Meet the Developer: Studio Rouleau and their Hyper-Casual Success
Founder of Studio Rouleau, Brian Rouleau, has had extensive experience in the gaming scene, but only in recent years decided to shift to mobile games. Since experimenting with mobile games, he’s had a number of hits in the top charts and featured on apps stores globally, which is no small feat given the competitive market. So what are his keys to success?
Homa Games sat down with Brian to discuss the story of Studio Rouleau, the challenges of working as a solo developer and his thoughts on hyper-casual gaming and its future in the market.
1. So first let’s get to know your studio a little better… how did Studio Rouleau first start?
Studio Rouleau began as a way for me to start contracting out User Interface work to gaming companies. At the start of my career I worked as a UI developer, and after securing a few contracts, I felt like I could keep going with Studio Rouleau. In 2017 I began experimenting with mobile games, and I haven’t looked back since.
2. So you currently work on projects solo – what are some of the benefits but also challenges of working solo?
Well working solo means that the development environment is completely under your control. There is no ramp up time for new team members, and the development process can be personalized completely.
However working solo also means there is less feedback from teammates. Homa Games is great to work with because they provide valuable feedback and actionable game design data that just isn’t available as a solo developer.
3. According to Homa Games, you work faster than most gaming studios (even though they have several people in the team) : What is your method ? Any secret ? Do you sleep sometimes ?
Most of my development speed comes from experience. I’ve been working in games for over 16 years, so there is less time required to learn new things, and it’s mostly just putting knowledge into practice. An experienced solo developer can outpace a team on small projects because it cuts out all the back and forth between art/design/programming/production.
I have a family and sleep normal hours– I never work weekends, but I do try to work every night after my kid has gone to sleep.
4. What types of games does Studio Rouleau create and have you had any top charting titles over 2018?
Actually two of my latest games have reached top charts this past year: Tiny Cars and Idle Drops. These days I try to focus on creating hyper-casual games, because the development time is short, and the design focus is on mass market usability.
5. So for Tiny Cars, the game concept was actually pitched to you by Homa Games. What was that like having the process slightly reversed?
I found it to be a welcome break. I think everyone has ideas on games and what could be made and it can sometimes be a maze to navigate through what is and isn’t going to be successful.
Working with Homa Games on a pitch took some of that guesswork out, and we were able to produce a great game through collaboration.
6. A number of games you’ve created on mobile in 2018 fall into the category of hyper-casual games… do you anticipate that this is a category of mobile games that will continue to trend among mobile developers?
Yes I believe that hyper-casual will continue to trend, but the more important aspect will be keeping the bar of quality high and the experience unique and engaging. As more developers enter the space, competition increases and it really becomes important to have good user acquisition backing your project.
7. What does Studio Rouleau have in-store for 2019?
One of my major goals is to bridge the gap between hyper-casual and mid-core gamers. I’d like to create gaming experiences for players that can show them what’s fun about hyper-casual, and then engage them beyond what their typically expecting in a free-to-play mobile games.
8. Any advice for developers starting out in mobile game development?
Everything you develop should be considered an investment into a future project. If you create a system for saving and loading data, that same system should be able to be used in your future projects. In this way, you’re always building towards a more efficient and streamlined development process.
Thanks so much for your time today Brian and for the insights shared on hyper-casual gaming. Could you be one of our next featured developers? Get in touch with Homa Games today or submit your game directly here to begin our collaboration.