We provide a valuable service to clients looking for top-notch narrative design and writing through a professionally insured, full-service boutique studio. At any stage of the development process, we step in and bring a combined experience of nearly 30 years in game design and storytelling to our clients' projects. We originate game concepts, propose storylines and characters, and even innovate new mechanics to best serve narrative as a game. We also assess current projects for better narrative, either replacing or enhancing what's already working. We write all in-game text, from cut-scene dialogue to tutorial instructions and UI messages. When you work with Brunette Games, you're tapping a dedicated, committed, highly professional team who will be there when you need us.
TORONTO, May 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kuuhubb Inc. (the “Company” or “Kuuhubb”) (KUU.V) has announced the development of its new game “Tiles & Tales.” The game will blend casual match-3 play with digital storytelling, resulting in a unique combination of two highly successful genres. The project will mark the debut of Kuuhubb’s Helsinki studio and has a soft launch date anticipated for Q3 of this year.
The development team, located at Kuuhubb’s headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, consists of industry veterans originating from Rovio Entertainment, RedLynx, Armada Interactive and Koukoi Games, all of whom have extensive experience in developing casual free-to-play games. “Tiles & Tales” is partially funded with a non-dilutive, Finnish government loan of approximately €1M.
“We are delighted to unveil our new Helsinki studio and showcase our in-house development capabilities,” commented Kuuhubb CEO, Jouni Keränen. “Story-based games are currently one of the truly big trends in female mobile gaming and are a perfect complement to Kuuhubb’s existing portfolio.”
Kuuhubb has also brought onto the project Brunette Games, a leading narrative design studio with special expertise in the visual novel genre. Brunette Games has designed and written four previous books for three other apps, including “Choices,” “Crime Stories,” and a standalone game, “Sender Unknown.” The team is also credited with the narratives for numerous chart-topping match-3 games, including “Matchington Mansion” and “Lily's Garden.” Studio owner Lisa Brunette, who brings to the project 25 years’ experience as a published novelist and journalist in addition to a decade-plus in game writing, will write one of the “Tiles & Tales” books. Three other books are currently in development.
“The team is aiming for another ground-breaking product and we’re certain that the combination of stories and match-3, the first game of its kind, will resonate with our audience,” stated Kuuhubb GM, Apps and Games, Kristoffer Rosberg.
Mobile puzzle games, a category which includes match-3, claimed 60 percent of the $8.1B market for casual games in the West last year. Industry analysts have concluded that story-based games and gameplay innovation, as well as smaller and more focused development teams, are two of the best ways to break into the top segments of the market, and “Tiles & Tales” is making use of both. Between the incorporation of visual novels with game-changing match-3 play techniques and the dedicated and agile team of experienced industry experts, “Tiles & Tales” is poised to impress players.
Kuuhubb is a publicly listed mobile game development and publishing company, targeting the female audience with bespoke mobile gaming experiences. Our strategy is to become a top player in the underserved female mobile game space by identifying new lifestyle trends, partnering with select developers and consumer brands, and creating innovative mobile game apps for our user community to enjoy. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Kuuhubb has a global presence with a strong focus on developing U.S. brand collaborations and Asian partnerships.
Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking information. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements relating to the potential success of the Tiles & Tales game, future revenue and products and the development and growth of the Company’s business) are forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, the possibility that results from the Tiles & Tales game will not be consistent with the Company’s expectations, risks related to the growth strategy of the Company, the possibility that results from the Company’s growth and development plans will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, the early stage of the Company's development, competition from companies in a number of industries, the ability of the Company to manage expansion and integrate acquisitions into its business, future business development of the Company and the other risks disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's annual information form dated November 8, 2018 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is provided and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
For further information, please contact:
Jouni Keränen, CEO
Bill Mitoulas, Investor Relations
Office: +1 (416) 479-9547
For local St. Louis, Missouri, press inquiries:
Brunette Games LLC
Lisa Brunette, Owner and Head Writer/Designer
Anthony Valterra, Director of Business Development
Office: (206) 713-9710
The photo accompanying this announcement is also available to download at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f6ef9989-2e3c-464f-aa30-b3b2930bba25
It seems to be a truism here at Brunette Games that the only thing that's constant is change. In that spirit, I bring you another announcement: Anthony Valterra is joining the Brunette Games team.
