Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Developing a successful business model is no easy game

Commercial Feature

Jellyflug

Welcome to the world of Jellyflug — the latest computer game about to hit the mobile gaming world with a splash!

Play as Grash the microbe, as he traverses the vast world of microorganisms. Everyday human actions change everything in this world of Jellyflug. Sail through rivers of soapy water left by humans; defend yourself from masses of other microbes out to devour you and team up with friendly microbes to overcome the obstacles as you confront the dangers of the human household.

Troll Inc. is a video game studio based in NORIBIC's Digital Media Works incubation centre at the North West Regional College in Derry.

The team, led by CEO Jim Murray, is a young and enthusiastic team of game developers who have banded together in the hopes of creating unique experiences for the gamers and non-gamers across the world. Creating their debut title, ‘Jellyflug', the team is aiming for it to be the first of many success stories.

However, as Jim commented: “We are all into game development. But we want Troll Inc. to become a successful and sustainable business. We realised early on that we needed support to help us achieve that ambition.”

As part of the iFactory programme, Troll Inc. received mentorship and support from NORIBIC and business professionals sourced in the local area.

Jim added: “We thought ‘build it and they will buy it'. However, iFactory helped us realise that we need a robust approach to marketing and we are exploring with NORIBIC support an online marketing strategy to build up interest and anticipation in our new game.

“We have also received assistance towards developing a professional business plan. This support helped win the award for the best new business start-up at the Enterprising Derry awards and a highly commended award from the InterTradeIreland All Island Seedcorn competition.

“With iFactory's support, we've been awarded £5,000 from the Fast Forward Business Awards, and grant funding to fund a future games concept from E-Synergy of £37,000, both of which owe a lot to the mentoring we've received.

“By getting support from professional mentors, we can address our business weaknesses identified in our Innovation Action plan developed with the help of our Innovation Agent.”

Dr Bernard Toal, CEO NORIBIC, said: “Small knowledge-based businesses like Troll will become the bedrock of the next generation economy. These guys want to be in control of their own destiny by turning their creative ideas into reality. We are helping them up their business learning curve, introducing them to new marketing techniques and assisting them to realise their potential as a successful and sustainable mobile games developer.”

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