From Students to Startup: Smoke Labs Team Hits the Ground Running


BlackBerryCool shares an office with a three startups in Ottawa Canada. Smoke Labs is composed almost entirely of students and fresh graduates and they really like developing games. Here’s a first-hand account of what it’s like to have a trial by fire in the mobile industry by Smoke Labs’ very own David Barton.

Smoke Labs Inc. started with the vision of creating free-to-play social games. The goal being the creation of an interactive experience with friends coupled with free-to-play accessibility. Four Algonquin College Game Development graduates were hired to create two games that fit this principle. I graduated in April 2012 and started work at Smoke Labs in May. It was a quick jump from school to the game industry and it has been an educational and rewarding experience.

Working for a start up with two teams with two developers each requires each member to play many roles. Being graduates of a diverse program like Game Development meant we could adapt to the needs of the company. We had the ability to program, first and foremost, but also design and even put together art assets. We were also responsible for implementing project management techniques like Scrum to maintain the agile development strategy. Additionally, the mentorship of our producer, Magmic Inc., was instrumental in the production of our first titles. 

Our games are now in the final days of production and we are all anxiously approaching this period with optimism. After four months we are proud of the games we have created and are really looking forward to the next development cycle. We hope that everyone will enjoy playing the games as much as we enjoyed making them!

Keep up to date with the Smoke Labs team on Twitter.