This week, we’re shining our Buildbox spotlight on another incredible female creator, Shanu Joshi, a student, entrepreneur, developer, and Co-founder of Codemire Games. Currently studying Computer Science in India, she started freelancing as a Flutter developer. Shanu has since created various Android and iOS applications for her clients, gaining tremendous experience in the industry. Her love of games and the recent Covid-19 lockdown inspired her to connect with Vishwas Bhushan to form Codemire Games, a unique indie studio dedicated to not only making super addictive hyper-casual games but helping others do the same. Their latest release Hop Ice Ball 3D, was featured worldwide and ranked Top 20 in the app store’s music games category.
We were honored to have the opportunity to chat with Shanu Joshi about Codemire Games, her creative process, journey into game development, and games.
Buildbox: Can you share a little bit about your background?
Shanu Joshi: I am a student and entrepreneur who has been working on different ideas for the last two years. I am pursuing my BTech final year in the stream of Computer Science and have been working as a freelance flutter developer. I loved to create android and ios applications, but I never knew one day I would be working on a hyper-casual game of mine.
Buildbox: When did your passion for games start? What’s your favorite video game of all-time and why?
Shanu Joshi: Since my childhood days, I have played games, and I still remember when I used to play games like Super Mario, Tank, Road Rash, Excited Bikes, etc. I spent hours and hours playing them. In 2019, as a side project, we created a very small Diwali game in Flutter. And we published that game on the Google Play Store, which got more than 10K downloads in 10 days, which was a huge moment for me. I was very happy to be creating, but I never thought that I’d be working on my game studio in 2020.
And my all time favorite game is Super Mario.
Buildbox: As Co-founder of Codemire Games, can you tell us about how the studio came about and your current team?
Shanu Joshi: So it all began during Covid time where everyone was scared, depressed, and locked in their homes, but at the same time, everyone was playing games. I played a lot of games myself during that period and found I felt happier because it was a way that I could interact with people by sharing my top scores, kills, or simply playing with them.
Vishwas and I came up with the idea of creating super addictive games and offering support to others by giving free training to anyone who has always wanted to make games. Right now, we are a small team of 3 people in Codemire, and we are on a mission of creating super amazing and addictive games.
Buildbox: What led you to use Buildbox and how has it helped you with the game development process?
Shani Joshi: We knew we have to build games, but we weren’t sure what game engine to use, we have created games in Flutter, but it was not an optimistic approach. We learned about Buildbox from one of our mentors, and it has been great since the day we started game development. Using Buildbox, it becomes easy to create the game prototype in less time. It’s fun. We love creating games on Buildbox because we can make games without writing codes, but it is also amazing because we can easily write our own code and logic with the Buildbox API.
Buildbox: Your latest releases like Hop Ice Ball 3D, Bouncy Ball 3D, and Trippy Ball are all fantastic games. What’s your creative process for coming up with new ideas? Any tips on finding inspiration?
Shanu Joshi: So initially, we also faced a lot of problems in finding a game idea. It’s HARD for a newbie but not impossible. The most important tip is trying to play as many games as possible, complete ten levels, notice how things are working, and try to think about the game’s mechanism. What I do is I just randomly pick games from the top 50 charts on the app store every day. I try to play at least five games a day, which has helped me a lot to come up with game ideas.
Another source for ideas and inspiration is browsing trending videos on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. There are a few YouTube channels like Rising High that post top game ideas daily too.
Buildbox: What is the most rewarding part about developing games for you?
Shanu Joshi: For me, the rewarding part is the collaborative energy. Creating a game from scratch is an experience where we work together as a team. The work can be hard, challenging, as there is a slim chance for a game to become a hit. A great game can end up completely ignored in the market because it’s unpredictable. You don’t know which idea will become a trending idea for a game. But we love to try, and if we fail, we try again; that’s the best part, and we don’t give up. I haven’t had another job where I’ve felt that kind of collaborative energy.
Buildbox: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a game developer/studio so far? And what lessons have you learned?
Shanu Joshi: When we were in our early-stage with Codemire, we didn’t know where to start as there was no complete guide for a beginner to enter the gaming industry. Then, we got to know about Buildbox, started exploring it, and created our first game called Trippy Ball. The real struggle began because making a game was easy but finding a perfect game idea was hard. We faced challenges with game distribution and marketing. And we don’t have any idea about CPI, KPI, SDK implementation in-game, game analytics, etc. But Kwalee helped us in many ways to understand this, and till now, none of our games are being published by publishers, but now we know how things work.
Buildbox: Do you have any advice for new or aspiring female creators interested in transitioning into making games?
Shanu Joshi: In the gaming world, Women are not just playing a major role but also shaping the gaming industry. My advice to all those female creators who always wanted to develop/design games or always wanted to get into this industry. I would suggest that they should try Buildbox first. Because whenever I talk to people, they say, “I really wanna make games, but I don’t have any coding background,” and that is why Buildbox is the best tool where you can make games without writing a single line of code.
And in Codemire, we have trained more than ten female game developers in 1:1 sessions who don’t have any gaming or coding experience, but with Buildbox now, they create super amazing games. And in the future, we will be helping thousands of female creators who always wanted to do something in the gaming industry.
Buildbox: Any upcoming games to be on the lookout for? What can we expect to see from you and Codemire soon?
Shanu Joshi: So, we have published four games till now, and we have also introduced Buildbox to more than 30 people and trained them on how to create their own game using Buildbox without writing any code. In the next six months, we will be launching our next 30 games using a Buildbox with different game mechanics, amazing game UI, and some super unique characters, and we are determined to complete this goal. We plan to create a few puzzle games with Buildbox geared towards primary grades students, making hours of studying more enjoyable.