Anthony brings to the team more than 20 years' experience in brand and grant management. He has stewarded federal, state, and local grants of as much as $10M-plus, with a track record of success evident in above-average outcomes across his career. His game industry experience includes business management for Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons and Avalon Hill lines. He was also the founder of Valar Project, publisher of role-playing game products. He primarily serves our client Robot Sea Monster Games as their director of client communications, as well as directing business for Brunette Games. Because if there's one thing Anthony has, it's direction.
What's incredibly cool about this announcement is that Anthony gets to return to games after a decade-long hiatus, in which he racked up all those wins as a grant manager. The two experiences together will make him formidable in any boss battle.
Of course, for those of you who know us, the other obviously cool thing here is that Anthony joining Brunette Games makes this a family business, as he is also my husband. We make an awesome team in so many other aspects of our lives together. We're pretty much unbeatable as the king and queen of games.
You can now find Anthony on our team page, but here are some questions I asked him to answer for you, by way of introduction.
Tell us about your experience in the game industry. You've done a lot of different things, and you're well-known in certain circles.
I've had the pleasure of working in both the traditional (board and dice) game industry and the electronic game industry. My very first job is one that most people in the game industry can relate to - working in a virtual sweatshop. I knew enough Photoshop to work on a production line for an interactive sports product. It was a contract gig with a very short deadline. In order to complete it, we had to hot-seat the work (one team would sleep while the other worked, and then we would trade places). We got the project done.
Two years later, I went in for an interview at Wizards of the Coast, and there, on my future boss's desk, was that same sports product. Life is funny that way. Years later, when I left Wizards of the Coast, I made an attempt at running my own companies - Valar Project and Portal East. Valar Project put out 2003's bestselling Dungeon & Dragons-compatible book. But Portal East made more money, by brokering print and manufacturing for game companies out of China. I then worked for a 3D-asset design studio called Lamplighter. Lamplighter created 3D characters and other assets for games, including assets for BioShock.
How have you applied your knowledge of game theory to the world of grant management?
I was quite surprised to find that there are a number of parallels between playing games and managing a grant. Both have a set of rules, sometimes very arcane, using unique terms and often written very poorly. Both have "win conditions" and assets or "meeples." And both require you to work and compete against other people who are also trying to use the rules to reach their win condition. And like the best modern games, the rules can change as you proceed. Frankly, running a grant can be quite maddening, if you don't see it as a game!
What excites you most about returning to the game industry?
The game industry is notorious for being a difficult environment. It suffers from social issues, financial issues, and political issues. And it is my first love. I played D&D as a kid, and the love of gaming has stayed with me my whole life. It may be a crazy world, but it is where I feel at home.
What do you see down the road for mobile game development?
There might be a brand new thing coming that I don’t know about, but if I were going to bet on something, it would be augmented reality. I think Pokemon: Go was an initial foray, and in the coming years, we will see some truly innovative, story-driven, augmented reality games.
Please join me in welcoming Anthony to the Brunette Games team.
Last spring, I flew to Copenhagen for a whirlwind week of concept brainstorming with the top-notch team at Tactile Entertainment. The seeds of that work have now come to full fruition: Lily's Garden.
Here's the official game description:
Get your hands dirty in Lily’s Garden, our new FREE puzzle game! Help Lily restore her great-aunt’s garden to its former glory and rediscover her roots. Dig into a story full of twists and turns as Lily interacts with a cast of colorful characters. Plant the seed of romance with her handsome neighbor Luke, and keep her rake of an ex-boyfriend Blaine off her turf. Match and collect flowers in hundreds of unique puzzle levels to earn stars and grow your garden!
And the trailer:
While for business reasons I didn't stay on to write the game text for Tactile, I'm amazed by how much we accomplished in that whirlwind week, as is evident in the release version of the game.
