Two Newport Computer Games Design graduates make the Develop 30 Under 30 list

Congratulations to Dan Da Rocha and Luke Williams who have both made it onto Develop’s 2013 30 Under 30 list.

Here are Dan and Luke’s listing from the full list…

Daniel Da Rocha Managing Director, Mudvark (24)
Starting Toxic Games straight out of university in 2010 with investment from the US-based Indie Fund, Daniel Da Rocha project led the student game QUBE. Released in 2012 on Steam, he was able to pay back the initial funding in just four days. Following this, Da Rocha, 24, set up Mudvark that year to focus on HTML5 games for mobile and the web. Mudvark released its debut game, Mortar Melon, at the end of 2012 and has racked up over 800,000 downloads on the Windows Store alone.”

Luke Williams Game Designer, Bossa Studios (26)
Twenty-six-year-old Luke Williams started off as a QA tester at Bossa in July 2012. In less than a year, he has worked tirelessly to become the studio’s in-house game designer. Partly mentored by Mike Bithell, Williams has gone to create Surgeon Simulator 2013, which has sold almost half a million copies. Credited as being instrumental in the game’s creation, his colleagues say he displays great design ability. Williams is now working on the studio’s latest upcoming game, Time to Live.”

Henry Hoffman also got an honourable mention!

In 2010 another of our graduates Mike Bithell made it onto the list too!


Mudvark: The Importance of Christmas Updates

The Mudvark guys Dan Da Rocha and Henry Hoffman, have been chatting away with the Microsoft UK Developers Blog about why it’s important to release Christmas updates, for their game Mortar Melon which has over 800,000 downloads and hit the number one game in the US!

The original article can be found here … http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/developers/articles/mudvark-the-importance-of-christmas-updates/week03dec13?fb_action_ids=10151727652721266&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B605949239442796%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

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Christmas is coming, and in the build up to the festivities we’re bringing you marketing tips and tales from developers to help you prepare your apps for some brand new users. Taking advantage of the larger audience around this time is incredibly important for your own success, so we caught up with Mudvark to see what their plans are for updating Mortar Melon in time for the holidays.

How has Mortar Melon performed on Windows 8?

Mortar Melon has far exceeded our wildest expectations, amassing over 800,000 downloads and hitting the number one game in the US. At the beginning of development we’d hoped to hit around 3,000 downloads, giving us time to refine and fix issues, but the rate of adoption took us massively by surprise. Our success then attracted publisher interest, which has in turn provided us with the financial support necessary to continue development well into the New Year.

Has Windows 8.1 brought anything new to the table that particularly excites you?

As HTML5 game developers, we’re always super excited about the capabilities of new Internet Explorer releases. Windows 8.1 has Internet Explorer 11, bringing WebGL support to Internet Explorer for the first time. This is massive for us, as it allows us to use GLSL ES shaders – which means a host of fancy effects for things like realistic fluid simulation, Photoshop-style blending modes and dynamic lighting effects. We’ve managed to fake a lot of effects with Mortar Melon, but we’re really looking forward to the options it presents for future games on Windows.

Mudvark: The Importance of Christmas Updates

What do you plan to add around Christmas?

We’ve got a whole new world with 24 additional levels and an icy theme. A new portal mechanic also makes an appearance which makes for some great puzzle designs. Hopefully we’ll also get a chance to add some more festive treats too!

Why is updating at Christmas so important?

Christmas Day is one of the most competitive times, and with other developers striving to cash in on new users, it’s important to be able to hold your ground in the charts. Being able to adapt to seasonal themes makes the app retain relevance and helps convey active support from the developers. One of our biggest spikes in downloads was Christmas morning last year, so ensuring you have an update for Christmas isn’t just about seasonal themes – it’s also about ensuring that you make the best possible impression to a potentially game-defining audience.

Where do you see Mudvark this time next year?

A year ago we hadn’t released a game, so it’s crazy to imagine where we could be a year from now. We’ve been working with melons for quite a while now, so it would be great to see us releasing a new, even more ambitious project!

Still need some convincing to make a Christmas update? Check out “Seasonal apps: are they worth the effort” by Gary Pretty.

The original article can be found here … http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/developers/articles/mudvark-the-importance-of-christmas-updates/week03dec13?fb_action_ids=10151727652721266&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B605949239442796%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D