Tall Studios

Tall Studios is a British independent game studio founded by John and Karen Reynolds in October 2010 to develop the Shoot ‘Em Up Kit; the first in a series of game development kits which enable creativity without the need for programming.

Tall Studios was selected by UKIE and Nesta for the Summer 2014 mentoring programme. We are being mentored by Noirin Carmody from Revolution Software.



History

Inspiration

The inspiration for the Shoot ‘Em Up Kit came around 2004 when a friend’s 13-year-old asked if there was any software that would allow him to make the videogames he was designing on paper. At the time there was nothing available but John remembered some of the videogame creation software from the 1980s and thought that there was a need for a modern version. We discussed it with artists and game designers and found a need in this area too. They had great ideas for games and loved the idea of being able to bring them to life without learning to program.

Aims

We had both started programming games on the Sinclair Spectrum in the early 1980s. It was quick and easy to start creating something and John went on to sell his first game when he was 12. We wanted to create a tool that would give the same accessibility to people today while taking advantage of all the latest game technology. Having worked in the games industry for over 13 years, John felt in a good position to create a tool which not only embraced creativity but taught game industry techniques too. At first John worked on it evenings and weekends but in 2010 we formed Tall Studios to work on it full time.

Realisation

The Shoot ‘Em Up Kit was released in March 2012 and has been in active development since, working with the community to add new features.



Shoot 'Em Up Kit

Scope

The Shoot ‘Em Up Kit enables people to create professional looking 2D and 3D games using a simple drag-and-drop interface without the need for programming. A simple game can be created in a couple of minutes while lighting, camera views, behaviours, physics settings, shaders, particle effects and AI can be created and modified to fine-tune a complex game.

By focusing on a single genre the Shoot ‘Em Up Kit is able to provide the tools, assets and options for making great shoot ‘em ups; whether that is side scrollers, vertical scrollers, third-person, 2D, 3D or a whole new style. Intelligent settings learn the style of game you are making, and a comprehensive range of shoot ‘em up-centred options allow immense creativity.

Assets and Customisation

Users can easily import their own 3D models, sounds and textures or use the ones provided. They can use anything from a complex 3D model to a pen and paper drawing or even a holiday snap. There is also full support for user-created shaders to add effects to models or the entire scene. Every aspect of the game can be customised and there are editors for building the levels, the HUD display, front-end pages and more.

While diverse and comprehensive games can be created without any need for programming, customised behaviours can be created using the Behaviour Editor. Using a drag-and-drop interface this is a friendly and intuitive environment for controlling specific aspects of a game.

Sample Games

The Shoot ‘Em Up Kit comes with a selection of sample games that users can play as they are or use as a starting point for their own creations.

Developers

The Shoot ‘Em Up Kit was designed and created by an experienced group of games developers who have developed AAA titles for major developers such as Ubisoft Montreal, Activision, Sony and Microsoft.



Future Development

Shoot 'Em Up Kit

We will release Version 2 in Spring 2015.

We are developing a Mac and Linux version.

We will support exporting games created to iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. We have made significant progress towards this already.

We will add a model builder so users can create their own in-game items using building blocks.

We will provide more models and sprites for people to use in their games.

Other Products

We will go on to create game kits for other genres starting with a Platform Game Kit.



Videos

Shoot 'Em Up Kit Trailer YouTube

Shoot 'Em Up Kit Trailer YouTube


Images

download all screenshots & photos as .zip (11MB)
01 - building level.png
02 - building level.png
03 - building level.png
04 - sample game.png
05 - entity editor.png
06 - sample game.png
07 - sample game.png
08 - sample game.png
09 - behaviour editor.png
10 - sample game.png
11 - sample game.png
12 - sample game.png
13 - sample game.png
14 - sample game.png
15 - sample game.png
16 - sample game.png

There are far more images available for Tall Studios, but these are the ones we felt would be most useful to you. If you have specific requests, please do contact us!


download logo files as .zip (960KB)
logo
logo
logo

Awards & Recognition

  • "Northern Soho Award for Collaboration" - Awarded the Northern Soho Award for Collaboration at the 2014 Fresh Awards for City Runner, an advergame for Manchester City Football Club. This was a collaboration between local companies with Tall Studios providing the programming.
  • "TIGA Awards 2014 Shortlist" - The City Runner Advergame was shortlisted for the 2014 TIGA Awards in the 'Game with a Purpose' category

Team & Repeating Collaborators

John Reynolds
Founder, Programmer

Karen Reynolds
Founder, Programmer

Merlyn Lear
Art (Freelance)

Malcolm Burke
Art (Freelance)

José Rosa
Audio (Freelance)


presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks