Wonderspark is an independent game studio in Oakland, CA. Our focus is on genuinely social games designed from the ground up for mobile. Part of that means that we make games you can play in very, very short bursts.
We've kept pretty quiet since we were founded in early 2015. We spent a lot of time prototyping throughout our first year, and only ramped up once we knew we had a decent foundation to start with. We're not VC-funded, but we're also not solely bootstrapped. We raised some money from friends who believed in our approach to game development - sustainable development for the long-term. Our goal isn't to make a quick buck & cash out. Our goal is to build up a relationship with our players that will last forever.
Our process is different than most studios. We build our games to evolve & expand over the span of years, rather than days or weeks. Which means we start with a small "core" with a lot of potential, and do our best to be continually building upon it, doing surprising and delightful things.
I know - it's a little weird to have a section called "Process", but I think it's important, because the way we develop games isn't how most studios do. For most companies, they build something, polish it, make sure it's perfect, then release it, hoping that in the first few weeks they make their money back and can survive to make another game. Our process is very different.
For us, for the last five years, we've worked in a mindset that is very similar to The Lean Startup, and there are a lot of reasons for that. First and foremost, there's no better feedback than feedback from real players. Focus groups are great, usability tests can be incredibly useful, but they're still not the same as having someone play your game for real. Most developers can't respond to feedback from real players - but we can. Our games are never "done". They're constantly evolving, and constantly growing.
So for us, launch is when the hard work starts. What we're launching with isn't the grand vision of the game that we're dreaming of. It's the first "core" of the game that is fun enough to be put out to players. Instead of doing involved, expensive beta periods in limited regions, we're just launching worldwide.
In the end, our strength is in our ability to move fast, to respond to our players. Not to just give them what they want, but to exceed their expectations, and keep them surprised & delighted. The process affects everything about the way we develop games. We know it's not traditional - but with our previous projects, we've been able to achieve tremendous success with a very small team, and we believe that it's the best way to develop games that players will love.
- Give Me Fuel
- New game TBD, expected Feb/Mar 2017
We wanted the logo for Wonderspark to say something about who we are, not just be a stylized icon. We strive for each of our games to contain at least one big "new" idea - something that hasn't been done before. Developing these ideas is tricky, requiring course-corrections, iteration, and pivots. But we also strive to make games that aren't alienating, which means that they're rooted in a lot of familiar, well-entrenched concepts.
The logo takes these two ideas - a confident stroke, rooted in experience, and an idea in search of its direction. When the two find each other, that's when we know we have something special.