At Casual Connect in San Francisco, Tadhg Kelly spoke to the emerging trends of “Microconsoles” like Ouya, Bluestacks and Gamestick. His talk, Welcome to the Microconsole Generation, touched on the potential broad reach and appeal of microconsole and how it is different from the AAA Console market of the past. “You see the same adoption pattern for games as seen in music and books,” Kelly believes, “this is not the Xbox audience.”
Jawboning about Jawfish
Tadhg Kelly is the Creative Director of Jawfish Games, a company focusing making on real-time multiplayer games a reality in mobile and tablet. As Creative Director, Tadhg is head of design and product strategy, as well as filling various related roles. His career has always involved game design in some form, so the position with Jawfish Games is the ideal situation for him. Participating in creating the next big move ahead for games is an exciting opportunity for him.
Writer and Entrepreneur
In his time away from work, Tadhg enjoys reading and exploring his new city of Seattle, as well as experimenting with cooking paleo food. He prefers listening to electronic music, especially ambient or super heavy bass, for the interlocking patterns this music creates. His most time consuming non-work interest is writing the game design blog What Games Are. He has also written the book What Games Are and writes for other publications, including TechCruch, Edge and Gamasutra. Among the notable articles that Tadhg has written is “The Four Lenses of Game Making”.
Smarter Devices and More Players
The most important trends Tadhg sees emerging in the game industry today are the rise of multiplayer gaming on smart devices and what he calls “the rising storm of microconsoles.” Jawfish is entirely focused on figuring out multiplayer gaming, with an outstanding team that has already developed the necessary architecture. Although the company is not presently working on microconsoles, Tadhg is “something of an evangelist on the subject and keen to see how we might work with them.” He believes that for the next year, the biggest impact on the game industry will be made by consoles. He maintains, “There’s no escaping how much that story has resurfaced this year.”
Springing the Trap
Tadhg believes the biggest challenge he has faced in his career was changing his mindset to get out of what he considers “the AAA trap.” He had spent an especially difficult year working on failed projects when someone close to him died suddenly, and he confronted the realization of how short life is. He decided he had to make a change. This painful experience taught him how important it is to set your own course.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.