Early history and Journey of a Roach2012-2013
Koboldgames GmbH was founded in 2012 by five game
design alumni from Zurich University of Arts: Mischa
Geiser, Yasemin Günay, Ralf Mauerhofer, Jasmin Widmer
and Binan Woll.
While still studying in 2011, the five kobolds got a publishing deal with the German adventure game developer and publisher Daedalic for what later came to be
Journey of a Roach. This finalised the decision to
establish a game development company at a time where a
game development scene was practically nonexistent in
Koboldgames received one of the first arts council grants for game development in Switzerland for Journey of a Roach. The game released on 4. November 2013 on Steam, GoG, other online platforms and even physical copy in stores, for Windows, Mac and Linux.
From garage kids to serious start-up business2013-2015
After Journey of a Roach, the five kobolds decided to
take a break from indie development and focus on
working for clients. They had already worked on several
serious game projects for the Zurich University of
Arts, featuring a wide range of themes from nutrition
information to arm rehabilitation exercises.
In spring of 2015, Koboldgames moved into the Technopark Brugg. This not only improved the commute for several Kobolds, it doubled the office space, added meeting rooms and free coffee provided by the Technopark Aargau.
Games for research2015-2018
Later that year, the kobolds were approached again by
Zurich University of Arts and researcher Anna
Martin-Niedecken to develop a fitness game for studies
about the dual flow. By implementing the Dual Flow
theory into the game, the resulting Plunder Planet
provides engaging motivation for exercising while being
also as effective as normal physical exercise.
Koboldgames got a taste for making games for research projects. So, they teamed up with a research team from several Swiss and German universities to create a game for research about morality in business finance, the
Serious Moral Game. This project continued evolving
into several different versions for different studies,
and accompanies Koboldgames to this day.
Two years after the conception of Plunder Planet, Anna Martin-Niedecken returned with her newly founded fitness company Sphery. This opened opportunities for an exciting partnership, in which Koboldgames would develop games for Sphery’s ExerCube, a fitness equipment that would provide training based on the dual flow.
The way forward2018-
Next to these long term research projects, Koboldgames
is constantly developing more applied games for
customers, such as for Allianz Suisse, Wasserversorgung
Zürich, Sonova) and Polymoney.org, ranging from
education game for company employees, to geo-location
history learning game, and physiological training game
Additionally, Koboldgames put one foot back to indie game development by creating
Koboldgames Indie, a
project assisting selected indie game productions in
Switzerland. In a first phase, they took Livio, Sarah
and Andi under their wing, pairing their unlimited
creativity and enthusiasm with Koboldgames' years of
experience in game production to create a prototype for
Baba Yuga. Sadly, further development had to be stopped
because of ressource problems.
The increased workload early 2018 meant that Koboldgames had to quickly employ more programmers to meet their various deadlines: Julian Schönbächler and Eleanore Young. At the end of the same year Daniel Schütz expanded the team to help with the tracking for the Exercube.
With this expansion, Koboldgames is now approaching the start of the eight year of its existence. The Kobolds are facing any challenges thrown at them with enthusiasm, creativity, and the power of teamwork and look forward to new projects.
(Last Update: 12.3.2019, by Jasmin Widmer)