Here’s the short version: Nine Dots wants to interact with smart and sensible persons by making them live deep and meaningful experiences.
We’re a game development studio that develops and publishes its own titles via digital distribution channels. We want to develop games for various niche markets, mostly toward the more mature and educated gamers. From our perception, the video game industry is currently afflicted by issues both in what it produces and how it produces it. Now, this doesn’t mean that we don’t like gaming. Everyone at Nine Dots is passionate about video games and that it why we want to see the industry evolve into something even better. There is just too much potential, it has to be explored further. We’ll lead by example and try to find and apply solutions to the issues affecting our industry.
The Problem with What the Industry does
Any art form has to evolve. At the beginning of cinema, TV shows were recorded just like theater pieces: the camera was idle in front of a stage. Moving the camera around revealed a whole new dimension to film making. Video games are currently done using an “idle camera”. Rather than explore the content of video games, the industry focused on exploring the container. Instead of trying different subject matters, we tried different input methods, from game pad to motion control to touch screen. We have more RAM, but do we have that much more meaningful experiences? We care too much about technology, not enough about the message it could deliver. Video games’ greatest strength is interactivity. Our audience isn’t passive, it has an impact on its experience. We should strive to increase this impact as much as possible. The users must shape their experience through customization, expression and exploration. These will always be in the forefront of the Nine Dots experience, and we’ll try to explore a variety of themes along the way.
The Problem with How the Industry does it
Did you know that on average, game developers quit the industry after 5 years? A worrying number when you think that most developers studied about 4 years on average to get in. This situation is mostly due to poor working conditions and the inability to conciliate work and family. Here’s a small sample of issues very commonly observed: unreasonable amounts of overtime, lack of transparency from upper management, working on uninteresting projects or always working on the same franchise, poor selection for leadership positions, etc. Of course, complaining alone won’t change anything, so what are we going to do about it? Well, it certainly helps to walk away from the number 1 source for these problems: the publishers. Without them, we get to choose our projects, our deadlines and our priorities. We also impose a limit of 52 hours of work per week, but we very rarely go over 40. Essentially, we do everything we can to make sure the whole team is on the same page and working on a project they feel is their own.
Nine Dots Studio Inc. is a company located in Québec city. Our founder, Guillaume Boucher-Vidal, incorporated the company in February 2011. We appealed to the community for funding through the crowdfunding website RocketHub.com and successfully met out goal of 15000$ (Thanks again to all our contributors!). We’ve published our pilot project, Brand, in February 2012 on Xbox Live Indie Games and released the game on PC in May 2012. Our intent with this game was to complete a first project and learn as much as we could to prepare us for the future. We’re currently working on GoD Factory, an ambitious new project.