A newcomer in the game world, Finnish Tribe Studios, designs computer games which are like movies. Stagecraft games can be played through in one evening, they require a ticket and the content is immediately accessible for enjoyment.
Stagecraft was born when six game industry professionals began to ponder, what kinds of games are missing from the markets. Involved are some big names in the Finnish game industry: Timo Kämäräinen, Timo Saarinen, Elina Arponen, Ville-Kalle Arponen, Heikki Vehmas and Jarkko Kainulainen.
– We want to create a genre, where a game is a story-like narrative and, as the name implies, as though on the stage, says Elina Arponen, the “Chieftain” of Tribe Studios.
Saving time and money
The innovative team wanted to develop something new, while saving the players’ time and money.
– Learning a new game takes normally hours and playthrough even 50 hours. Decent computer games are also expensive, 40-60 euro of more, Arponen knows.
Stagecraft works differently. The core target audience consists of 30 year olds, who have played computer games as teenagers, but who, because of work, family and other commitments, do not have hours and hours to spend on playing a game until the end.
In addition, the game is not bought, but accessed with a ticket, price of which can be compared to a cinema ticket, or to renting a movie. Arponen estimates that playing a game will cost something between three and ten euro.
The first game under way
According to Arponen one of the assets of Stagecraft’s idea is its communality.
– The games can be played with multiple players simultaneously. Each player has his or her own character and motive. This way the stories vary, and each game is a different experience.
The company works together with top experts in building up its stories.
– We have cooperated with the Finlandia Prize winning science fiction and fantasy author Johanna Sinisalo. We have also discussed similar help with other storytelling professionals, such as Mike Pohjola.
The company’s first game will be launched into the market next summer.
– We have just moved from project preparation to the production phase. We want the first game out as soon as possible in order to get real feedback from users.
The idea won Aalto Venture Garage’s startup competition in October. In addition to the money award donated by Kauppalehti magazine, the team won a trip to Silicon Valley, office premises and extra entrepreneurship training.
– We have been supported by public funding. We are also looking for potential capital investors to boost our operations.