The Birth of Spark

38 comments

Many of you have signed up for your beta key back in the summer of 2014, yet very few of you know who we are and how Spark came about.  So we thought this is the perfect time for you to get to know us.

As some background, we started off as a team of two people – the developer (Aris Kostakos), and the business person (Theodora Kapsali).  Aris is developing Spark and I’m taking care of the marketing, networking and anything having to do with the business part of a business…Early 2015, we added a new member to our team, Athina Founta, who is our designer and taking care of all the visuals you see on the site, editor, and even game assets!

And this is where the story begins….

May 2013 –  Aris decided he wanted to quit his job and pursue creating a game and his own business.  We live in Greece.  As you may know, it’s difficult to find a job due to the crisis, so this decision was huge.

One thing led to another and from a game, he decided to create a game engine for several reasons: 1) he wanted to help other indies make games quickly and easily to help them succeed, and 2) he wanted to make games quickly and easily because that’s what he LOVES doing.

October 2013 – he realized he needed a business plan, something that would take a lot of time out of the development of the engine, an already daunting task.  So he asked me to help him out.  At the time, I was working three jobs, 14-hour days, 6 days a week so time wasn’t really on my side, but I helped and did the research anyways.

November 2013 – I realized quickly that this isn’t a bad idea; there is a market, it could happen and so I started to get excited because I hated my day job and the idea of quitting just made me…well you know.

December 2013 – I quit my job – best decision of my life!

2014 passed by very quickly…

February 2014 – we applied to a Greek accelerator and for four months we were pitching, writing up documentation and the likes to convince them – development of the engine was therefore paused.  Things didn’t turn out for many reasons I’m not at liberty to discuss.  But the experience has helped us in many respects from gaining experience pitching to understanding what investors are looking for to understanding how a start up works.

June 2014 – We applied to Startup Chile.  We knew of it because friends of ours had been through it and we were accepted the previous year for another project but due to some technical issues with our email, we never received the acceptance email and missed the chance.

August 2014 – We got the acceptance email and had to be in Chile in November for the start of the program.  Development was put on hold once again because we both had to take on some freelance jobs so that we can afford tickets to Chile and have some spending money before getting the first lump sum.

November 2014 – We arrived in Chile.  November went by in a snap; had to find a place to stay, run around to get paperwork done, have the necessary meetings with Startup Chile executives, etc. etc.

So essentially, very little development on Spark happened in 2014.  From December 2014 until this day we have been working non-stop; 17-20 hour days, no going out, no eating out, no nothing, just Spark.  And we’ve made a lot of progress…

From that prototype you’ve most likely all seen to this new and modern interface and user experience.

From the landing page you’ve all likely have signed up for your beta key to this new website with a forum, a blog and the beginnings of our wiki.

From having a small social following to having a bit larger one but at the same time meeting many indies in Chile and networking with contacts in the industry in the US and Europe.

From just being two people to hiring a Junior Programmer, Stylianos Kozadinos and a graphic artist, Athina Founta.

Spark’s backend is done.  Everything is in place and all that’s left is fixing up bugs with the help of both our pre-alpha testers who have been active in our Skype Group (and very soon our 12K + beta testers) as well as the whole dashboard.  In comparison to the development that had to get done for the actual engine, what’s left is easy – just a bit time-consuming.

Now we’re at the next step…we’ve released a pre-alpha, and have been getting feedback and some metrics, pursuing a crowdfunder in the near future, perhaps pursuing a possible investment (not necessarily moneywise but services and an office), and starting to make sales by this summer.

We wouldn’t be at this stage without the resources we got from Startup Chile, from the help from our friends and family, and most importantly from you guys – all of the emails we’ve received full of excitement about Spark, suggestions, willingness to help out with feedback and even development, really has encouraged us to continue and persevere.

Thanks guys!  Can’t wait to get to know all of you better and to start making some awesome games with Spark!

theodora kapsaliThe Birth of Spark

38 comments

Join the conversation
  • Debjit - January 18, 2017 reply

    Hey, I don’t find any download option for the Spark game engine…why??

  • Sany4 [rusky] - July 29, 2016 reply

    Will you add our games’ pages or not? Well, if there will be too much games (and I think it will happen), can WE add our own game pages?

    theodora kapsali - August 1, 2016 reply

    We will have a games page, and you will also be able to have your own, too.

  • Nathan - June 20, 2016 reply

    I can’t wait for this game engine 😀

    theodora kapsali - June 25, 2016 reply

    Glad to hear it! 😀

  • Matt Williams - May 27, 2016 reply

    Is there a beta key available yet ? I’m a Mac user and very interested. Looks fantastic.

  • PoornaChandra - March 25, 2016 reply

    I am interested in this game engine.
    Please mention date and release as soon as possible……………
    can you mail me alpha key.

    theodora kapsali - March 26, 2016 reply

    Don’t have a date yet…sorry…we are very close to releasing the alpha. Sign up to the newsletter and you’ll be notified…perhaps you’ll get the opportunity for the alpha key…

    Owen Ready - November 29, 2016 reply

    I do not get the newsletter, I checked my email, and spam, but it is not there.

