MV students emerge with a gaming company

Robin Hyun, Feature Editor

A game design company consisted of over 40 Monte Vista High School students has made its appearance known this school year. The company hopes to bring games in various platforms like PC, console, and mobile within the next two years.

The company, Far Realms Gaming (FRG), was created by junior Brendan Kitchen. His role in the newly formed company is the chief executive officer (CEO.)

The idea of starting the company FRG was inspired by Kitchen’s father who was one of the major founders of the gaming industry and his godfather who founded Activision, the world’s first developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles.

“They inspire me to want to be like them because they’ve succeeded so much in the area of video games that I want to also achieve that level of success and I wouldn’t be able to do [all this] without the people [in this company],” Kitchen said. “I’ve always had a dream of starting a video game design company because my dad was one of the founders of the gaming industry,” Kitchen said. “My dad worked for Activision back in the day and he taught himself how to make video games. I’ve always had that dream of being like my dad–starting a great company and eventually, making great games.”

The initiation of the company, FRG, was sparked between a conversation with Kitchen’s friend, junior Rohin Patthick, Vice President of Technical Operations in the company.

I was talking with Rohin Patthick and I said this summer we have to finally make a game design company,” Kitchen said. “Rohin looked at me and said well summer’s a really long time away, why don’t we just do it now instead and I said that is a fantastic idea–let’s do it.”

One of Kitchen’s first business plans for the company is to secure a deal with a prospective publisher.

“[A prospective publisher] pays your company a certain amount of money to publish the game and essentially what that does is give you a lot of advertising and marketing out of them publishing your game and in return they get a portion of the game’s profits,” Kitchen said.

Already the company has gained attention from a prospect investor who’s looking to offer anywhere between 5,000 to 25,000 dollars, according to Kitchen.

“[The amount] depends on what he believes our game holds in quality and we haven’t discussed percentages of stocks yet–we’re still working that out,” he said.

Kitchen added that the company is also looking towards creating a kickstarter campaign.

“We’re also planning a kickstarter campaign hoping to reign in 15,000 to 35,000 dollars,” Kitchen said. “Most of this money will be going towards paying the employees because we all agree that we all should be getting paid [for what we’re doing].”

Currently, the company has been split into 5 divisions: visual art, music composition, game design, programming, and operations.“What we’ve really been working on so far is laying out a foundation so we can build the game straight up. Rather than tackling it from multiple different angles, we’re building the game from the bottom up,” Kitchen said.

The concept of the first game the company’s working on has been established and the design of the game is currently being brought to life by the visual arts department.

“We have the concept for the game, however, we do not have the finalized version for it yet because right now the idea is still fresh,” junior Neo Zhang visual arts director said. “We are still adding new ideas and taking out old ideas. We are not going to finalize anything until we are sure that the [art design] is what we want and what we are going to be displaying in the game when we release it.”

The game, according to Zhang, is going to be in an intergalactic apocalyptic setting, and similarly to the planet Krypton in Superman, the main character is going to be in a setting of a dying planet. To save his planet, the main character will need to build a ship, travel out into the galaxy and salvage materials from other planets, take these essential items back to his planet, and with them, eventually save the planet.

“The game is, when you think about it, [based on] the difficulties in the movie the martian,” Kitchen said. “It’s taking that challenge to a whole other level. In the movie the martian, the main character deals with problems like lack of food, lack of oxygen–things like these, we want to take it to a whole new level by adding more of an intergalactic feeling.”

Additionally to the goals and challenges the character will face, the company is looking towards having the game be like a sandbox.

“Character’s are going to have their own spaceship and the game’s going to be like a sandbox in a sense where players can improve their ship, improve their own personal capabilities and face the challenges of trying to survive the harsh environment of space,” Kitchen said.

Along with a set concept, musical composition has also produced roughly 12 songs that could be used in the game.

“Writing music for a video game is interesting because it’s definitely different from writing just regular song, you have to know the storyline of the game– it’s similar to writing movie scores,” junior Michael Antoun, Vice President of Artistic Operations said.

Much of the music is surrounding the genre of the game: space-like and exterrestrial, according to Antoun.

Many in the company hope to produce video games that will be recognized under FRG through their unique qualities such as their storyline, design, and music.

“What I hope to see from this company, like many others [in this company], in the future, is to create games that are not just popular but have these games really speak about us, [like] through the style and the way the game is made,” Zhang said. “Basically, [I hope that] when people talk about this game they know it’s from us rather than people saying we’re similar to another game.”