Denki has been a little quiet since the release of Quarrel on Xbox Live. The company has been up to *something*, but nobody has really been sure what it is…
At yesterday’s Turing Festival gaming futures event, Managing Director Colin Anderson revealed exactly what the company has been up to. Denki is working with browser-based gaming company Turbulenz, on a title called Save The Day.
Save The Day is reminiscent of the classic Choplifter. Players must guide their tiny (and oh so cute) helicopter through savage landscape, skirting peril and avoiding danger, to rescue civilians trapped by a rather ferocious combination of natural disasters – all against the clock.
New areas of the map open up as target numbers of people are rescued. In addition, bold pilots can pick up extra time, bonuses, power ups and all manner of other items to increase scores and multipliers.
Save The Day is built on Turbulenz’s new platform, which enables more complex and sophisticated games to be created and played via your web browser. So PC, Mac and Linux owners, you can ALL head over to the Turbulenz site and start saving some lives.
Excitingly and maybe uniquely, Denki is doing something a little different with Save The Day. The company has always used a fast iterative process to create, refine and polish their games. For Save The Day, Denki’s taking this to its ultimate conclusion.
An early – minimum viable product – version of the game is now live and available for people worldwide to play. Denki will be collecting feedback and input from players and then iterating, improving and updating the game based on this information.
So you’re not only able to see the game evolve and change, but can actively contribute and participate in the process.
The answer, according to the lovely Mr Anderson lies in the principles of The Lean Startup. For those of you who have not yet read Eric Ries’ rather mind-blowing book, it takes a new approach to creating a technology start-up – and technology products. The book emphasises getting a minimum viable product out in front of real consumers as early as possible, measuring the response and updating. The whole process is focused on speed, and making sure your assumptions about your product – and your users – are tested as quickly as possible.
Helping Denki with this process is the company’s new Player Champion, the incredible Romana Ramzan. Romana is a stalwart of the games sector, being a keen gamer, the driving force behind the Scottish element of the Global Games Jam and all round lovely person. Romana’s role at Denki is to focus on the players, potential players and people who may may one day consider doing something fun – then figure out if Denki is doing what it needs to to make them all happy and delighted.
We’re fans of Denki. We’ve been playing Save The Day – quite a lot as it happens – and it already has quite a lot of recognisably Denki bosons in there. We’ll be following the company and the game as it evolves and iterates and will be bringing you the latest news, updates and happenings from the front lines of disaster rescue as it continues to happen.
In the meantime, avoid that burning sensation in your chopper and simply enjoy your STD experience. Look how happy it makes you!