  • Moustro - March 15, 2016 reply

    Do you plan to show any love to us Mac users?

    theodora kapsali - March 20, 2016 reply

    You know it! Spark is browser-based so you will be able to use it from any browser. We don’t have many Mac users, so maybe you could give us some feedback on its functionality when we release…

  • nickey - February 18, 2016 reply

    Can you teach me?
    Sign up what should I do. And how to get the spark?
    I really want to create a game with a spark.

    theodora kapsali - February 20, 2016 reply

    Thanks for the message Nickey.
    Spark isn’t ready yet for the public. We will be releasing the alpha soon…sign up to our newsletter so you get our updates. Thanks for being so excited! 🙂

  • wayne - February 11, 2016 reply

    This engine is amazing

    theodora kapsali - February 18, 2016 reply

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Wayne 🙂

  • Kalle - February 3, 2016 reply

    How can i get an Alpha key pls?

    theodora kapsali - February 18, 2016 reply

    Kalle, unforunaely we are no longer providing alpha keys. If you’ve signed up to our newsletter, you will receive updates and information as they become available.

  • Rose - January 29, 2016 reply

    Hi there! I’m so incredibly excited for Spark and thrilled it exists. Before finding Spark, me and my friends were looking at years before we could be able to produce a game we are working on, but Spark has given me hope, we are all eager to test it out ^-^
    Thank you so much, this project will help out lots of aspiring game developers. You are truly an inspiration!

    theodora kapsali - January 30, 2016 reply

    Glad to hear it Rose! Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy playing around with Spark in a few weeks 🙂

  • Pixl_miner - January 27, 2016 reply

    I can’t figure out how to get it!!! Please tell me.

    theodora kapsali - January 28, 2016 reply

    Mouahahahahaha! 😛 So here’s the spiel: We have testers signed up who will get an email with access to the alpha in a few weeks time. Currently, we have a small group testing out the pre-alpha and letting us know of bugs. So, no worries, there’s nothing you need to figure out…you will know when it’s out (just make sure to add us to your safe list so our emails don’t go into your trash/spam folder)

  • bobby neal - January 27, 2016 reply

    im interested in this game engine but, in 2d, will i be able to import my characters in the engine

    theodora kapsali - January 28, 2016 reply

    Absolutely!

  • David - January 27, 2016 reply

    Hola me gustaria saber donde descargo un demo o cuant cuesta la licencia ayudeme necesito comprarlo

    theodora kapsali - January 27, 2016 reply

    Hola! Alpha will be released soon to everyone, however we don’t have an exact date. Pricing hasn’t yet been pinned down but you will be getting the demo free if you had signed up for a free beta key on our previous site.

  • KyriakosGamer - January 26, 2016 reply

    I love this Game Engine and I hope to get my alpha key soon 😀 😀 😀 .

    theodora kapsali - January 27, 2016 reply

    Soon!

  • fsfsffsdsdddfdfffddKyriakos Adam - January 26, 2016 reply

    I love this Game Engine so much. I just wish I could get my alpha key soon.
    But still awesome work 😀 .

    theodora kapsali - January 27, 2016 reply

    Thanks for your patience 🙂 We’re sure it’ll be worth the wait!

    Ashley n burns - April 5, 2016 reply

    how can you love something thats not even out … and i dont see why they brag 3d yet dont show any actual 3d game making footage … basically all they have shown was a silly 2d platformer where the char animation looked horrible and could be done alot faster and prolly better in c2 , GM:Studio etc

    theodora kapsali - April 15, 2016 reply

    Here’s our prototype video from two years ago: https://youtu.be/ta1It85xuoo

    We have already started implementing 3D but the editor is not ready yet. We are using a trusted open-source 3D renderer and here are a couple of demos for you to see.

    http://sparkgamengine.com/hello3dworld/
    http://sparkgamengine.com/sparkLogo/

    Hope this answers your questions about 3D.

    How is the character animation horrible in our alpha video? Spark supports all popular animations tools like Spriter, Spine, Spritesheets, just like C2, GM:Studio, etc.

  • Caleb - January 24, 2016 reply

    I have been waiting for Spark for 2 years! I just got my alpha key! This is awesome!

    theodora kapsali - January 27, 2016 reply

    Glad you’re happy! Stay tuned for updates coming soon 🙂

    Jisafu - February 1, 2016 reply

    2 years !!!???? I wait 1 or 2 months now and my patience is running out.

    theodora kapsali - February 2, 2016 reply

    We get that and that’s why we want to release something that will be worth the wait 🙂 There are people who have stuck by us the entire time. We appreciate the support and patience!

    Jisafu - February 2, 2016 reply

    Thanks for the quick response Theodora, I will still wait impatiently for a time…

    theodora kapsali - February 18, 2016

    Thank you 🙂

  • Tymberk - January 2, 2016 reply

    I love you guys!

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