A video gaming company based in Bulgaria has now closed its doors, but up until under a year ago, Tesseract Interactive was hard at work building the future of high-tech gaming.
The company's website shows incremental work on a game
called Excubitor, billed as a “shooter tower defense game” in 3-D.
Demos of the game on the site show how much work went into
this dynamic three-dimensional virtual world, with high-tech vectoring and
detailed graphics wowing visitors.
Blog posts on the site show the saga of Excubitor’s
development, with developers going to events like Game Jam in nearby cities,
attending Gamescom 2013 in Cologne and evolving sound and graphics and other
aspects of the game. In May 2014, company representatives talked about “how
to implement an economy/resource system which will be easy to use and balance” and through the blog, engineers brought questions to their audience about
resource allocation and the gaming interface.
An alpha testing phase preceded
the eventual release of the game on Steam, a major coup for a new gaming
company. After teaming up with a publisher, Kalypso Media GMBH, Tesseract
Interactive became one of the first studios in the country with an
internationally published game in its portfolio.
Ultimately, the company closed down. After August 2016,
Tesseract Interactive was no longer open for business. However, in its time
headquartered in Skopje, Macedonia, the company took advantage of certain
market factors that are leading tech companies to flood to this area of the
Tesseract Interactive’s CEO
and co-founder Ivan Ivanovski
Balkan Business Wire about the company.
“The biggest positive is having talented developers for a
lower price than in Western Europe.” Ivanovski said. “Another thing is that the
VCs are just starting to work properly in the region, and they are willing to
risk a bit more.”
In terms of funding, the company received an initial round
of investment from accelerator Launchub under the European JEREMIE initiative,
part of a broader European plan to nurture the small startups and innovative
tech companies putting out green shoots in Balkan-area economies. As an
initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Fund, JEREMIE
provides help to small to medium-sized enterprises through “structural funds interventions.”
After getting the initial funding, Tesseract made its way
into the Steam gaming community, and the Launchub accelerator eventually
chipped in a second round.
As for the company's closure, much of it
boiled down to a tough market in the particular time and place in which the
team was trying to make their plan work, Ivanovski said.
“The market is very saturated, which means
you're not allowed to make any mistakes," he said.
Ivanovski said he has future plans to
gravitate more towards educational games and VR. Also, he said, a future
project might involve trying to build games as a service.
“Maybe something inspired by Mario Maker,”
Tesseract experienced highs and lows in the Balkan tech world