A new gaming start-up has recently appeared on the Finnish start-up scene. Tuokio is based in Tampere and their core business are mobile games for everyday gatherings. To be more precise, they develop a portfolio of games for iOS devices. Founded in spring 2010, they released three games so far and are developing another game at the moment. Their games so far include King of Opera, Raiding Company and Blond vs Brunette Racing . We talked with one of the founders, Jouni Salonen, to learn more about what they do.
Tuokio games are aimed at families or groups of friends who've gathered together socially or simply need to kill time while driving somewhere or waiting in queues. 'With Tuokio games we do not aim to recreate boardgames experience on mobile devices. Instead we take game experience from coin-operated games and add social experience of playing with friends, the more people the merrier', comments Jouni.
'The biggest challenge of building games that multiple people can engage with from the same device is designing a screenview because it needs to be seen equally well from four different angles', he adds. 'It is also important to enable each player be in control of the game and have short turns to keep the game fun and dynamic'.
An example of that logic is illustrated by the King of Opera, a game where players control plum opera singers to fight for elusive spotlight. The game can be played by 2-4 people, it has top-down view and one game lasts about a minute. Same goes for Raiding Company, a multi-player treasure-hunting game where you need to collectively fight zombies. Blond vs Brunette Racing is for two players (though you can play against the computer if lacking company).
King of Opera and Raiding Company are priced at $0,99 for both iPhone and iPad, whereas Blond vs Brunette Racing is free to download but players can purchase additional tracks for a small fee. 'We work under a model of gaming as a service: we launch games early on to get feedback from the AppStore audience and continuosly add free updates to the application', shares Jouni.
All three games are fun to play, though it takes a few moments to learn how the game controls work. Being short, simple and enjoyable they can serve as great ice-breakers, time-fillers or as party entertainment.
Tuokio was founded in spring 2010. The first game's prototype was developed through Protomo and Demola projects at the New Factory in Tampere. Based on the initial prototypes the founders invested more money to the company and got seed funding from ELY and AVEK's DigiDemo program. Their team consists of 10 members and their first game - King of Opera - was launched before Christmas 2010.
The game is very popular in Asia - it became #2 paid iPad app in HongKong. All of Tuokio's games are generating some revenue today but the company is looking for more funding to grow their portfolio.
Below are video demonstrations of all three games: