Game Oven closed down April 2015.

After three-and-a-half years of making weirdly unique social games like Fingle and Bounden, Game Oven closed doors in April 2015. Adriaan, one of Game Oven's founders, wrote an article to look at Game Oven’s closure, studio costs, game sales and other incomes, and the role of community to their business. Read more about Game Oven's closure here.
 

 

Jelly Reef

Bounden

Fingle

Bam fu

 

Our games are still supported by Game Oven's founders @AdriaandeJongh and @furiouspixels.

 

Articles on Game Oven

 

Game Oven closes in April

written by Adriaan on January 20th, 2015 - #Game Oven

With the recent news that Bounden is nominated for the Nuovo Award at the Independent Games Festival as well as the Innovation Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards, this may come as a surprise.

Fingle, Bam fu, Friendstrap, and Bounden were built with an uncompromised creative vision. With Fingle, we wanted people to touch each other and feel awkward about it, so we invented mechanics, carefully picked a visual style, exaggerated with the music, and made people do nothing else than that: touch each other and feel awkward about it. Bam fu, Friendstrap, and Bounden followed, all with a vision of their own: to make people fight, talk about awkward stuff, or dance together. For each vision, we invented the mechanics, carefully picked a visual style, exaggerated with the music, and tried to make people do nothing else than our vision intended.

For Game Oven, the artistic freedom that allowed us to follow this process was getting harder and harder to maintain. All of us felt the financial pressure of three full time people, an office, and a whole bunch of contractors for 2D art, 3D art, music, sounds, and trailers. This pressure removed much of the creative downtime we needed and gave us less and less time to think about new games or to make new prototypes. This ultimately left us where we are today, at a point where we are in need of another vision for a beautiful game, but where we don’t have one, and don’t have the financial resources to find one and make one.

Jelly Reef

“But hey, weren’t you still making Jelly Reef?” For sure! Bojan and Eline had been working on getting funding by AppCampus during the development of Bounden, as well as going through the tough process of transferring the IP from the original Jelly Reef student developers (which Bojan and Adriaan were part of) to Game Oven. Bounden’s development, however, didn’t allow us to do enough prototyping for Jelly Reef. So when Bounden’s development had mentally drained us and was finally finished, Jelly Reef was waiting for us to get creative once again. Three very rough months passed before we could start production on Jelly Reef. With two and a half months before the AppCampus deadline, we cut much of the game and made many compromises to its vision. This was exactly the process that we had been trying to avoid.

Regardless of the short production time and the fact that this was our first Windows Phone game, we are still proud of what we pulled together. In March, when we plan to release Jelly Reef on iOS and Android, we will have reworked much of the game to align more with our vision: a roguelike underwater world in which you explore the depths of the ocean and save jellyfish. It’s not anything like previous Game Oven games, but we are excited nonetheless!

Three and a half years of Game Oven.

  • We introduced ourselves with a silly video showing Fingle to the IGF Judges, having no idea the video would go public as well…
  • We received many heart-warming stories of Fingle relationships, Fingle sex, Fingle babies, and Fingle break-ups for other Fingle relationships.
  • We made Planet Challenge for the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, a game about the planets in our solar system.
  • We did a 24 hour livestream of Friendstrap. (Washing each others hands is the most awkward thing.)
  • We watched The View (with Whoopi Goldberg) where Fingle had it’s debuting 30 seconds of fame on US national television. Similarly, Adriaan was on the Dutch equivalent of The View: Koffietijd.
  • We have been interviewed by many amazing journalists whose articles we still read today, including Leigh Alexander, Cara Ellison, Chris Plante, Carter Dotson, and Jessica Conditt. (And John Polson, but he does other things these days.)
  • We worked together with the Junior Company of the Dutch National Ballet.
  • We went through the tough shit of buying IP from friends.
  • We hired our first employee, Eline!
  • Bojan had a baby! woohoo
  • We have had the pleasure of being in the Dutch Game Garden for its best three years.
  • We did a live performance in the Apple Store in Amsterdam.
  • We went to GDC San Francisco, PAX East in Boston, Gamescom and GDC Europe in Cologne, A MAZE in Berlin, Control Conference in Amsterdam, and made many friends all over the world.
  • We gave a talk at the Experimental Gameplay Workshop and at GDC Europe.
  • We won three Dutch Game Awards and a Cinekid award.
  • We have been nominated for the IGF Nuovo award. Twice.
  • Our games have been covered by the New York Times, The Guardian, BBC (reporters in tights = priceless), The LA Times, The Verge, Mashable, Polygon, Giant Bomb, Kotaku, Destructoid, Joystiq, TouchArcade, and all major Dutch newspapers.
  • Our games have been prominently featured in App Stores and Google Play stores all over the world.
  • Our games have been downloaded more than two-and-a-half million times and, considering they are all 2+ player games, have been played by over five million people!!!

