Asobi.tech [Ah - So - Bee . Teku]
The name Asobi.tech, and the logo represent two halves of a whole. Like the two brothers and their Eastern/Western upbringing. We have taken the Japanese word for Play, Asobi, and an English word for a type of Science, Tech. Bringing them together gives us Asobi.tech - the Science of Play. We work hard and play hard, and like Yin and Yang, try to find balance in everything we do.
The two brothers, Quang and Viet, born in Hanoi, Vietnam, along with their parents fled the country back in 1979 as refugees with nothing. They settled in the UK as part of the Vietnamese Boat People refugee exodus. Their parents did everything they could to provide a better life for their children. Learning English as a second language, re-training with new skills to be able to get jobs, and even after giving birth to a third brother, did the best they could to raise them all with what little the had.
They managed to save enough to buy the brothers their first microcomputer, a ZX Spectrum +2. This peaked their curiosity to learn BASIC, then onto making games in the programming language. But it was when they got an Atari ST and STOS that their passion for creating videogames was truly ignited. They now had access to sprites, sounds and everything else needed to make games that everyone could enjoy.
Vietnamese Boat People news article scan
Quang left university for a job coding GameBoy Color games with a small studio in 1999, after being head hunted for the games he created as part of the GameBoy Homebrew scene. Being thrown in to the deep end, he worked as the solo programmer on multiple titles tirelessly for a year, before unfortunately, burning out.
After a few years away from videogames, living the life of a Breakdancer, Quang returned in 2007 to found Asobi.tech, indie game development studio. Along with Viet, doing artwork, they worked in their spare time. Re-learning and perfecting their craft. Taking part in many Game Jams along the way, managing to place and win a number of them.
To help foster a stronger indiegame developer community, Quang started GameMaker Meetup, a monthly community event, with guest speaker talks, networking and discussion on game development.
In February 2017, the Amazon UK Developer team made Quang an Amazon Appstore Hero, to help relations between developers and Amazon.
Viet, the older of the two, always has had a flare for art, especially computer art.
It started with ASCII manipulation to create game sprites then pixel pushing on the ZX Spectrum with OCP Art Studio via keyboard, as he was not able to afford a mouse back then. Transitioning into the 16bit era with a mixture of NeoChrome, Degas, Deluxe paint and the humble STOS sprite editor, all on the Atari ST. Finally moving onto Windows PCs with Paint Shop Pro.
He has pretty much done all the art for the games Quang has coded, included working along side him on GameBoy Color titles.
Currently Viet's pixel art is created directly on an iPad and iPhone with the app Sprite Something, including sprites, backround and the animation.
MaoMao Castle - a Magical Cat-Dragon arcade adventure
Currently Asobi.tech is working on MaoMao Castle, which was originally created for Castle Game Jam 2016, where it won 3 out of the 6 awards; Best Graphics, Best Music, and Overall Game. It was so well received that they decided to make it into a full commercial release.
Pretty much from day one MaoMao Castle has been showcased at events along its development, with it being displayed at over fifty events in two years, including Gamescom, EGX and Insomnia Gaming Festival. It has gone from a simple mobile tablet demo, to a much grander, arcade experience, using a hand tracking LEAPmotion controller to fly the Cat-Dragon, a large projector screen and a Hype-Tiger. Exhibiting the game has helped spread awareness of its development, play test and help refine the user experience.
The spare time project of the two brothers, has been an exciting learning experience for both of them, currently with the hope to find the time to launch MaoMao Castle real soon.