Giant Margarita, Tasmania’s independent games development studio, is about to take over the world with the release of its new game Squidgies Takeover on the Nintendo Switch® this week.
Squidgies Takeover is the third game in Giant Margarita’s pack of games developed locally by Tasmanians in Tasmania, following on from the success of Party Golf and Party Crashers, Tasmania’s first games released on the Sony PlayStation®, Nintendo Switch®, and Microsoft Xbox® which have been played by thousands of gamers all over the world.
Pioneers of game development in Tasmania, Giant Margarita is on a mission to establish a games industry in the state.
“We understand the importance of forging new pathways to create opportunity for young Tasmanians who are passionate about gaming,” said Kristy de Salas, Producer at Giant Margarita.
Giant Margarita’s third release on the Nintendo Switch® is an important collaboration with the University of Tasmania’s Discipline of ICT, whose students have worked on the art, the technical development and the marketing of the game.
Dr de Salas said what made Squdgies Takeover unique was the combined team of teaching staff in the UTAS Discipline of ICT’s Games and Creative Technology program, and entrepreneurial students.
“It is quite unique for students to build their own start-up business while still studying, and Giant Margarita is an excellent example of how it is possible to create innovative and creative products here in Tasmania,” she said.
ICT student Andrew Mendlik said that being involved with the production of a commercially-released video game as part of his degree was an invaluable learning experience.
“I’ve been a Nintendo fan forever, and to work on a game released on a Nintendo console at UTAS was a dream come true!”.
Dr de Salas said it was essential that Tasmania kept its best and brightest talent in the State.
“To do so we need successful projects such as Party Golf and Party Crashers, and now Squidgies Takeover to set the stage,” she said.
Giant Margarita games are being played by more than 50,000 people worldwide, they’re being played at international game competitions, and are being watched by over half a million viewers when they are played by streamers on YouTube.
Ian Lewis, founder of Giant Margarita and lead designer, says Squidgies Takeover was a Nintendo Switch exclusive that provided gameplay which was deceptively simple to understand, but with a deep challenge for players who enjoy pushing the boundaries of a game’s mechanics.
“Your role is to control the Squidgies, which are hapless little blobs of adorableness, that need your help to escape their Momma's tentacles and make their new home on planets across the galaxy,” Mr Lewis said of the latest game comparing it to classic game Lemmings.
The development of Squidgies Takeover has been generously supported by the Tasmanian Government, through Screen Tasmania and the Enterprize innovation hub which has enabled the small team to collaborate with Tasmanian artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs.
Dr de Salas said the support from locals as well as from strangers on the other side of the world had driven the team to keep going and to develop a suite of quality games that seems to be loved by young and old.
Squidgies Takeover will be launched officially on at the University’s Sandy Bay campus on 15 November at 1 pm.