From releasing an after hours passion project to starting their own brand new game studio: 2018 was a rollercoaster for the founders of like Charlie. Here’s the story of how one of the newest faces on the Flemish game scene came to be.
While both working at Die Keure, writer Dagmar Blommaert and 3D artist Kenny Guillaume, created the short story exploration adventure Marie’s Room. The idea behind the passion project wasn’t to kickstart a career in indie game development. Rather aiming to build their showreels, they released the game for free on Steam.
Now, sending out your first game into the digital wilderness that is Steam without any marketing support usually is a surefire way to meet an unsung end. Not so with Marie’s Room. The game found a crowd of players and was picked up frequently by both international press (like RockPaperShotgun and Kotaku) and influencers.
Taking place mostly in a single room, Marie’s Room has you rummaging through the titular room in first-person, gradually discovering the story of an unconventional friendship long gone. It eats up but an hour of your time, but stays with you for much longer. So if you haven’t experienced it yet, you might as well do so now.
Motivated by the positive feedback, which culminated in an honourable mention for Excellence in Narrative at this year’s IGF awards, the pair simply knew they wanted to keep telling tales together. like Charlie was co-founded last September and the team is currently working on their next game Ghost on the Shore. Programmer Alex Vanden Abeele and gameplay designer Steven Simoens were added to the project to make their first commercial release the best they can.
With an estimated release date of February 2020, the team still has a long way to go. Still, they were recently able to secure VAF funding and will be showcasing Ghost on the Shore during the Courage XL pre-mixer at the eve of GDC in San Francisco.
Seems like Charlie is in it for the long run, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them into our proud FLEGA family.