“We create entertainment brands that fit with the changing behaviours and consumption habits of digital audiences. Our backgrounds hail for the animation industry here in Ireland and members of our team have been involved with the likes of Disney, Nickelodeon and the BBC on animated TV series and films that have won BAFTAs, Emmys and Oscar nominations and we are now bringing our skills of award-winning TV quality, animation, design and storytelling to interactive content and games”
Six months ago three lads took a risk to create something unique and innovative in the world of animation. On a cold day in March…yep cold in March I know… I made the trip to the Game Space in the IFSC to meet the faces and the brains behind Studio POWWOW.
I met with Richard Glynn, the CEO and he guided us around the space where upcoming game developers all gather together to work and create before being brought into POWWOW’s office where I met the rest of the team, Eoghan Dalton – Creative Director and Stephen Kelly – Head of Interactive.
With that we sat down and had a chat about Studio POWWOW, the work, the faces and the inspirations that make this team unique. So what is Studio POWWOW?
“We create, develop and produce entertainment brands that sit comfortably across multiple media platforms. Mobile and Internet meant that the industry was changing, that the viewing and consumption habits of our audience had become fragmented across a range of devices and also that the internet was beginning to affect the commercial revenues of traditional broadcasters, which in turn would make it more difficult for content producers to access funding – it’s a knock on affect. Spotting this as an opportunity, rather than a threat, we began to examine how a production company should develop its content in this new digital landscape and that’s when we turned our attention to games.”
As a start-up company, POWWOW have a vision and a goal and ideas but there is also an awareness of flexibility within the group as they all realise the need to change and pivot. And so POWWOW always tries to hone the message about who and what they are. They strive to be unique.
So what brought the team together? Some might call it love; some might call it the desire to do something different, to become an animation company with a twist. At different points in the months leading up to the creation of Studio POWWOW, paths crossed and soon the creative powers combined. With the animation industry active and the indigenous gaming industry in Ireland laying down its roots, the lads took a leap of faith. “You just have to take the opportunity. The worst thing that could happen is that we fail, and there’s nothing bad about that at all – the important thing is that you learn something”
The roots of Studio POWWOW lie within a desire for difference and a new way to implement traditional animation production in a multiplatform environment. The normal way of watching TV is changing as the paradigm shifts into a more fragmented online presence. With this came the opportunity for the lads to diverge away from the traditional TV route and create a digital product that was easier to create on different media platforms.
The community that comes attached to these different platforms is extremely important to the team and in order to reach the community the lads envisioned a game that shifts across the multiple platforms, reaching across the fragmented world of digital media today which leads us into the world of Ship Antics.
The core of their project is rooted in animation and storytelling and they hope to bring this forth to their game and from the animation roots come the brand which develops into the characters and storytelling. As a result of the world created comes an easily transferable trans-media world and through all that work and development their potential is near limitless.
Inspired by the work of Level-5 in Professor Layton and Adventure Time, and the invaluable experience with Cartoon Network, Ship Antics is shaped by such a strong animation background that it is hard to think of it as ‘just a game’. ShipAntics is initially targeted towards the 8-10 year old demographic, but with the calibre of writing, animation and stories ShipAntics aims to transcend the core demographic with more accessibility.
On the subject of game design the team shared their thoughts and ideas for the aspiring game developer/animators, wishing to start out in the world and ready to take the leap of faith.
• Know your business models and all that kind of thing because that’s really important.
• Know the people you are going in with because you are going to have arguments so have people you can give out to.
• Having a good team is very important it helps if you know your co-founders
• Try to identify who you need on your team and the skills that you need
• Know your own strengths and weaknesses
• Funding is challenging as well but there will be different challenges with the companies you want to build.
And what of the future, POWWOW are beaming with confidence, “a year from now we will have the successful game and it will be popular and we will be well advanced in developing the TV series.” and who could blame them? It’s encouraging to see how the dynamics of their team work and with such a keen focus it can only work out for POWWOW!
The Arcade wishes the folks over at Studio POWWOW all the best as they settle into their new office space and continue on their journey! If you’d like to learn more about the team and their work then click the links below: