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Minecraft XBLA and Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion developers form Stormcloud Games studio

Scotland rises

New Scotland-based studio Stormcloud Games has been launched by three developers whose careers in the industry include work on Minecraft XBLA, The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion and Perfect Dark XBLA.

Former studio director at 4J studio Frank Arnot now takes on the role of managing director at the new studio, while Andy West will handle coding, and Pat McGovern, a former 4J Studios senior artist, is to head the studio's art section.

Stormcloud Games' Arnot told Polygon the new development studio will enable the developers to pursue game ideas that would otherwise never become a reality.

"There were game ideas we felt passionate about and the only way we were ever see these become a reality was if we were to establish our own studio and develop them ourselves," said Arnot.

"We also learnt our trade working with some very talented people at some of the best companies in the U.K., i.e. DMA Design, Visual Sciences, Vis entertainment, 4J Studios and the innovative and entrepreneurial approach of these studios inspired us to create a successful studio of own."

Arnot states team has worked together for "almost 20 years" prior to the development of the start-up studio; However, the challenges of creating a new company are still present.

"Sourcing hardware, software, office space and funding can also be a difficulty when first starting out"

"Sourcing hardware, software, office space and funding can also be a difficulty when first starting out," said Arnot. "Again, we were fortunate enough to secure Prototype Funding from Abertay University in Dundee which has given us all four of these elements and allowed us to quick-start the business.

"Going forwards, it's always an on-going challenge to keep a flow of projects/cash coming through the door but we believe that our open, honest and forthright approach to how we deal with clients and the quality of work we can produce will be key to helping us achieve a sustainable business."

The company is currently seeking investments for its first project, in addition to work-for-hire projects. The team has already received funding from the University of Abertay, Dundee's Prototype Fund to develop a browser-based game for children.

"Our browser-based children's title is a very ambitious and original undertaking," he explaned. "We see it as having the potential to be the next Moshi Monsters. At the moment we are in a prototyping phase with this project and are seeking further investment.

"Family-friendly gaming will be a strong focus for us going forwards but not necessarily an exclusive focus, for example we are also developing a title for tablet devices with an action star tie-in."