Sunday October 20, 2019
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Niagara game studio’s new release is out of this world

PixelNAUTS

The team at PixelNAUTS, a Niagara-based video game company.

Niagara-based game development studio, PixelNauts Games, recently released its new game Lost Orbit: Terminal Velocity on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.

The game offers an exciting new take on the original game released in 2015.

“We had an enormous reaction from fans of the tale of Harrison and his robot sidekick, so when we decided to create the definitive edition of the game, we wanted to add new levels and enhance the original game,” says Alex Golebiowski, co-founder of PixelNauts.

Golebiowski adds that, “Terminal Velocity features a more cinematic retelling of the original story, bringing a new perspective on the trials and tribulations of our surly hero. We also improved the gameplay experience, polishing levels, timing and controls.”

Co-founders and artists Golebiowski and Chris Iacobucci teamed up to form PixelNauts in 2010 after working together at a local game development studio for five years.

During the first year, they worked with various game development studios in Niagara, Toronto and Montreal to expand their portfolios and earn capital before creating their own game.

When the partners caught wind of Innovate Niagara’s tech incubator (formerly the Generator at one, an interactive digital media-focused incubator), they took interest in working among other talented tech companies. PixelNauts moved into the incubator in January 2011.

“We wanted to take this business seriously and get in an office. The Generator at one not only provided us the space to do that, but also provided us a space with like-minded people and the services to help us with our business. That’s something we really needed and liked,” said Golebiowski.

Private funding and a grant from Ontario Creates (formerly Ontario Media Development Corporation) provided the gaming studio the financial support it needed to create and launch the first rendition of Lost Orbit in 2015.

Innovate Niagara’s business advisory team assisted the gaming start-up with grant applications, providing advice and feedback, and connected the company with trusted advisors to help run the business side.

PixelNauts has grown from a team of two to eight since its inception. “We have spent a lot of time trying to establish a team of younger people that were either young grads or still in school and wanted to be in this industry and stay here to be part of something,” said Golebiowski.

The team recently set up shop in a new office in downtown St. Catharines.

There’s often a misconception that to make it big, companies need to build their business in a major city, but PixelNauts Games doesn’t see it that way.“Because our industry is so digital, it doesn’t really matter where we are. We might as well stay in a place we really like if there is talent here; there’s no reason we would go anywhere else,” explained Golebiowski.

Golebiowski wants the tech community to know Niagara is a great place to start a company. “There are studios here that are thriving. There is talent and support here.”

He said Niagara’s game development community thrives off collaboration. “We’re always here to support local developers.”

PixelNauts has worked with both current and graduate portfolio companies housed in Innovate Niagara’s tech incubator, including Creative Bytes, Phantom Compass and Versus Corp.

“We’re not really competing with each other. The market is so huge that people aren’t going to buy one of our games over one of theirs, so instead of competing, we work together.”

There’s lots more to look forward to from PixelNauts. Golebiowski confirmed the game studio received funding for another project that will be announced next year.

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