A Year of “Firsts”

Happy Holidays 2018!

Last year around this time I announced that I was joining HitPoint Studios as President, after 20 years at Legacy Games. It was a momentous decision, made easier by the fact that Paul Hake, HitPoint’s CEO, and I had worked together on numerous projects previously.

So how’s it gone? 2018 was, simply put, a year of “firsts,” both for me and HitPoint Studios. Our goal was to challenge ourselves with new, interesting, and technically complex projects. (I think we may have overachieved!)

1 – We launched our first real-time multiplayer mobile game last week, for none other than Ellen DeGeneres Digital Ventures. Loosely based on her popular daily TV show, Game of Games, we are proud of the app’s gameplay and polish, and will continue to build on its success next year.

2 – We developed our first Remote Gaming Server (RGS) – a cross platform, cloud-base data management platform for casino games, with extensive social features. It is now fully licensed and operational in Europe. We will be adding games to the RGS throughout 2019.

3 – We created our first multiplayer, location-based AR game for Caesar’s. PlayLinq is a collection of AR sports mini games (baseball, football, basketball, hockey, beer pong) designed to be played in location at the LINQ Hotel in Las Vegas. (BTW – Multiplayer AR is NOT for the faint of heart!)

4 – And switching gears…we designed our first smart toys, starting with an adorable fairy house and virtual fairies, and continuing on with AR controlled vehicles (super-secret project).

5 – We collaborated with Explore Interactive to develop our first educational AR game, designed to teach kids about electricity.  It includes a series of “challenges” to build specific types of circuits, along with an open-ended “create” mode.

And if that doesn’t sound like a sufficient challenge for our 25-person team in MA and CA, in 2018 we also (a) continued work on the Disney Magic Timer app, adding enhanced AR plus a robust Content Management System, (b) launched a beautiful multi-platform adventure game, Adera, (c) developed a second Facebook Instant Game and (d) ported Crayola Color Blaster from ARKit/ARCore to the Lenovo Mirage AR. 

We’ve learned a lot this year, some of which I tried to capture in blog posts here and when speaking at conferences. There have also been plenty of bumps and bruises, as well as some magical moments. Reminds me of playing a well-balanced game, when the next move seems to be within reach, but you have to stretch to get there.

We’ve been stretching a lot this year at HitPoint, and it feels good.

Wishing you peace, good health, prosperity, and your own satisfying challenges in 2019.