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October 18, 2019
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Colin Anderson's Blog   Expert Blogs

 

Colin Anderson is Managing Director of Denki, an independent developer he co-founded in March 2000 as the world’s first digital toy company. Denki has always believed that computer & video games are first and foremost about the digital toys inside them.

Denki went on to create 180 individual games in under nine years for a wide range of high-profile brands you probably won't have heard of, establishing a reputation for combining quirky creativity with ruthlessly efficient production methods before it became fashionable. The team even managed to pick up a few industry awards from its peers along the way, much to its own surprise and others' annoyance. Since then Denki has turned its attention to creating original Denki games for these new-fangled digital console platform thingies such as Xbox, Wii, PSN, iOS, Web, and so on.

Denki's most recent releases include Quarrel (a British Academy award-winning strategy-word game that's currently available for Xbox Live Arcade), Save The Day (a not-yet-award winning Save-'Em-Up made using HTML5 for browsers), and Monster Force 5 (a frankly-unlikely-ever-to-win-anything match 3 game that's also made using HTML5 for browsers and which he's proud of anyway).

Right now the team is hard at work on the exciting reboot of [REDACTED] and working in partnership with [REDACTED] to provide design and development expertise for [REDACTED]. Pretty impressive, right?

Before founding Denki, Colin worked at DMA Design, Gremlin Interactive, and Rockstar North from 1993-2000 heading up their Audio Teams - so yes, he's somewhat to blame for all those cliched radio stations you now have to endure in your driving games these days.

A recovering musician, it's fair to say that Colin really loves guitars – and anything chocolatey. Especially "Galaxy" chocolate. In 1986 he used his nascent scientific background to perfect the technique of microwaving a Mars Bar so as to melt the inside, while leaving the exterior structurally intact. A feat that professional chocolatiers are still trying to emulate to this very day.

If you're really bored you can follow the minutiae of his daily existence at twitter.com/denkicolin and you'll also find a bit more about Denki on its website at denkigames.com - but probably not much.

 

Expert Blogs

Posted by Colin Anderson on Wed, 15 Jun 2016 01:44:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
We all know creative projects need the right environment around them to flourish. Could something as simple as how we think about our working environments make a difference to the quality of what we make?


Posted by Colin Anderson on Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:15:00 EDT in Business/Marketing
Mainstream industry wisdom says the future's all about iOS, Facebook and Freemium, etc., but there are a bunch of developers currently finding success in ways that don't quite fit this business model. This heralds the rise of the Postcore Gamer.


Posted by Colin Anderson on Wed, 25 Jan 2012 05:30:00 EST in Business/Marketing
Do Indie Developers really know what gamers enjoy playing, or do Game Publishers actually know best? It's often debated, but rarely settled. However, with the launch of Quarrel on Xbox we might be about to get a definitive answer. Will we like it though?


Posted by Colin Anderson on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 09:47:00 EST in Production, Indie
Denki has championed the application of scientific method to game development as a route to establishing best practice for over a decade. Eric Ries' new book "The Lean Startup" agrees. Could "Lean" be a suitable blueprint for Indie Developers to follow?


Posted by Colin Anderson on Thu, 17 Sep 2009 07:30:00 EDT in Production
The creative process is widely regarded throughout the world as a "dark art", full of superstition and ritual. We don't believe in using magic to make games at Denki, so we've set about prodding creativity in our laboratory to see what makes it tick...


Posted by Colin Anderson on Thu, 03 Sep 2009 05:00:00 EDT in Production
Most people don't care if we almost kill ourselves on the way to making great games; they still judge them entirely on what they play in the end. In this blog, find out why Denki have embraced "busking" as part of developing their latest game - Quarrel.



Colin Anderson's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 06/15/2016 - 01:44]

Thanks for the feedback Niklas. ...

Thanks for the feedback Niklas. Yeah, good point - I should definitely try to be more mindful of sleepy game devs in future :- r n r nYou 're right about a lot of devs probably not actually being able to explain why their office looks the way it does ...

Comment In: [News - 09/16/2015 - 03:14]

I had the privilege of ...

I had the privilege of working with Stew while he was at Denki. More than anyone else I 've known he embodied the Indie Game Developer ethos and the games he produced over the last few years stand testament to that. More than anything though he was such a warm, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/19/2012 - 12:15]

Ha - I 've been ...

Ha - I 've been using that phrase the wrong way round my whole life and no one 's mentioned it before Thanks for that, I 'll get it changed. r n r nAs for more on what Postcore really is, there 's a link in the piece to a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/25/2012 - 05:30]

@Gerald - no offense taken ...

@Gerald - no offense taken I've heard much bleaker assessments of Quarrel's commercial chances while pitching it to publishers over the years I can assure you You summarise the issue from a publisher's perspective pretty well in your comment. Your assertion is based on the same assumption as most publishers ...

Comment In: [Blog - 12/12/2011 - 09:47]

Hi Risto - thanks for ...

Hi Risto - thanks for the link to your blog. I'm really pleased to hear there are others already advocating this approach for game development and that we're not alone We've been applying some of these techniques to the design and development cycles for a while now without realising they ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/17/2009 - 07:30]

@Luis: Always a pleasure to ...

@Luis: Always a pleasure to hear from others who are passionate about learning. It's definitely a common trait among the people I've enjoyed working with most throughout my career. There's something particularly inspiring about working with others who continually want to better themselves. I'm not 100 sure I understand your ...