Scirra is a London based software company that was founded by brothers Ashley and Thomas Gullen in 2011. They are the makers of Construct 2, a programming-free game creator which many of their customers have described as "Photoshop for games". See their video on Construct 2 here.
Tell us about yourself and what you do at Scirra.
My name is Tom, and at Scirra I manage and develop our website (our artist Paulo also plays a large role with this!). I also am responsible for the general administration of Scirra.
What is Scirra and what do you do?
Scirra is a startup my brother Ashley founded in 2011. We mainly develop software called "Construct 2" which allows anyone to develop their own computer games without any programming knowledge required. It has been described by some of our customers as a "Photoshop for games" which is quite a succinct description in my opinion!
Construct 2 has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times. We have a free version of our software and users can unlock more features if they purchase a license off us.
How do you help game developers?
There's a lot of people out there with great ideas for games. Construct 2 lets you develop games for the web, desktop and mobile. This serves as a huge time saver in a lot of ways – write once and distribute to many platforms without any extra modifications.
Often people who have these great ideas for games don't attempt to make them because they feel they do not know a skilled enough programmer to help them put it together, or have enough money to pay someone to make it for them. A lot of people perhaps are intimidated by the perceived high barrier of entry that they assume developing a game has. Construct 2 attempts to remove these barriers. The software is designed to be easy to use and powerful without the need for programming – it opens the doors right up for everyone who ever wanted to make a game!
How have you marketed Scirra?
Marketing has been one area of running our business that we found tough. There's a lot of noise out there and it's hard to get heard! By far the best way we've found to market ourselves is by trying to write interesting good quality content – our blog has played a central role in increasing our brand recognition and making users aware of our software.
We've tried many experiments with regards to marketing, but we've found organic growth to be by far the best. We believe our product is strong enough and our services good enough that users will be motivated to share it with people they know. We've been steadily up-trending in our growth which is great – and we do not feel we're getting too far ahead of ourselves either.
What do you think is the most important element of creating a successful mobile game?
Creativity! Something completely new and creative that's never been seen before has a much better chance of going big. Personality is another big plus in my opinion – games with humor, original art, music etc all make for a much more unique experience.
What differentiates Construct 2 from your competitor GameMaker?
We differentiate ourself from GameMaker and other similar engines in the fact that Construct 2 does not require any programming to make awesome games as it's core feature. Our ambition is to make game development as accessible as possible to other people – requiring scripting in any form we believe doesn't break down these barriers as effectively.