Limerick games company start production on first release

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

ATOM Split Games are giving one young person the chance to create a character in their very first release.

ATOM Split Games are giving one young person the chance to create a character in their very first release.

The company, founded in May, has offices in Limerick and Thurles. They started with four full-time staff and, now with its first game in production, this has grown to nine with plans to recruit additional staff in early 2013.

One of the founders of Atom Split Games is 22 year-old Martell Malone, from the Old Singland Road.

“My first console was a Sega Megadrive when I was five or six. When I got to 12 or 13 I became interested in how they actually worked and I started programming,” said Martell, who is in the final year of a degree in software engineering and games design in LIT.

He spent an internship in Open Motion, also based in Limerick, and when the opportunity to found a company arose he jumped at it. The project has been supported by LIT, Enterprise Ireland and private financiers, who all saw Atom Split Games potential.

Michael Murphy, Tipperary; James Daly and David Kelly, Clare are the other three co-founders. They plan to release their first title called Jaxon & Feo: The Rising Kingdom in the New Year.

“It’s a 2D side scrolling game aimed at children between eight and 12 years of age. It’s going to be for tablets and phones - all hand held devices basically. There is a big market there,” said Martell.

They describe the adventure games as: “The once carefree, mythical and magical inhabitants of Madorey must now place their last hope in two brave heroes - Jaxon Stonesmith and Feo Fireborne - to drive away the forces of the evil Dark Wizard and his mechanical minions”.

To help Jaxon and Feo on their quest they are giving one talented and lucky young adult the chance to design a character in the game.

It is open to under 18s only. The will design a concept for a character which will be developed further by their artists. The competition closes on December 10. Prizes include an Apple iPad 3, limited edition character prints and lots more.

Martell says they decided to run the competition to give youngsters a chance to get involved in computer games, and encourage the next generation of whizzkids.

“There are loads of kids who love games and would love to get involved but it is very difficult for them at a young age. Obviously they can’t do programming at 16, they have to wait to go to college.

“But in this competition they can come up with an idea for a character, describe it, give it powers - it is a creative process and we will work with them,” said Martell.

For more information on the company and how to enter the design competition log onto Atom Split Games.