For this week’s Developer Focus, we spoke with Sergey Bigas, Game Producer at Orneon to learn a little more about what makes them tick and how they make such great games time and time again. Orneon is the studio responsible for fantastic games series like The Agency of Anomalies, Echoes of the Past & Secrets of the Dark!
Please introduce your development team to our readers…
Orneon is a game development studio from the Ukraine, with offices in Vinnitsa and Kiev
Where did the founders come from? What did you do before Orneon?
Our company has a long and interesting history in software and game development since 1991. We were doing software development for everything from multimedia encyclopedias and speech recognition utilities, to casual games for PC, Mac, Xbox and mobile. Our founder is originally from Vinnitsa, Ukraine.
How did Orneon get started in developing casual games?
It’s hard to remember right now what was the initial starting point. The idea of making casual games was flying around in the air, and we thought it was worth trying. As it turned out, it was the right direction
How big was Orneon at the beginning? About how big now?
At the very beginning, the company consisted of about 10 people. Now it’s about 60 talented people who work in the casual games department, and we’re growing.
What’s the story behind Orneon’s name?
It has no specific story or meaning, we just thought it was a cool name.
What would you say makes Orneon different from its competition?
Quality! We try to look at our games from the player’s point of view. We take care on all details from every perspective – graphic, story, puzzles, music etc… That is why I think our games turn into high quality products.
Where do you draw your inspiration when thinking up new games?
There are plenty of sources from books, movies, articles, and paintings. For our game designers, every little thing may be a source of inspiration.
What’s the most challenging thing about making games? Was there any instance when you ever considered quitting or giving up?
I think the most challenging part is keeping all the game elements working together as a whole. It’s nice to see the magic transformation that happens from the initial idea and sketches, to the final product. And no, we never think of giving up.
What non-Orneon game do you often play, just for fun?
The ones that makes you think. I cannot say this for everyone (at Orneon), bit I’m pretty sure each person has their own preference.
What’s your personal favorite among Orneon games?
We love them all, since they are all our ‘kids’. I must admit, even after release, we still have fun playing them.
Where do you think Casual Games are headed in the future? With all the new devices coming out like mobile, tablets, social etc..?
I believe it’s moving towards mobile (phones, and tablets) with variety of social features. I would call these devices as “casual consoles”. So, this is the future (in casual games) where we are heading towards. Streaming games might be one implementation of this strategy.
Care to make any predictions about the gaming scene?
We are trying to, but you know it’s hard to be fortune teller.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to the Big Fish members that play your games?
Thank you for your support, for all your kind words and compliments. For your critiques and complaints, all of it helps us to produce better games for you. Hope to see you again in our games!