The Future

We are not planning to take Fingle, Bam fu, Bounden and Jelly Reef off the stores, and will continue to do any necessary maintenance to keep them running well on everyone’s devices. We hope that the finger rubbing, pushing each other away, dancing, and swiping jellyfish away from harm made you experience something new, and would love our games to continue to do so for other people (fingles crossed!). However, we are removing Friendstrap from all stores end of this month. Friendstrap was built entirely by an intern and even though it ‘sort of’ works, there are a couple of nasty structural problems with the game’s code that have made us decide to not make any further updates. On February 1st, Friendstrap will be removed from the store. So… get it here while you still can.

So what’s the plan? Fingle gets a nice Valentine’s Day update end of January. End of February, we move out of our office in the Dutch Game Garden, and Eline, Bojan and Adriaan fly out to GDC San Francisco and SXSW to show you Bounden and Jelly Reef. March is when Jelly Reef comes out on iOS and Android. And then in April, we strip the company of its costs, transfer the ownership of all our games to Bojan and Adriaan, and disband the company… yikes. But no worries about our website, email addresses and twitter account – they will remain intact for as long as our games are on the stores.

Adriaan de Jongh

Adriaan plans to go wild. He will continue to make the kind of games you know Game Oven for, has some ridiculous prototypes in mind, and will look for new collaborations. @adriaandejongh
Eline Muijres

Eline will continue to let everyone know about amazing games. She’ll help Dutch studio Monogon with marketing and production for Interloper. @elinemuijres
Bojan Endrovski

Bojan is still looking for the next big challenge, but as one of the best programmers you know, we feel he’ll be just fine. @furiouspixels

Thank you

There have been a lot of people that have been a major, major support to us. We won’t list them here – they know who they are – but they must know that we are eternally grateful for helping us with all the difficult questions and scenarios we’ve laid out before them.

And thank you, player, for buying our games. You have made Game Oven possible.

We hope you’ll continue to follow our adventures on twitter, say hi, and see you at GDC and SXSW!!

Adriaan, Bojan, and Eline

 

Awards and hard work

written by Eline on December 2nd, 2014 - #Game Oven #Jelly Reef

It’s been a while since our last update, but we’ve been very busy!

INDIGO

Jelly Reef INDIGO
First of all, we showed Jelly Reef for the first time at INDIGO 2014, organized by the Dutch Game Garden. The showcase was full of awesome Dutch games, and we got a lot of feedback on Jelly Reef. This inspired us to do some major changes with the game – more on that later in this post.

Select/Start/Play & Viborg Games Expo

Eline had a short trip to Viborg in Denmark for the Select/Start/Play conference to give a talk about the development of Bounden. She also showed the game at the Viborg Games Expo, which had a lot of super cool original and experimental games! The organization also made this super cute Game Oven logo out of cardboard. Thank you Emil, Anchel & Alexander! <3

gameoven cardboard

Go to article »

 

The technical challenges in Bounden

written by Eline on May 9th, 2014 - #Bounden #Game Oven

In this fourth video, choreographer Ernst Meisner shares his experience on creating the choreography in Bounden, while Bojan Endrovski shares some insight on Bounden’s technical challenges.

