Local gaming company hopes to attract students

Local gaming company hopes to attract students

February 04
21:57 2013

Trent Johnson

Senior Staff Writer

Street-level windows on the left side of East Hickory St., buried under the un-named bank building, are lined with action figures and a Spider Man mask.

Behind those windows is Jovian Minds, a homegrown game developing company that consists of four game developers who create mobile apps and console games. These products come together in their basement office, filled with action figures and drawings.

Founded by Mike Christian, Stephen Hess, Joey Bryant and Kyle Rives, Jovian Minds began using Denton as the gaming company’s address in 2011.

All the members were involved in some large projects for major gaming businesses before bringing their talents to the Denton Square. They used to work at Paradigm Entertainment, whose previous owners included THQ and Atari.

“Stephen and I lived in Denton while working there,” Christian said. “We decided to move to Denton not only because the cost of living but also because of the creative vibe.”

The group plans to connect with the gamers in town, including UNT students.

“I think there could be a really good relationship with the university,” Christian said. “We would love to let students test our games before they’re out.”

Students welcomed the opportunity to get their hands on newly minted video games.

“I think helping developers with games would be a welcomed task,” business junior Michael Anunda said. “I love the fact that Denton has its own group of game developers. It adds to the already creative scene.”

The group focuses on two sectors of business, which allows them to satisfy both their monetary and creative appetite.

“Most of our work falls under the umbrella of mobile development,” Christian said. “We do business apps as our main money generator but our passion lies in video games.“

Their larger projects included being part of developing the games “Terminator and “Mission: Impossible – Operation Surma.”

These titles were developed during their time at Paradigm Entertainment, but the designers’ main focus at Jovian Minds has been to create games on the go.

“We saw a bigger future in mobile,” Christian said. “We thought it would be a lot more fun and it would be a better use of our time and creativity with a quick turnaround.”

Some games Jovian Minds have developed include “Trouble In Tin Town,” and “Citizen Kake. ” They have also worked on multiple apps such as the American Airlines app and a National Basketball Association All-Star app for HP Game On.

“Being able to, out of nothing, create a world and say ‘this is what I created’ is a great job,” Bryant said. “If it’s successful, thousands of people get to play it and I get to say ‘I did that.’”

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