The Gamasutra 20: 2008's Breakthrough Developers
August 13, 2008 Page 21 of 21
Gamasutra 20 'Breakthrough' Honoree:
Wadjet Eye Games
Wadjet Eye Games develops adventure games and is headquartered in New York City. The company was officially founded in 2006; since then, it has released three games and was nominated for Best New Studio at the 2007 Game Developers Choice Awards.
CEO Dave Gilbert began making adventure games using freeware tool Adventure Game Studio on his own time; after winning a competition with his entry The Shivah, he decided to sell the games online to a wider audience.
While Wadjet Eye's old-school point-and-click, pixelated graphics are in some ways a throwback to the glory days of the LucasArts adventure games, the studio is also taking advantage of the more recent advances in the industry that have enabled small companies to self-fund their own development and publishing.
In addition to The Shivah, a game whose central character is a rabbi, the studio has also released The Blackwell Legacy and Blackwell Unbound; each of these games has had a development cycle of around three or four months.
This last February, PlayFirst announced that it had signed Wadjet Eye to a publishing deal for upcoming titles
Wadjet Eye is currently working on the next game in the Blackwell series, which is titled Blackwell Convergence.
"Perhaps Wadjet Eye would be one of the more unconventional picks on this Gamasutra 20. After all, it's a tiny company that makes PC adventure games, of all things. But there's a reason for this -- it mirrors the rise of formerly dormant genres through the growth of independent and casual games.
Seeing the Blackwell games being signed by the fairly major casual publisher PlayFirst shows the fact that the adventure genre is returning to the mainstream -- and that's exciting from many points of view, not least those of strong characterization and plotting.
Adventures have always been story-focused beyond many other
games, and The Shivah and The Blackwell Legacy are just two of
Wadjet Eye's titles that show beautifully tuned use of both."
- Simon Carless
Page 21 of 21