Bounden will be released on 21 May for iOS and Android!

 

Three weeks of links and bizarreness

written by Adriaan on April 1st, 2014 - #Bounden #Game Oven

Beginning March, Eline and Adriaan traveled to Chicago to hang out with Cards Against Humanity‘s Max, ThreesGreg, Octodad‘s Phil and his colleagues, and Matt’s awesome friend Nick, before hopping onto the TrainJam. Which was quite the ride. Together with Michael, we made 14seconds, where QWOP meets Gravity.  See Gamasutra‘s Kris scream at his phone like a dying man to make the sounds effects for it.

52 hours later we arrived in San Francisco, and while Adriaan was still weak from food poisoning on the train, there wasn’t much time to recover: GDC had started. That week, we met with cool people that work for Polygon, Destructoid, 148Apps, Joystiq, and Killscreen, to show them what Bounden was all about. We talked with people from Apple and Google about its future release. We partied hard every night. Saw the DoubleFine office & their prototypes. We participated in the MIX, the BIG Indie Pitch (and won!), and the Experimental Gameplay Workshop.

And so, inspired by the Indie Soapbox, the GDC micro talks, and unconference (which was, to their taste, too much like a conference already), they left the amazing weather in San Francisco to fly to Boston, to meet up with all the amazing folks from the Boston Indie Collective to reflect on GDC, relax, eat, and sleep. And meet the Harmonix folks.

Meanwhile, back in the Netherlands, Gilles finished the Bounden Making Of Part Three, and Bojan cleared most of his todo list for the next iteration of Bounden.

Having just gotten back to the Netherlands, we now have 1 week before traveling back to Boston for PAX East to show Bounden at the Indie MEGABOOTH. In this one week, we’re making three more dances, a tutorial, and another iteration on the entire interface.

Holy cow.

 

A year in review: 2013

written by Adriaan on January 1st, 2014 - #Game Oven

2013 was a tough year for us. The ‘whew, we made it’ kind of tough. Here’s what happened in Game Oven’s office.

Friendstrap and Fingle

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Announcing Bounden

written by Eline on December 17th, 2013 - #Bounden #Game Oven

The video says it all. We are super happy to announce Bounden, a two-player dance game on your smartphone!

Go to article »

 

How to get an internship in the Dutch games industry

written by Adriaan on December 4th, 2013 - #Game Oven

At Game Oven, we get e-mails from students every week, wanting to do an internship with us. However, many of these students don’t fit our needs or requirements and get rejected right away. If you’re looking for an internship position in the Dutch game industry, there are some things you need to pay attention to. Adriaan and Eline wrote some do’s and don’ts to help you get the position you want.

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Playing Friendstrap for 24 hours

written by Adriaan on November 22nd, 2013 - #Friendstrap #Game Oven

Finally, the clock indicates 5 PM. Bojan and I drop the phone under an applause from friends and colleagues, because we did it: we played Friendstrap for 24 hours straight.

PissingTogether

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The Game Oven Team

written by Eline on September 24th, 2013 - #Game Oven

This month we’ve seen quite some changes at Game Oven, so it’s time to tell you more about the people behind the studio and our games! As you may know, Game Oven was founded by game designer Adriaan de Jongh and game developer Bojan Endrovski. As of September 2013, our core team has a new addition: Eline Muijres (pronounce: Eileen Mewres). She’ll be doing production and marketing work, making life easier for everyone!

Game Oven

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Fingle marketing effort and numbers

written by Adriaan on May 20th, 2013 - #Fingle #Game Oven

This article gives you insight in our marketing effort and sales from our debut iPad-only game Fingle. Before Fingle was released on January 12th in 2012, a few independent developers had shared their revenue numbers from which we made a rough estimation where to direct our effort into. Before we hit the ‘busy’ trap with releasing Bam fu, we would like to share our number with you so that you can make your estimates as well.

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Game Oven news

written by Adriaan on April 15th, 2013 - #Game Oven

BOOM. Here it is. A brand new integrated blog to our website so that we can write about super interesting things!

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