GAMING COMPANY SERENITY FORGE
Denver Pop Culture Con
Edited by Ariel Landrum
Photos from Serenity Forge
Serenity Forge is a video game company that is based in Boulder, Colorado. They try to make games that challenge the way you think and create meaningful experiences. Their goal is to create games that will positively impact the world. I was able to speak with Software Engineer Kevin Adams, and Artist and Designer Alicia Poon, about their work and experiences at Serenity Forge.
When was Serenity Forge created?
Alicia Poon: Serenity Forge started about 5 years ago. We originally started with 5 people and we were friends who made games. I think it was until 3 years ago we decided to expand into a legit company.
What was the first game that was created?
Poon: One of the earliest games, which was created by our founder, called Loving Life. It’s an autobiography.
Kevin Adams: I don’t know if you know anything about our founder Z [Zhenghua Yang]. He had a pretty trying time in his life. I think it was his freshman year of college; he had an incident where he was inflicted with a rare disease in which he almost died, so he ended up in the hospital very close to death. He was able to survive from that experience. I think it gave him an appreciation for life. Video games are a big part of him getting through that. It gave him a lot of motivation and encouragement to tell his story and try to bring some good into the world. In many ways, the games that we work on have some positive message or benefit.
When I was testing one of your games, I was playing The King’s Bird and Half Past Fate. Both games, in terms of genre, are very different. Bird was like a platform, and a little bit of a puzzler, in terms of trying to figure out how to move the character through different passage ways. Fate, from what I surmised, is also a puzzle type game, but players have to figure out how to communicate with people. What is the main genre of games Serenity Forge focuses on when creating them?
Poon: It’s actually very much a case by case basis. The King’s Bird started out as a side project a long time ago while we had bigger projects we were working on. We saw potential in it and expanded its development just to bring it to completion.
Adams: A part of it comes from the variety of the different types of work that we do. We are a developer, and also a publisher. Even in development it is a mix of our own projects, as well as projects people pay us to do, so it kind of comes from different sources. The King’s Bird was a pet project that grow into something bigger, but sometimes we did not have the proper funding to complete it so we had to put it to the side [to focus] on other projects that would help keep the company going. Statistically our current most popular game is Lifeless Planet.
Do you have any projects that are coming up or have yet to be developed?
Adams: We are constantly pursuing new work and new projects. Some of it is very exciting, and some of it we cannot talk about, but they are definitely some exciting.
What do you guys do to wind down and relax for self care?
Adams: We are very fortunate as a studio that we try to maintain a 40 hour work week, which does wonders for your sanity. It is very difficult for a lot of studio's to do that because of the financial situation. We make [self care] a real priority because we think it helps us.
Learn more about Serenity Forge and their upcoming games at: http://serenityforge.com/
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