This September marks the 8 year anniversary of GLITCHERS and wow — what an amazing 8 years it’s been!
For the past year and a half, we’ve been working remotely across the UK and beyond. But despite the strange new challenges the global pandemic has brought, we’ve adapted, focused on the mental well-being of our tight knit team, and rolled with the punches.
There’s plenty to celebrate, but most of all we’re super proud that our little studio has turned 8 years old! It feels like a serious achievement to have so many games, fans and to have pushed the envelope more than a few times on what people expect of games.
Let’s go back in time…
Way back in 2013, GLITCHERS was founded with a vision to create incredible, entertaining games for all and bring people together through the power of play.
Since then we’ve…
- Published 7 Innovative Games
- Won over 50 awards (and a Bafta nomination!)
- Seen a dramatic shift in the industry
Here are just a few of the projects we’ve created (or co-created)…
One of the first games we created as GLITCHERS was the ultra niche British Fish & Chip Shop Simulator for mobile: Chippy – who doesn’t want their very own fish and chip shop in their pocket? Exactly, everyone wants that.
Why did we do it? We’ve asked ourselves this a lot, but it got us working together as a team, finding out what it meant to make games under this new GLITCHERS moniker and discovering our sense of humour in games. Things like ripping off the AC/DC band logo with FI/SH and having bizarre Easter eggs in the game. Our favourite Easter egg is that every touch is a different hand… and sometimes that hand is the hand of a… bear.
Ultimately, we had the best time doing it and we actually made money from it. SUCCESS!
The Battered Dreams single was released on Bandcamp. You can still buy it for less than the price of a portion of chip: 50p!
Customers were generally moody, the weather was ‘scorching’ (read: fictional) and the chips weren’t making the newspaper greasy. Paradise?
Following on from Chippy, we turned our hands to creating an arcade game that was meant to take on the ‘orrid world of free to play. The idea was: what if we made a game where each play was like putting a coin in an arcade machine and you had to come back later to replenish your coins?
The game itself was simple, players have to match colours for as long as possible to stop the volcano erupting. But there was complexity over time: collecting masks, speed ups etc.
We had over a million players in China which was a massive surprise to us, but also the first time we’d ever translated a game to simplified and traditional Chinese.
SEA HERO QUEST (2016)
The concept of ‘Sea Hero Quest’ was motivated by the desire to empower people to game for good and was made a reality by partnering with world-renowned experts in their respective fields.
9 Cannes Lions Awards and 4.5 million participants later… Sea Hero Quest has generated the equivalent of more than 15,000 years of similar, lab based research. But that’s not all, Sea Hero Quest is an ongoing project in 2021. We’re still supporting it and it’s still generating a huge amount of reliable data.
We’re going to follow up this post with another deeper post about Sea Hero Quest, the journey it’s been on and most importantly, where it’s headed in the future.
CRUSH YOUR FOFO (2018)
As part of a larger project with biopharmaceutical company AbbVie Live:Lab, we created a game to help adults overcome their “Fear of Finding Out” and take control of their own wellbeing. The result was a gamified health tool that would help experts understand what lies behind the public’s “Fear of Finding Out”.
Here’s our director Max chatting about the project with some of the wider team and celebrity Jeff Brazier.
A more recent project here at GLITCHERS is Nestlums, an app designed to help young children grasp the concept of digital money in a safe environment. In collaboration with Cauldron, Nestlums is a pocket money app with a difference. With the help of the Nestlum creatures, kids can work towards their savings goals, play numeracy games, and count their pocket money!
DRIVE BUY (2021)
Earlier this year we launched our very first console game to PC and Nintendo Switch! Drive Buy is a car combat game with a delivery twist, pitting players against each other in a bid to deliver the most packages in the quickest time.
The coolest thing about Drive Buy is it’s Cross Play functionality, finally play head-to-head with players on different consoles. Nintendo Switch Vs. PC.
REFOCUSING FOR THE FUTURE
Over the last 8 years we’ve been project-focused, putting our energy into creating exciting new games for good. With everything that’s happening in 2020 and 2021, we believe that the changing work environment is a chance to refocus and reshape our future.
We’ve been looking around at the industry as a whole and noticing a whole lotta crunch.
After working for so long in the games meets healthcare space and alongside other creative industries, we want to direct more energy into our people.
Here are just a few of the new initiatives we’re bringing into our 9th year making games:
4 DAY WORK WEEK
This August we trialled a 4 day working week. In September, we decided to make this the permanent working structure for the GLITCHERS Team.
“You can do 5 days worth of work in 4 days with good planning and communication, it doesn’t mean working longer or harder: it means working smarter.”Max
After surveying our team members, we wanted to best understand how we could support them in these difficult times. Working flexibly was already at the core of our remote game development studio and we saw the introduction of the 4 day work week as a way to take this a step further and give the team the freedom and peace of mind to work smarter, not harder.
After the one month trial we found no drop in productivity, but a significant rise in employee happiness. After our Thursday evening team social event, each member of the team logs off until Monday. So far, we’ve spent our extra Fridays cycling, stone cutting, going to therapy sessions, playing escape rooms, reading, painting, and generally taking care of ourselves.
One of the unforeseen positives was a chance to actually think about what you’re doing, it seems so obvious when it’s said out loud, but actually stepping away for that extra day makes the process of doing stuff the other 4 days way more effective.
Stay tuned for a future dev diary where we’ll be showcasing what some of the GLITCHERS team get up to on their extra day.
If you want to see if a 4 Day Work Week is right for your business, check out this resource.
WEEKLY TEAM SOCIALS… IN VR!
Since the GLITCHERS team works remotely across the UK, we set aside time every Thursday afternoon, don our VR headsets, and get together virtually. Weekly team socials are more fun when spent feeding ducks, swinging from grappling hooks across a city, or starting a band in an infinity room of stars.
OUR NEW HQ IN LEITH, EDINBURGH
Finally, no studio update would be complete without mentioning our new office right on the Shore in sunny Leith!
We’re super proud that our new Edinburgh HQ is located in the creative epicentre of Leith, and we’ve been settling into the new studio space nicely. It’s a small space designed for team drop-ins and hot desking, with space for 4 of us to work at any one time.
WANT TO JOIN GLITCHERS? WE ARE ALWAYS ON THE HUNT FOR TALENTED FOLKS
GLITCHERS are a highly motivated, talented team that punch well above their weight in terms of quality and output. Want to join us and work on an exciting array of projects in the games and mental health space?
Head to glitchers.com/job-openings to look for open positions or drop your CV to [email protected] apply.
If you want to be kept up to date with all the GLITCHERS news and take part in shaping our future, support us today!
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