We are independent games developers, and develop all games in house. We are a family centric business, visitors to our office are greeted loudly by our 2 Dogs Henry & Harvey. Cheetah (our Cat) may make an appearance and our children are usually close by. Clare & Alex are responsible for the day to day activity of the business, although visitors to Matica.com are kind enough to help us with new ideas and fine tuning our games.
Alex developed his first game when he was 9 years old in 1982, and has been hooked ever since. He published his first Web Browser game 14 years later in 1996 the year the Java programming language was introduced. Today Adobe Flash is our main platform of choice to enable as many people as possible to be able to play our games.
It wasn't until 1996 though, that it was possible to make Web Browser based games as we know them today. Alex's first Browser game was called Mirkin's Darts which has had millions of hits since 1996 and is still available (almost unchanged) here at Matica.com, although the 1996 original can still be found using this link. The game has been licensed to other Web sites many times since 1996, and to this day we licence our games to other companies to fund the development of new Games.
After completing a BSc(Hons) in Computer Science Alex spent 2 years as a professional games developer, before starting up his own games development company when he was 23 years old.
Poor spelling usually has no benefits, but were it not for Alex's sometimes atrocious spelling we possibly wouldn't exist as independent game developers. Clare started getting involved with the games because she had to check all of the spelling in them. It was a natural progression for her to do a bit of game testing, and level design.
Before we knew it, Clare was getting involved at the inception stage and through the full lifecycle of the game development process. An accountant by trade, she had never programmed a line of computer code before the age of 27, but even with no formal training is a pretty competent programmer.
During her pregnancy with our first child Clare started working full time with Alex and we haven't looked back since. Our objective is to create the kind of games we would like to play ourselves. We like playing on our Wii and other consoles, we enjoy playing games that have multi million pound budgets. We also believe there is an important place for us, bringing low cost (or hopefully free) independent homebrewed games to a wide audience with a focus on gameplay.
Games here begin life in a variety of ways. At any one time we have a pool of games in development. Most are our own ideas, games we would like to play ourselves. Some are suggestions from visitors to Matica.com, and sometimes we play games that inspire us to make similar games with our own twist.
Clients often contact us with their own ideas which they want us to build for them. Most of these games are not available here at Matica.com, but they do fund the development of our own games at Matica.com.
Many visitors want to know more information on how we make our games. For more information about the actual process of making an individual game, we are adding sections to Matica.com showing the making of some of our games.
Some of our games are completed in days, and some take years. As we write this we have about a dozen unpublished games developed in some form or another, and many more game designs that exist only on paper, models, and in our minds. There are a variety of reasons why a game may be in limbo for a while before it is eventually completed and published.
We have a Pinball game that we have been working on for years that has thus far stubbornly resisted being published. It started out as a Java Applet, and has been rewritten for Flash but doesn't quite play like the game we had in mind so we keep rejigging it. There is a Tennis game we have the same problem with. Then there is our Football (Soccer) game we started years ago, which was put on hold as at that time Flash was not capable of running at the speeds necessary. We hope to have that game complete in time for the 2010 World Cup.
Happily though there are plenty of games that are coming along great, and should be published soon. Matica Karts took a long time to get right, the artificial intelligence of the computer controlled racers took a while to get the right feel. We are now well into development with Matica Karts 2.