Concordia student Denny Feradouros met John Capaldo in high school where they shared a dream to create video games. Years later, after studying in their respective fields at university, they came together with a group of six friends to finally create their first one.
“It started off as an attempt to build experience and showcase our talent,” said Feradouros. “But as time progressed we realized we wanted to start our own company rather than tirelessly search for a job in the field.”
The experience led the team to create their own company called Lazy Nuke, where they attempted to pursue ideas and gain the experience needed to expand into a larger market.
Each member of the Lazy Nuke team has a specific academic background, some of the members graduated from Concordia while others have technical credentials; each provides an aspect in the developing of the game and company.
“We each have a key role, some of us do animation, and others do 3D modelling, technical directing or covering the business marketing aspect,” said Feradouros.
“Our studies at Concordia definitely gave us the technical skills we needed in order to build the framework for the game – in terms of myself, it helped me from a business aspect, from marketing to resource planning.”
After working on their first project for roughly ten months, Lazy Nuke released their first game entitled 8th Wave: Abyssal Rise, on March 21. “We wanted to create a side scrolling arcade game that is enjoyable and user friendly, something we could continuously update,” said Feradouros.
The user plays the game navigating through ocean floor caverns with various submarines while facing off with enemies and collecting shells which the player needs in order to advance throughout the game. The player has the choice between four submarines, and is able to customize them as well.
“The game was developed specifically for the smartphone market, a game that can be played in short bursts while still leaving the player with a sense of progress and accomplishment after that small amount of time,” said Feradouros.
Considering how the smartphone app market is currently exploding, Feradouros and his friends truly aimed for it as they believe it is an increasingly competitive but accessible market for ambitious newcomers like themselves.
“We realized so many people were downloading smartphone and tablet games, making it an ever growing gaming market,” said Feradouros. “We figured it could serve as a solid stepping stone and somewhat low cost foundation for us to build our company.”
Although the team at Lazy Nuke worked hard for almost a year developing their first game, it wasn’t without obstacles. “Funding has been a bit difficult, even though the game is relatively low cost,” he said. “Licensing is expensive and for students like us working part-time, it presented a considerable challenge as we needed funding to develop and launch the game.”
In order to fund their project, Feradouros and the rest of the team at Lazy Nuke presented their idea for the game and the company at the 2012 Concordia Seed Competition and finished second, receiving a grant for $3,000 to put towards the development of the game.
What started off as just a game has developed into so much more. Feradouros and his team believe they have the right chemistry and collective creativity to build a successful company on the release of 8th Wave: Abyssal Rise.
The game is available on both mobile and tablet Android platforms with plans to release it in the IOS market place in the near future, thereby making it accessible to iPad and iPhone users.
Lazy Nuke is already in the preliminary stages for their next game which they hope to release sometime in the next year.
For more information on the game or the company, visit www.lazynuke.com