Wraith Games is an award winning company based in Hamilton
Wraith Games is an independent game development studio from Hamilton, founded in 2005 by a small group of high school friends with a passion for video games. Many of Wraith’s early projects (30 or 40 unreleased prototypes) were small, personal, experimental games from the company’s founder and creative director, Jay Kidd, aimed at his friends and family. As the rest of the 12 current team members came together (business director Thorne Penn, art director Steve Dorgan, programmers Kristin Iwema, Natalie Wahl, Adam Brown, & Mark Cahalan, artists Lance T. Miller & Rachel Saffell, level designer Cody Kidd, and writers Eric Baxter & Camille Guy) so did a more professional attitude and a yearning for larger, more meaningful projects. In 2014, the company re-branded themselves with a new logo, website, and mission statement.
Shortly after, they became Nintendo Licensed Developers, allowing them to release their games on Nintendo platforms; something that was a long-time dream for many of the developers at the company. Wraith is currently housed in a small studio space inside of The Hamilton Mill where a good chunk of their work gets done. With the way the business is structured, a handful of team members opt to do the majority of their work off-site; returning to the studio only for meetings. This flexibility is one of the unique things about the structure of the company. Adding to this is the company’s Silicon Valley-style “unlimited PTO model”, a 24 hour work week (shown by analysts to increase employee happiness and, ultimately, performance), and their “flat-management” structure (a system where teams are self-managing, team leads are temporary and emerge organically on a per-project basis, without the need for middle management)
Lessen environmental impact
Wraith also puts a big emphasis on the environmental impact their company has: they are a “paperless company”. Throughout the 12 years that they’ve been around, they’ve used less than one pack of printer paper for all of their art, memos, and records; opting to go digital for nearly everything they do. They are currently prepping for the release of their third publicly-facing project, Collapsus (a title originally conceived as a smaller game for one of Jay’s mothers in the early days of the company while he attended the Butler Tech School for the Arts). The game has garnered considerable praise since it hit what in the game development industry is called the “convention circuit”; having over 50,000 people playing it with largely positive feedback. This success granted the project awards and recognition including: SlideDB’s “Best Upcoming App of 2016” and was named the “Best Game at the Ohio Game Development Expo” in 2016 by tech journal, CLE Tech. Successes like these allowed the team to be able to showcase Collapsus at “Game Masters – The Exhibition”, an internationally traveling museum showcase of “culturally significant” games. For the team at Wraith Games, game design isn’t just about making fun games.
Games for people with physical and cognitive disabilities
One of the biggest goals with the games that they create are to create “unique, experimental games that have a focus on accessibility for the differently abled”. This includes those with both physical and cognitive disabilities. For instance, the game Collapsus features settings where those with color blindness can change the colors of the game assets to be more visually distinct from one another. Another setting allows the game to be more easily played by those unable to use their hands. In addition to creating accessible games, the studio works with high schools and colleges to help make better game development programs for their students (placing a huge focus on a “games as art”-style of curriculum).
Their future seems laid out for them: keeping making fun, experimental games people want to play. With half a dozen new games in the works after Collapsus (including 2 for the virtual reality platforms Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) whatever they come out with next, one thing is for sure: it won’t be like anything else you’ve ever played before!
More information visit http://www.wraithgames.com/
Submitted by Wraith staff.