What really impresses me about Tactile is that they prioritize both quality and emotional content in their games. Lily's Garden is only one example. What brought me out to Denmark last year despite a busy game studio and a full-time teaching gig was their dedication to the craft of game development, which you can see in their Bee Brilliant and Cookie Cats series of games. The team was terrific to work with, too, and if I have one regret about the insane 2018 I experienced in transitioning Brunette Games into a fully staffed studio, it's that I didn't get to see Lily's Garden all the way through to the launch finish line. But it's immensely satisfying to see the Brunette Games influence at work anyway. Even more satisfying is simply to play yet another awesome game from this talented team of Danes.
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from my trip last spring.
Some of the Tactile gang in an after-work toast. The cozy, light-filled office definitely encourages folks to stick around...
For most of the week, we were holed up in a conference room, brainstorming on a whiteboard. The great thing about this stage is that anything goes. The last thing you want to do when brainstorming is shut down any idea, no matter how seemingly nutty it is. You never know where something will take you.
I loved the views through the office windows. The light in Copenhagen, with the grey, wintry weather and combination of water, sky, and rain, reminded me a lot of Seattle.
When Tactile first contacted me in early 2018, I played and fell in love with their Bee Brilliant games, getting serious heart eyes for the bee babies in the game. You can find plush toy versions of the BBs tucked in spots throughout the offices. Just typing this puts the bee baby theme song back in my head, in a good way.
The other crush I developed on this one-week work trip was for Copenhagen itself. I sorely wished I'd had time to explore, but it was hard enough to sneak away during spring break from teaching. What I did see on my walks and bike rides left me wanting more.
The architecture is olde worlde magnificent. The city's recorded origins are in the 12th century, but archeologists have unearthed settlements dating as far back as 1020.
As someone who's drawn to water but currently finds herself very much landlocked in the Midwest, I couldn't get enough of Nyhavn, a 17th-century waterfront that is one of the most picturesque I've ever seen.
The citizens of Copenhagen are renowned for their embrace of the bicycle, with as many as 75% of city dwellers biking throughout the year as a form of transportation. One of my most memorable experiences was biking across town in the middle of snow flurries to meet with Tactile's CEO, Asbjoern Soendergaard. That's the moment I truly felt like a Dane.
I hope one day to get to return to this incredibly captivating city. Until then, I'll play Lily's Garden, and remember my time at Tactile fondly.
Perhaps you noticed. We have a new logo.
We're REALLY happy with the logo. It captures our brand perfectly. We love the dialogue box 'B', especially the quotation mark referenced in the swooped bottom of the B. And our tagline: Story is our game. As perhaps the game industry's first team of independent narrative designers and writers, this tells our tale so well.
The logo was designed by the same brilliant artist - Monika Younger - who created all four covers in my Dreamslippers Series - each book plus the boxed set.
I loved her work on these so much, that I also splurged on an incredible cover for my book of poetry, Broom of Anger, even though I knew that a book of poetry is a hard sell these days and that I wasn't likely to recoup the cost (...and I didn't). But totally worth it!
Monika also designed the logo for the imprint under which all five books were published, Sky Harbor Press. You can see the seeds of the Brunette Games logo here, not to mention my obsession with turquoise blues.
Monika starts every project by asking questions that encourage clients like me to articulate their brand vision, and she really listens to what her clients want - and don't want. Working with this awesome Canadian woman is always a pleasurable experience. She draws on a background that includes other business clients as well as a longtime relationship with major publisher Harlequin. You can read an interview with Monika back on the Cat in the Flock blog here.
Everyone on the BG team agreed that Monika made the choice very difficult by delivering on some compelling ideas across the board. All of the concepts she sent us in the first review round were solid and would have worked well as logos. We all thought she did a great job of capturing the essence of our work with the dialogue boxes, punctuation elements, mobile look, and other aspects. Here are some that caught our eye in particular:
In the end, it was the unique, high-concept brand idea in the winner that grabbed our attention. That B... it's beautiful! Do you agree? What qualities does a brand logo have to have for you to sit up and take notice?