Local entrepreneur and game developer Dan Milward officially launches Gamefroot at www.gamefroot.com, the world’s first cloud based game creator on Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand.
From 6pm (NZ time) on 24 April any Gamefroot user will be able to easily and immediately create and share their own playable video games – all they need is an internet connection to access www.gamefroot.com on a computer or iPhone.
Milward is promising the software will literally be a game changer. A hardcore gamer himself, Milward says, “People always ask me, ‘why aren’t there more games for girls, or smart kids, or games with less violence or more unicorns?’ Well to those people we can now say, ‘you can make one – here’s the tool.’”
Gamefroot enables users to create any kind of 2D interactive game they can imagine. Characters, backgrounds, soundtracks can be uploaded, manipulated and created on hand-held devices as well as home computers. “It’s the first time anyone has taken this ‘open source’ technology and lowered the barriers to game making,” says Milward. “We wanted to make it simple, fun and easy to use, as well as having vast application.”
Gamefroot has received a seal of approval from Wellington Home School children over the past three months. “These kids have been making all kinds of adventure, puzzle and learning games. Teachers and parents will be able to make games to teach children the tools to make their own games and how to program. We are dedicated to encouraging the next generation of digital professionals and it’s amazing how quick and excellent they are at picking up necessary changes and additions. Everyone is constantly learning” says Milward.
With the Entertainment Software Rating Board (USA) reporting the average age of gamers to be 34 years old, Gamefroot has the ability to bring a significant portion of the $10.5 billion currently being made annually by the gaming industry back to New Zealand. Released as ‘open source’ software, Gamefroot boasts an affordability that makes it more friendly than existing game creation applications and does not require a download or installation since it is ‘cloud’ based, (meaning it is hosted in the internet, rather than on a physical device).
The software also offers benefits for corporates, educational organisation as well as interested gamers. “Gamification” isn’t just about playing around from your phone or living room – companies and enterprise have seized the technology to help customers and employees,” explains Milward. “Tech-industry research firm Gartner estimates that by 2014 70% of large companies will use the technique and 50% of all innovation will involve gamification. IBM, Siemens, SAP, Nissan and Mattel already play a role in the $100 million industry.”
“If a local company wanted a great way to connect with their customers or train their employees, using Gamefroot would be an easy, inexpensive step,” says lead developer Vlad Wolstencroft. “We’re proud to bring this bleeding edge technology to Wellington; Gamefroot can play a pivotal part of any marketing strategy.”
For advanced users like Greg Broadmore, Senior Designer at Weta Workshop and Dr Grordborts creator, the software is incredibly positive. “Having had an initial play I can see that Gamefroot puts the power back in the hands of the people. There is the potential for Gamefroot to have as much impact on classic 2D video games as Youtube has had on video. Another bonus is the speed at which these games can be created. This is democratising the gaming process and that has to be a beautiful thing.”
Milward, the founder of Gamefroot and parent company Instinct Entertainment has spent the last 6 years developing Gamefroot in Wellington, New Zealand. Instinct employs a team of twenty and recently received an investment boost from Japan-based investor Terrie Lloyd, a Kiwi entrepreneur at the centre of Asia’s booming mobile content industry.
An official launch for Gamefroot will be held at a reception from 6:00-8:00 at City Gallery Wellington, Civic Square.
From 6pm Tuesday 24 April head to www.gamefroot.com