A digital gaming studio and a software and game developer that was one of Kickstarter’s most successful fundraising projects are joining the Louisiana Technology Park incubator.
Iron 27, the developer of “Heroes of Shadow Guard,” is about a week away from beta testing the game, said Joel Tubre, founder and president. The mobile device game allows a player to design a dungeon and monsters that an opponent will face, while his rival does the same.
Procedural Reality, founded by Joshua Parnell, expects to release its first game, “Limit Theory,” this year. The space-simulation game will allow players to explore, trade, build and fight in an infinite universe. Its Kickstarter campaign raised $187,865 while Parnell was at Stanford University.
Louisiana Tech Park’s admissions committee voted Friday to approve Iron 27 and Procedural Reality. Their additions mean the Tech Park on Florida Boulevard now has 27 tenants, seven of them video game studios. Those tenants expect to release five games this year.
“We believe that digital game development will play an important role in diversifying and strengthening the regional economy,” said Stephen Loy, executive director of the technology park. “Gaming offers numerous benefits, including tapping out-of-state revenue sources, building local technology infrastructure and generating jobs for local artists and technologists.”
He has sunk more than $300,000 of his own money into “Heroes of Shadow Guard.” He hopes to recover those costs through a “freemium” revenue model. Players get the game free but have to pay for additional services or advanced services. All but a handful of the top revenue-generating games for mobile devices are free to play.
For example, the game includes a rabbit courier, who delivers in-game currency, for $2.99 a month, he said. Tubre is counting on players’ competitiveness and impatience to make the model work, as it has for other popular games.
There are people who won’t pay a dime for a game, but there are hard-core gamers who have spent as much as $200,000 on add-ons or to make themselves more competitive, Tubre said.
Parnell said his company and game grew out of a goal to make things easier for people in the tech industry.
“My belief is there is a lot of manual labor going on in a lot of different fields that could be done by the computer, that could be done automated, algorithmically at way less cost, way less manpower, way less wasted resources,” Parnell said.
The first product, “Limit Theory,” will cost $35 to $40 and will be a massive game with massive content. But instead of 100 artists and coders grinding away through a $100 million budget, Parnell’s game will be done by a tiny, single-person studio. The idea, Parnell said, is to demonstrate the power of what computers can do when equipped for the task of creating things.
Every aspect, every planet, asteroid, space ship, nebula — everything — is generated by the computer, Parnell said. The idea for the game drew 5,500 backers on Kickstarter.
Parnell believes at least twice that number of people will want the game and possibly 30 to 40 times that number.
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.