Each Friday the RookieOven Startup Spotlight highlights a Scottish tech startup. The aim is to, as the name suggests, put the spotlight on Scotland’s best startups. It’a an opportunity to share information about an exciting tech company Scotland you may not have previously been aware of. Startup Spotlight gives a brief overview of the company, what they do, where they are and who they are. This week the spotlight falls on Dundee based games developer Denki.
Denki is a BAFTA-winning boutique games label with the key team of Colin Anderson (Managing Director), Gary Penn (Creative Director) and Aaron Puzey (Technical Director). Based within the University of Abertay campus as commercial tenants, Denki are on the doorstep an International Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.
Denki started trading in March 2000 due to a myriad of reasons; some rational, others entirely emotional. Among the most important reasons were: a dissatisfaction with the inefficiencies of game development methods at that time and a frustration that so much effort was being wasted on getting games finished rather than making them great. Additionally there was a realisation that the company the founders were working for intended to make products bigger and use bigger teams for even longer, while they founders of Denki wanted to focus on faster development of smaller products with smaller teams and a they had a longing to get back to the original pioneering spirit of the early days of game development.
Denki, have crafted a creative assembly line which not only empowers teams to unlock their true potential but also enables them to build appreciative audiences whilst they build out their ideas. This design-led, process-driven approach has seen Denki release over 200 games in just over 12 years with their most recent release, Quarrel an innovative word game, receiving wide spread acclaim.
In November, Denki will be unleashing their latest game, Save the Day, a delightful arcade ‘Save ‘Em Up’, and their first ever platform-independent game. Save the Day is unique for three reasons:
- It’s a console-quality game which is fully playable in the browser.
- It’s powered by the highly disruptive Turbulenz HTML 5 platform.
- It’s the first game ever to be created specifically for the “Postcore player“.
Denki cover running costs from the revenues they generate from Business-to-Business work, and invest any margins and cash reserves into establishing their Business-to-Consumer indie-games label. In this way Denki intend to sacrifice the kind of short-term growth they could achieve through B2B activity for long-term growth centred around our B2C games label.
It’s interesting to see the Lean Startup principles applied to game development and it’s clearly working for Denki.