We come across a lot of games developers, and as anyone who plays on the mobile platforms will tell you, there is almost too much choice out there, we were therefore very happy when we stumbled across Imaginary Games and their very unique take on all things mobile gaming. Stunning hand painted artwork and collectable games cards go together to create something delightfully unique.
We spoke to Chris Powell, the founder of Imaginary Games and Elin Jonsson, the artist behind the beautiful images.
Imaginary Games started off with the remit of designing casual Angry Birds/Cut the Rope type games, based in both Canada and Sweden the company initially released three mobile titles, the most successful of which was 'Swing the Bat!' But in 2012 they decided to take a leap and do what they love! Its what they call their 'passion project' not engineered for a target group – a hopefully new concept – involving collectable cards and hand painted art in a style they both love. So it was this new project that we concentrated on when speaking to Imaginary Games; just when you think everything has been done, along comes something new that you are itching to play…….
The artwork I have seen is very dark yet strangely enticing almost like Tim Burton's; A Nightmare Before Christmas, is this something you will be incorporating into your Project Halloween and Christmas theme card sets?
“We adore anyone that would describe our work as TimBurtonesque as his work has been a strong influence for us, however we have drawn our inspiration from many sources. We love the works of Edgar Allen Poe, The Brothers Grimm, Lewis Carroll, Struwwelpeter and Roald Dahl. We love old books but also take inspiration from everything that is cute and creepy. We love the circus and our style has been described as vintage Victorian Circus Goth.”
The artwork really is just superb, the merchandising of such could have great potential; we can see special edition badges, limited edition dolls etc, but when I posed this question to the Imaginary Games guys, their answer was enigmatic enough for me to be fairly certain we wont be seeing any merchandising soon…… “we will only make dolls if they have magic powers.”
The mobile game market is extremely competitive having fully explored some ideas myself, I asked Chris and Elin what they felt makes a game stand out from the crowd and how does one get the Angry Bird effect?
“The mobile market has matured and making a game that appeals to everyone is as likely as making a movie that appeals to everyone. The good news is that the market continues to grow and is anticipated to triple in size over the next three years. Maturation and growth suggest that there will be an audience for your game in the near future that was previously not there. I think that a person or team’s game will stand out if they love what they do and make it with love.”
Finishing off with just one more question, I asked – ever the hopeful – if they have any plans to possibly develop the concept or, other gamesonto say, the Facebook social games network?
“We are not interested to develop for Facebook at the present time. A tarot card game with real cards that can tell you future on the other hand…” (you heard it here first!)
As always, before we let Chris and Elin run off as asked a few fun questions.
What music are you both currently listening too?
Chris: “Detektivbyrån" (a Swedish electronica and folk music trio from Gothenburg for those of us not in the know 😉
Elin: “Fake Blood”
Are you dog or cat lovers?
Chris: "They both stuff the same."
Elin: "I love Loki. We share a studio with the artist Camilla D Éricco and her dog Loki is great."
Which Computer systems do you prefer Microsoft or Apple?
If you were a cartoon character who would it be?
Chris: “Julia Roberts”