Schell Games adds guest stars to Puzzle ClubhouseNovember 5, 2012
Pittsburgh Business Times by Malia Spencer, Reporter
Since launching Puzzle Clubhouse, an experiment with a new way of developing video games, in September Schell Games has seen its community membership grow to about 500, said Jill Sciulli, marketing manager for the South Side-based game company.
Of those members about 10 percent are paid. The project has a free version and a paid version but the overall premise is tapping the gaming community to help develop the games they will be playing, from look to story. The company kicked off the project last year with a successful kickstarter campaign that raised $10,000.
Since the launch the company has been focused on raising awareness and building the community rather than converting free members to paid members, Sciulli said. The paid version costs $19.95 a year and eventually there will be a focus on revenue.
“I think our target markets are adults who are interested in games and game design, artists that want to contribute,” she said. It also has a family focus and an educational bent.
In an effort to boost awareness for the upcoming episodes of Puzzle Clubhouse the company is turning to an entertainment industry standby — the guest star.
“We are confident guest stars will increase awareness of our site to different audiences,” said Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell, in a written statement.
The first is a guest spot goes to Anthony Daniels, the man in the copper suit known to many as C-3PO in the Star Wars movies. (He is also a friend of the studio. He and Schell both work at the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center.)
“Stars like Daniels, bring a new energy and excitement to the episodes. And our current members appreciate the anticipation of not knowing what we will do next,” Schell said.
Daniels’ episode is available on Puzzle Clubhouse now and more guest stars are being lined up and those episodes will be available next year, Sciulli said.
Malia Spencer covers manufacturing, higher education and technology. Contact her at email@example.com or (412) 208-3829. You can also follow her on Twitter.