get any return, so make sure you plan for the dry spells. We pretty much stuck to three rules which have helped us get this far:
- Write a good business plan
- Secure as much funding as you can lay your hands on because you will need it
- Never give up
Where do you see your company going in the future?
ChaosTrends original goal is still on the table and we are driving to become the biggest developer in Wales and then the UK. We are taking on talent from around Wales and will be breaking into the Wii development soon, which will give us a great position for future expansion. So all in all I expect ChaosTrend Ltd to become a household name in the gaming circles within the next 3 years.
Recent great news is that ChaosTrend was granted official Nintendo Wii Developer status which means we are now able to produce games for one of the popular game consoles around at the moment. We are hoping to port Fuzzums to the Wii as soon as the team have familiarised themselves with the hardware and software required to make games for the Wii platform. Constantly evolving is the ChaosEngine, a multi-purpose 2D/3D engine developed by our talented team at ChaosTrend and will be driving the first few titles. Here are ChaosTrend we welcome community feedback about current games and future releases, as we value the players opinion and appreciate any suggestions or criticisms.
Side projects that the members of ChaosTrend have worked on are included in the free flash game section, where users can play any of the games contained within for free. We will be adding games to the list as we go along and encourage any budding developers who have made a flash game to contact us. We can distribute and promote games through our website, so if you think you have a great little game that you want the masses to play, get in touch with us at email@example.com
For more information on ChaosTrend, visit www.chaostrend.com