First Impressions by Tim Eller
Late in the day on Thursday, seated next to the Fatal1ty booth in Kentia hall, I was able to have an informative conversation with the enthusiastic CEO of Humagade, one of the most accomplished development houses for mobile platforms. Hugo Morin started his company in 2002, and has seen it expand beyond the initial two employees to a burgeoning office of over 20 talented programmers and artists from all over the game development field.
While the team itself has aggregate experience in game works for just about every home console imaginable in recent history, Hugo’s vision is to tap and build out high-quality games for the already populated mobile market. One doesn’t even need to pay too close attention to the math behind this determined strategy, as the consumer base for cell phones with gaming capabilities numbers in the double-digit millions
The first thing that stands out about Humagade’s resume is its list of high-profile names in the game and mobile industry, harnessing the publishing power of THQ Wireless and making games available for the heavy number of Sprint PCS users. Most recently, Humagade signed a deal with Airborne Entertainment, a quiet heavyweight in mobile publishing. This new contract will produce six new games for Airborne, and will allow Humagade to challenge themselves even further in their ambitious pursuits.
To get a better idea of what Humagade does, Hugo explained the process of putting together some of the award-winning games they’ve already constructed and placed in the market. Starting with the Java and Brew languages, Humagade expanded to include platform ports, which in many cases involved some very complicated programming conversions. Nevertheless, as Hugo imparted to me that porting in some directions was a painstaking, time-consuming corner of his business, his excitement and confidence in his company’s ability to do said ports and the projects he’d encountered as a result of this specialization was a testament to his dedication to the art of mobile gaming.
Towards the end of our meeting, Hugo pulled out an N-Gage with a very early build of a game based on the character of Elvira. While there weren’t any solid stages or environment (indeed, there was just a quick mapped mock-up of a graveyard to walk around in), seeing a fresh product featuring the easily recognizable, busty exuberance of Elvira solidified the idea that above and beyond the hard work that goes into everything Humagade does, in the end it’s all about fun.
Humagade will be plenty busy in the coming months, undoubtedly putting together more pint-sized, entertaining games for your cell phone. Above and beyond their established abilities and accolades, Hugo Morin’s excitement and vision would seem to be enough to propel his company into a bright future.