Representatives from VC-funded casual games publisher PlayFirst, which has had some recent success with the gameLab-developed casual PC title Diner Dash
, have announced deals with developers JoJu Games, PiEyeGames, Say Design and Shufflebrain to publish their content through various online outlets and websites.
Particularly notable among the companies is Half Moon Bay-headquartered Shufflebrain, which has been co-founded by noted puzzle designer Scott Kim, and also of note is JoJu Games, based in Berkeley, which has been set up by ex-Yahoo! Games employees to help serve the rapidly growing PC casual game market.
"All four of these developers represent the exact kind of independent, high caliber talent we're looking for at PlayFirst," said Kenny Dinkin, vice president and executive producer. "These companies match our portfolio vision - they're committed to trying new ideas and imaginatively pushing the boundaries of game design and technical innovation. We're looking forward to their upcoming titles and confident that together we will continue to raise the bar for casual games."
At the same time the company has also announced its new game development technology platform for developers, named Playground SDK, which JoJu Games and PiEyeGames will use to develop their first PlayFirst titles. The SDK will be available exclusively to PlayFirst developers, with the company claiming that simple prototypes can be created extremely quickly. The Playground SDK was used in the creation of two PlayFirst-developed titles: Chessmaster Challenge
and TriJinx: A Kristine Kross Mystery
"I spent time as a game developer and understand how much care, creativity and hard work goes into making a game," said Brad Edelman, co-founder and chief technology officer. "Playground SDK furthers our strategy of making high quality games accessible to the mass market. With its strong cross-platform portability, Playground SDK allows developers to reach the widest audience possible - right from the beginning. As a publisher, we want to help developers stay focused on what they love to do - create amazing games."