Newgrounds.com Power of Three event created the opportunity independent game developers Jay Ziebarth and Steve Castro needed to form the new company ClickShakeGames.com. They are now working on a 2 game simultaneous release: a new Several Journeys of Reemus chapter, plus The Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites.
Columbus, OH, March 31, 2010 – Last summer, Newgrounds.com launched the Power of Three event, encouraging independent programmers, artists and musicians to team up and use their combined talents to create an original online game using Adobe Flash. The goal was to support the Child’s Play charity and to form teams of skilled developers who might stay together even after the event and continue contributing higher quality games to the Flash gaming community. As of January 2010, their goal was met when one of the resulting teams launched their own website ClickShakeGames.com and released several more games since then.
Newgrounds.com is an online community website featuring user-created movies and games long before “Web 2.0” was a buzzword. Its creator Tom Fulp himself participated in a collaboration with artist Dan Paladin through the site and this partnership turned into The Behemoth, a successful console game studio responsible for the hit Xbox 360 title Castle Crashers. Fulp’s announcement of the event included enticements to try to match this level of success, which generated a good amount of interest from the community.
The Power of Three event yielded several games, including IGN’s Best Free-To-Play PC Game of 2009, Time Fcuk. Among the entries was Paradox Embrace, a puzzle platformer game made by Steve Castro and Jay Ziebarth with music by Caulder Bradford. After the game’s release, Castro and Ziebarth went on to form ClickShake Games and develop 2 new games for Comedy Central, including an adventure game for their new animated series Ugly Americans.
Ziebarth, better known as Zeebarf, had independently created popular online game series The Several Journeys of Reemus, A Small Favor and The Visitor. His primary experience is in animation, but working independently meant he had to work with various programmers or even program the games himself. Ziebarth says having a partnership with programmer Steve Castro “frees you up to concentrate on your area of expertise instead of being a jack of all trades. It takes the pressure off in a lot of ways and strengthens the project all around.” This sentiment was echoed by Castro, who himself had been an independent game developer working with various artists, sometimes animating games himself such as with Shape Switcher.
Currently ClickShake is developing a two part simultaneous adventure game release for The Several Journeys of Reemus characters. Chapter 4 of the Several Journeys continues the story line and will be launched first to the registered members of their website and then later to sites like Newgrounds and Kongregate.com. The second game will be called The Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites, the first premium game in the series featuring voice acting for the adventuring duo. Ballads will be a stand-alone adventure prior to the events of the earlier Several Journeys chapters. This ambitious dual game release might not have been possible if not for the collaboration catalyzed by Newgrounds’ Power of Three event.
Social sites with user-created content such as Newgrounds are an important online resource for independent developers like ClickShake, providing opportunities to learn, practice and get feedback on their work. Tom Fulp runs multiple annual collaboration events throughout the year that developers from around the world are encouraged to participate in.
For more information, contact Steve Castro at contact (at) clickshakegames.com
ClickShake is a professional game development company focused on hand-drawn adventure, puzzle and platform games with colorful characters and imaginative story lines. It is run by Jay Ziebarth from Ontario and Steve Castro from Ohio. Both have developed Flash games and movies since around 2000. Play their games online at http://www.clickshakegames.com.
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