In the Beginning of 2009, an ESPRIT student, had a dream. That dream was to create the first video game company in Tunisia. Our padawan, Walid Sultan Midani, has 5 years of experience in the organisation of video games tournament. Motivated and hopeful, he surrounded himself with a team of dreamers and begin their journey.
Our young padawans started their research on how to create video games. In Tunisia, we didn’t have any school or training programs for video game design. The field was unknown at that period. So they start learning from ground up via tutorials and Youtube video, as autodidacts.
Without money, neither local to work, they borrowed a room in the office of Walid’s father. And after a moment, they managed to have 5 DT (2€) per day and per person to buy some food and some coffee. Even transport was not guaranteed! They kept this lifestyle for 2 years. Throughout this experience, the main driver that make them held on was “In Video Games We Trust” (Our actual slogan).
After a short period of learning, our padawans wanted to practice the knowledge they gained. They created their first video game which was a serious game called Toys Truck (2T). 2T is a game based on lean management technics where you incarnate John Smith, the new owner of the factory, and you have 3 months to enhance the factory efficiency. The game was a success and thousands of logistician download it to learn management.
Of course they created many other video games for local or international companies. But it was just for a practicing purpose.
Coupled with their learning journey, they was compelled to make service delivery to survive. They made websites and applications for third part companies. More padawans joined them and in the end of 2011, DigitalMania was officially born.
The team started creating the 1st Digitalmania video game. The project was named Defendoor. An STR/FPS game with simple rules: Defend your door and use the different characters to destroy the enemy door.
The goal of developing the game was also to promote the Tunisian culture all around the world. So the dream team used all our funny local clichés to provide a game with a unique signature.
They focused along 10 months to release Defendoor. Sleepless nights and endless hours of work allowed them to considerably progress on the game. The content became increasingly rich and the team saw the end of the tunnel. “The game will be a huge success”, said Walid.
And finally in the 12th December 2012, the beta came out. The game was a success… but not enough. Design errors and lack of communication made that the game haven’t a good player retention. And after a period, no more players on the platform.
It was a disaster morally and financially. But they did not give up. At that moment, Walid and his crew were no longer padawans. They became Jedi knights!
After the failure of Defendoor, DigitalMania rises from its ashes with new strategy based on 3 rules: Keep going, Strength the team and Dream.
The story of DigitalMania spread, and many companies all around the world solicited them to create games. They adapted on kinect a famous Tunisian TV show: Tunis 2050. The game was such a success that a Jordan animation cartoon company, Kharabeesh, contracted DigitalMania to adapt the game for the Middle Est region. 2nd success!
All along these years, DigitalMania increased its client portfolio. They developed more than 30 games for external studios and companies.
Strength the Team!
From all these games they developed, they benefit from a technological transfer that allow them to increase expertise and accumulate more knowledge. DigitalMania settled its office in a very appealing working space. Thus the team have been able to work in an original environment different from what we usually see in Tunisia. DigitalMania still remain a cool company, where hierarchy does not exist. Only Walid, the founder, is the CEO for legal reasons.
Of course DigitalMania did not lose sight of their primary objective: Creating their own games. That’s why the team is always looking for new games ideas with innovative game experience with a humorous note.
Nowadays, DigitalMania is expanding. We are hiring more and more Digimen and our vision is clear! The plan for 2015 is to expand our client portfolio and to release 12 games, yes! 12 original games made in DigitalMania. So stay tuned ;)
To be continued …