A beast of a business

Toby Churcher, right, and Ross Pointon, managing directors of Two Headed Beast Studios,
Toby Churcher, right, and Ross Pointon, managing directors of Two Headed Beast Studios,

TWO University of Sheffield graduates are celebrating the launch of their first iPhone game.

Toby Churcher and Ross Pointon are now managing directors of Two Headed Beast Studios, which is based in Walkley.

“We’ve been friends for years and making games was something we’ve always wanted to do,” said Ross. “Seeing how the successful the iPhone games market was becoming, we decided we just had to give it a go.”

The first result is Space Shooter I, which they describe as “a highly addictive retro throwback to arcade classics such as Asteroids and Sinistar combining sharp graphics and pacey, addictive gameplay”.

The games company sees Ross as the programming guru and Toby producing the designs, and is one of Sheffield’s newest business ventures, having registered with Companies House in June.

Ross, a graduate in artificial intelligence, has worked in programming for 18 months at Sheffield-based ISP Ask4. Now branching out to establish Two Headed Beast Studios, Space Shooter I is their first release and is available for free on the app store on all iOS devices including iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

“We wanted to create something fun and accessible which would have something for seasoned gamers and new gamers alike,” said Ross. “There’s something in there for everyone in that it has the feel of old Atari or Amiga-style games while having all the pick-up and playability for people who haven’t played them before.”

“Of course, we are motivated by games like Angry Birds which have been a phenomenal success and we hope that Space Shooter I could one day be as talked about as a game like that.”

Having published their first title, the team are ploughing ahead with the development of their next game.

“Our next game is a space-based real-time strategy game. It’s going to allow the player to recreate and take command of the large space battles of Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica. It will also enable people from all over the world to challenge each other to multi-player battles with up to four players at once.”