Bradley Smith is a true gaming creative. He got into games for the same reason he plays them; he enjoys the escapism and personal expression. But beyond the enjoyment factor, Bradley is modest about the hard work he has needed to put to progress his career. There is no denying however, that he has come a long way since he graduated from the University of Suffolk with a First Class Honours degree in Computer Game Design.
After freelancing together, Bradley and fellow graduate and programmer Tom Andrews formed Miracle Tea Studios. Working evenings and weekends together they created their prototype game Ruya – a colourful puzzle game inspired by Candy Crush Saga and Tetris. Together they pitched it to UK Games Fund’s Tranzfuser competition in 2016 and their concept earned them a place. The pair haven’t looked back since.
“Tranzfuser has opened lots of doors for Miracle Tea Studios. We’ve learned a lot about the business aspect of making a game, not just the creative process. We now have knowledge of how to deal with contracts and all the legal stuff which wasn’t a strong point for me.”
As part of Tranzfuser, the team took Ruya to the UK’s biggest games event, EGX, last year – a highlight for Bradley in his career so far:
“That was a huge deal for us. It’s pretty groundbreaking to be able to exhibit our game at such a major showcasing event.”
For Bradley, Tranzfuser has been about so much more than the big-ticket opportunities. He says he has learned skills that will stay with him throughout his career:
“Tranzfuser has taught me that communication is the most important thing about working in a team. Being open and honest with your colleagues in terms of design and about every decision is essential for success.”
Along with the success, Bradley acknowledges that Tranzfuser presented some challenges along the way. However, with the support of Eastern Enterprise Hub – part of the Tranzfuser local hub network, Miracle Tea Studios were able to grow in confidence and were on the way to big achievements:
“We got through to the final of the competition and had to travel to Edinburgh to pitch our game. Although it was scary it is what kickstarted my career and our studio. It has taught me that when you fear something, that is when you should do it.”
So what advice would Bradley give anyone taking part in Tranzfuser 2017?
“Don’t worry about what anyone is else is doing – just focus on your craft, observe people, observe the world ad don’t be scared to confront your limitations too.”
As for the future, Bradley is clear about what the focus is:
“I want to keep making games especially ones that help people. As designers our goal is to make deeply personal and meaningful work that makes a connection with players. On a personal level I just want to keep learning and improving.”
Miracle Tea Studios plan to release Ruya on multiple platforms this year.