Photo: Izzy Gramp
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2016
Melbourne, Australia: Ken Wong, lead designer of mobile hit Monument Valley today announced the founding of his new studio, Mountains. Wong describes Mountains as a 'craft games studio' with the goal of making small, beautiful games.
Having worked in Hong Kong and Shanghai under American McGee and in London with ustwo, Wong believes now is the perfect time to return to his home country of Australia to build his dream studio. "I'm excited to be drawing from all my experiences across different roles in order to build a more creative and healthier type of games company," says Wong. "We're starting by putting people first. Great work will follow from that".
Wong is joined by producer Kamina Vincent, formerly of Tin Man Games and programmer Sam Crisp. The trio have taken up residence in The Arcade, the Melbourne co-working space hosting over thirty games companies including Hipster Whale, Mighty Games, The Voxel Agents, League of Geeks and others.
"Having so many games companies under the one roof has been such a benefit to Mountains in this startup phase," says Vincent. "There is no better place in the world to be making games. Everyone has been incredibly generous with creative, technical and emotional support. We're thrilled to be able to benefit from, and contribute to that".
Mountains have begun work on their first title, which will be a premium mobile game set for release in 2017.
Mountains' Creative Director Ken Wong won acclaim for his work on Monument Valley as lead designer at ustwo games. The premium-priced mobile game sold over 26 million copies and grossed over USD$14 million in revenue. It was Apple's iPad Game of the Year in 2014, featured in an episode of House of Cards, and was recently displayed at the Smithsonian Design Museum.
Wong began his career as a concept artist and art director for American McGee, including serving as art director on EA/Spicy Horse's gothic adventure Alice: Madness Returns. He was also co-designer on ustwo's surreal VR experience Land's End, and creator of cat-hackysack hybrid Hackycat.
Vincent is credited in over twenty titles in her role as Producer and Lead QA at Tin Man Games, including Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be and Warhammer 40K: Legacy of Dorn. She is also heavily involved in the local game dev community, assisting in the organisation of GCAP (Game Connect Asia Pacific) since 2013. Vincent is currently developing a program to mentor students of diverse backgrounds. Earlier this year, Vincent won the Creative Inspiration Award at MCV Pacific Women in Games.
A recent graduate of Media Studies and Game Programming at RMIT University, Sam Crisp is the programmer and designer of Movement Study 1, winner of Best Visual Art at the Freeplay Independent Games Festival in 2015.