In 2013, while washing some dishes, roommates discuss video games. While they talk about the things they like in a good game, they make their own idea of a game that would be fantastic!
After considering the advantages of registering as a company, our corporate vision and our logo, we officially become a registered company in the The Enterprise Register of Quebec as a partnership.
After serious work to define our business objectives and several hours of writing and coaching, we complete our business plan. This well-filled 50-page document gives us a glimpse of the day we will work full-time on our games. We submit this document to the “Création et démarrage d’entreprises” organized by the CEE-UQAC and we win the 2nd place.
To let us to share our vision and promote our games under development, we launch our website, our Facebook page, as well as a short promotional video for Totema Studio. It’s kind of our coming out!
It sounds like the title of a kungfu movie
Totema Studio participates in the Accelerator, the web equivalent of “Alexandre et les Conquérents” broadcasted to ICI Explora with Alexandre Taillefer. The objective of this competition is to raise awareness among Québec’s technology community.
Among the fifty companies presented in the Accelerator, Totema Studio is one of the five finalists.
We participate for the first time at the AEMI-UQAC WonderJam, a weekend where students and video game studios try to create a prototype game in 48 hours according to various constraints. In addition to the general theme “Connection”, every team receives specific styles. Our imposed styles are Exploration and Survival in addition to our self-imposed constraint: local multiplayer game.
We are registering for the “Défi OSEntreprendre” in the “Creation of companies” category: “Technological Innovation”. We win the first prize in this category at the local (saguenay) on April 8, 2016 and then at the regional (Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean) April 29th. No need to tell you how proud we were!
We participate in the provincial final of the “Defi OSEntreprendre”. Although we were not awarded the grand prize in our category, we were fortunate enough to meet very interesting people and we returned home with even more motivation than ever (and with a limousine :D)
We announce the release of Game of Thumbs for November 2016. We have an idea, a complete game loop, challenges and a goal. A release date date is set: November 2016.
On December 10th (aka November 40th), we officially launch Game of Thumbs on iOS and Android and take advantage of the enthusiasm around this 100% made in Saguenay game to talk about us in the regional media. December 12th, we invite family, friends and curious to our launch party at the Moulin à Cie.
We are participating for the second time at the WonderJam organized by the AEMI-UQAC! For those who have not read the history from the beginning, this is a friendly competition where video game students and other interested parties (us) have 48 heures to design a prototype game with a given theme and constraints. The theme for this edition: “Orwell was right”. As for the constraints, we get dialog, exploration and competition.
Totema Studio is invited by the Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage de l’UQAC to the 2017 edition of the IT Forum, an activity aimed at bringing together companies in the IT sector, students and graduates seeking for a job.
Although we do not currently have positions to fill, we decide to accept the invitation to share our experience in the creation of an independent studio and, who knows, give the bite to other people. It was a very enriching experience for us and, of course, a great opportunity to showcase our company.
We are participating to the second edition of the SAGGEEK which is now a 3 days long convention. We present 4 prototypes of games and then publish them in privileged access on our patreon. School Escape is gaining popularity, followed by Zombiotik, Octopuke and The Great Watcher.
A 3rd WonderJam at UQAC for Totema Studio! It’s always a crazy weekend! The 2018 theme for all teams: Order and Disorder and the styles that have been imposed to our team were exploration, race and arcade.
After a long brainstorm on a game you had to sort objects in an environment, we finally figured out it could be a lot more fun to just put an epic mess! So we made a nice prototype called City Crashers. Giant robots, a city to destroy, 45 seconds to do as much damage as possible. tldr; a lot of fun.
The whole team goes to Montreal to present School Escape at the Ubisoft Indie Series finale! We did not return to Saguenay with the prize, but we have the honor of being the first studio outside Quebec and Montreal cities to be in the finalists! In addition, we made new friends at Sabotage Studio and Chainsawesome Games.
For the first time, we participate to the Game Over event, an evening of video and board games! We had a lot of visitors and we even stayed until the end at 3am.
The Versus approaches Totema Studio for a custom gaming arcade in its bar, a playful pub with the purpose of bringing together gamers with local multiplayer games and board games experiences … we were made to get along! Since May 31th, Versus visitors can try our games in development!
It’s time to go outside our region the reach more people. The gang participates to Dreamhack Montreal with La Zone Indie Loto-Quebec to present Zombiotik. The atmosphere was awesome!
For our 4th Gamejam with the UQAC, part of the team wants to try something new. We gather in Sam’s basement and decide to create a VR multiplayer game. The theme for this edition is “Change” and we get exploration, arcade and adventure as imposed styles. We create the “Katahdin” in 48h, an asymetrical game from 2 to 5 players where the VR user controls a giant nature spirit named Pamola. A bit of a crazy plan for such a short time but a great learning experience!
The lil’ guys are once more in the big city! We attend MEGA (Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade) which lasts 3 days and welcomes lots of visitors. This time, we get a wonderful recognition from the public as we end up finalist for the Public Choice Award. Thanks for everyone who voted for us. A big motivation for boost for the upcoming weeks!
5th Game Jam with UQAC. YAY! The place is crowded with a whole bunch of creative, passionate and energy drink-thirsty developpers and students.
The theme for this edition is Pressure and our imposed styles are adventure, dialogues and puzzle. Since we always try something new, we try to make a….Solo game this time! With our team of 6 and 48 whole hours, we create Beer, Please!, a game where you play as the bartender in a train. You must serve beers the correct way to a bunch of passengers who ask for advice as their story unfold and distracts you. DISCLAIMER: Not a single alcoholic beverage was consumed during the duration of the jam due to lack of time, sleep and Gab’s flu.
We tought: “Why don’t we go to PAX East and present Zombiotik?”
Well, that’s what we did! We went on a road trip to Boston. The place was HUUUUUGE and packed with LOTS of people. Four days, hundreds of players trying Zombotik, lots of feedback, lots of contacts and a wonderful experience we’ll remember for a long time.
April 2019 was a big month after PAX East with the Kickstarter campaign. We rocked it thanks to you all since the project was 121% funded. That means we will port the game of consoles.