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InCONVERSATION with James Gauld at Chimney Top Game Studios

Chimney Top Game Studios is formed of a group of eleven graduates from the University of Worcester looking to take a fresh and passionate approach to game development.

A business in its early form, we spoke to Jack Gough, Niall Hunt and Heather Savage to find out more about their plans for the future and the importance of new ideas and driving innovation in their sector.

Getting started

Currently operating from a University room, Chimney Top are working hard to set-up and establish as a business, and as James explains, things are moving quickly:

‘We have already started on our first internal project, but we have an exciting external opportunity and we’re waiting for more details. Things have happened a lot faster than we thought.

‘In the long term it’s important that we keep the business open to future graduates and keep it within Worcester. This is the area where we all come from and where we all met.

‘Also, there is no real industry like this in Worcester so this will be a great place for us to grow.’

Innovation

Just through chatting to the team it’s clear that Chimney Top intend to be forward-thinking and expressive through their work. As Niall explains, an innovative approach within an innovative sector is essential to their future success:

‘It’s important. We want to make games that are different from the established norms – for example, an idea I'm working on currently is to do away with conventional main menus.

‘The industry that we are in is all about creativity and evolution – it’s about new ideas and constantly growing these things.

‘When you get a bunch of people who are new on the scene and can handle all the latest technology, they are going to innovate - that’s the angle we want to go with.’

Passion

Alongside innovation, James feels that the mutual love and enthusiasm for gaming shared by the team will stand them in good stead for the future:

‘I’d say everyone in our company is a gamer and the people we talk to are gamers.

‘The one thing that a gamer has in common with someone who is interested in music or film is that they look for passion. They look for things where you can see someone’s eyes light up – that’s the kind of fire we should be looking for.

‘Gamers don’t want to just do the same thing, they want to do something new, they want to see someone care and stand up and talk about their game and say, ‘this is what we are excited about’.

‘You can look at the market now and see there are a lot of repeat ideas, games with extreme similarities, the copying of trends. It seems to be about trying to get the edge over another game instead of trying to create something new, something better.

‘The real goal here is to put passion into it, because that’s where innovation comes from.’

Progress

As with any new business, Chimney Top Game Studios are currently looking to build the important foundations and infrastructure essential to any organisation.

‘At this point we’re working through that initial struggle. We’re all equipped to make these games; we just need the equipment’ says Heather.

‘We are students at core, so issues such as software licencing costs and restrictions need to be addressed, especially as we want to create commercial products’ adds James.

‘We’ve have really appreciated the encouragement and goodwill from WINN and look forward to working with them more as the company grows.’

If you would like to learn more about Chimney Top Game Studios or are interested in offering support and sponsorship, please contact james@chimneytopgamestudios.co.uk.

The other members of Chimney Top Games Studio are Christian Amendola, Meg Castleton, Gillian Conn, Finn Gale, Joe Harrison, Matt Jenks and Reece Spittle.

WINN recently invited the team at Chimney Top Games Studio and other students from the University of Worcester to showcase their work at our Great Things event, held at the Sixways Stadium on 18th June.

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WINN brings innovators together, acting as a catalyst to create connections and collaborations across the diverse business landscape of Worcestershire.

Our belief is that great things can happen when people get together.

WINN is a Worcestershire Innovation Programme formed by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire LEP

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