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Former Blue Tongue developers launch new studio

"I looked around to see what else was going in Melbourne, and there wasn't much going on"

Stunt Jumper
Stunt Jumper

Former THQ Blue Tongue developers start new studio, Three Phase Interactive

Three former Blue Tongue Entertainment developers have banded together to form a new game development studio in Melbourne, Australia.

Three Phase Interactive was formed by game developers Paul Baker, Chris Burns, and Drew Morrow, who worked at Blue Tongue on games like de Blob before THQ closed the studio in August 2011.

While at Bluetongue, Baker was a software engineer, Burns an animator and Morrow an artist. The trio have combined their skills to kick off their first project, Stunt Jumper, a physics-based stunt jumping game for iPhone and iPad where players can modify their vehicles with rocket engines, ejector seats and parachutes.

"[After Blue Tongue] I looked around to see what else was going in Melbourne, and there wasn't much going on so I decided to start my own studio with Chris," says Baker, who worked at Blue Tongue for nine years.

The trio have spent the past few months adapting to life as indie developers, saying that their new roles require much more work than when they worked at THQ's Melbourne studio.

"The major different for me is when I was at Blue Tongue, I was the lead programmer so I was looking after 20 other programmers," Baker says.

"So I've gone from that to doing all the programming myself. The variety of work has changed because I now have to cover all bases."

Chris Burns says going indie has given him a chance to be more hands-on with the art direction of the game.

"I draw something and then I animate it and put it in the game. We're hands-on the whole way."

"As an animator, you're handed the artwork and models from the art department and then you animate then, whereas in this project I have full control from beginning to end," Burns says.

"I draw something and then I animate it and put it in the game. We're hands-on the whole way."

It's still early days for the studio. With a small team they're hoping to do things they weren't able to do when they worked for Blue Tongue.

"We have a very iterative process where we get something going in a prototype and then we refine it and continue iterating and we get people to playtest it, which is a bit different to the way it used to work at Blue Tongue," Baker says.

"At Blue Tongue we'd be working on projects for a year or two and if we were lucky there might be some playtesters towards the end, but generally it was people in the studio playing it.

"We have a lot of freedom now and it's a lot more fluid because we only have three people involved. You make a decision and you just do it."

Stunt Jumper is expected to be released later this year.