A new Victoria-based gaming startup boasting talent from EA, Zynga and Microsoft Studios is unveiling their debut project today at PAX East 2014 in Boston. TinyMob is the studio, and their debut game Tiny Realms is a Unity-based real-time strategy game for iPad and iPhone that also features resource and kingdom management features that give it common traits with the likes of Farmville and others, too.
Don’t call it a casual game, though; TinyMob CEO and co-founder Alex Mendelev explained in an interview that Tiny Realms is actually about marrying the depth of classic RTS games with the accessibility of mobile games, and isn’t just about dumbing down an experience for a broad audience.
“We have depth in the control innovations we’ve implemented, unique and varied factions that you can play that challenge the player to think strategically, and the ability to combine units to create unique strategic opportunities,” he explained in an interview. “Also, Tiny Realms is persistent in the sense that the game will evolve as players spend time playing and we launch new updates. Then, we’ve [also] delivered the overall experience in an approachable and easy to pick-and-play way for gamers of all ability.”
In terms of what that means for actual gameplay, Tiny Realms offers up direct control of individual units during battle segments, and a universe with alliances and other key plot factors are actually affected by player choices. Like World of Warcraft, the team plans to release content updates over time to evolve the world and advance the story from where it stands at launch.
“We have content and features planned out for the next 12 months post launch that not only add content, but will also expose more of the underlying mythology we’ve created for our world,” Mendelev explained. “The way we bring this to life is through player events actually having an impact on the fabric of the Tiny Realms universe. Player actions will leave indelible marks on the game we’ve created that other players will get to experience, too.”
TinyMob hopes to avoid the usual pitfalls of mobile games with this strategy, by bringing renewed interest with renewed content. That’ll help stave off player fatigue, Mendelev hopes, and that should also help drive continued revenue through in-app purchases for those players who want more than what the free game offers on its own.
TinyMob has raised $2 million in a seed round that closed in November, and has been working on their launch game since founding back in September 2013. Tiny Realms is still coming soon (Spring 2014 is the anticipated launch window) but the trailer above provides some insight on what players can look forward to. With a team that has worked on X-Com, Roller Coaster Tycoon and FIFA to name just a few, it’ll be interesting to see how they can tackle the so-called ‘mid-core’ market they’ve identified as an area of opportunity for mobile gaming.