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JB Gaming’s Jeff Brooks talks pivoting from mobile with Grave Danger

Jeff Brooks, CEO of JB Gaming, started developing games when he was 12 years old.

“I started drawing characters, programming and making music all at the same time,” said Brooks. “It’s been my complete passion and hobby all of my life.”

Brooks founded JB Gaming in 2014 after working at SkyVu Entertainment. Now in its third year, JB Gaming released their newest game Grave Danger last month, which is available to play on PC, Mac and Linux.

“The game is really a puzzle game,” said Brooks. “It challenges people’s minds and platforming skills.”

Brooks explained that Grave Danger is a call back to classic Nintendo games that many people grew up with. He said that one of the major inspirations for the game was The Lost Viking.

“You have three characters that you can switch between,” said Brooks. “They all move and attack in the environment differently, so you have to figure out how to get all the characters through the game by working together.”

Brooks added that the game can be played with one or two people at any time.

Pivoting platforms

After releasing Udder Panic in 2015, Brooks, realized that JB Gaming needed to change their business plan if they wanted to be successful in the gaming industry.

“We were targeting mobile originally, which is just a hard market to penetrate,” said Brooks. “I had confidence in my team, but I knew we had to get noticed in a different way.”

Brooks explained that since Udder Panic was free for users to play, JB Gaming was only making money off of advertisements or people paying for other features within the game.

“To get a big enough user base to be successful in the mobile space, the strategy is largely to pay for users to download your free game,” said Brooks. “It essentially came down to lack of a marketing budget for us. If you don’t have that big marketing budget, you will get lost in the thousands of apps that are submitted every day.”

Brooks added that designing games for PC, Mac and Linux just fits better with the vision behind JB Gaming.

Marketing Grave Danger through Kickstarter

After figuring out what kind of game they wanted to make after Udder Panic, the team took to Kickstarter to market their new idea while trying to help fund their new project.

While the campaign wasn’t successfully funded, Brooks said that it was a good way to bring attention to Grave Danger.

“It put our game on the map, and we were written about on many game and news websites including a feature on Kickstarter’s ‘Projects We Love,’” said Brooks. “Through this whole experience, I’ve really learned that marketing is everything in this industry.”

Brooks added that the team is currently looking for investors and publishers to help them market Grave Danger and future games.

When asked about the future of JB Gaming, Brooks said that he hopes that the company will be a game development studio that produces PC, Xbox, Nintendo and Sony games.

“I want us to be known for, and focused on, creating great games and giving its users a reason to come back.”

Mel Lucks is a regional freelance journalist and former intern for Silicon Prairie News and AIM.

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