Announcing Flying Helmet Games, Vancouver’s newest independent game studio, which opened their doors in the fall of 2012. With funding through the Canada Media Fund and private investment, they are hard at work producing their first game for Next-Gen Tablet PCs. At the helm are Project Director Edward J Douglas and Lead Developer Scott Penner, who have worked together for years on some of the industry’s biggest titles. They are joined by a small team of game developers with experience at major studios such as Electronic Arts, BioWare, Ubisoft, Atari and United Front Games.
Originally from Vancouver, Douglas spent 4 years away from his hometown industry, working in studios across Canada and abroad. He returned to find Vancouver’s industry in a very different state. “When I left Vancouver there was a thriving development community with many major studios represented. It’s a very different landscape now. Major studios have shuttered or left for other parts of the Canada. To make it in BC now you have to be willing to go on your own.”
Flying Helmet Games tapped into their relationships in the Film & Television industry and found a government funding opportunity that supports the development of Canadian digital media studios.
“When Ed and Scott approached me about their desire to go independent, I was excited not only about their ideas and experience, but the financing opportunities that I knew awaited them.” says Haydn Wazelle, an independent producer from Canada’s Film & Television industry, working with FHG on its current slate of projects. “I’ve financed my fair share of Film & TV projects in this country, but this experience has been by far the most satisfying, and it’s still early days yet.”
Douglas and Penner, along with FHG Business Manager Lukas Reynolds were childhood friends long before their game development career, and remember long nights playing tabletop games, board games, and role-playing games similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Their first game focuses on recreating the gaming experiences they had in their youth, spending evenings around gaming tables with friends. The team is working hard towards an announcement and a playable demo for PAX Boston 2013, (March 22-24).
Douglas has worked as Creative Director, Designer and Cinematic Director in games including Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed series (Most Wanted, Carbon, ProStreet), BioWare’s Mass Effect 2, and Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy Franchise. Meanwhile Penner has worked as a Cinematic Animator and Game Designer on EA’s Need for Speed series (Most Wanted, Carbon, ProStreet, Undercover) and United Front Games/Square Enix’s Sleeping Dogs.