Driven by a burning itch to develop video games, Jeroen Janssen, David Prinsmel and Peter Maasen founded Happy Volcano in December 2013. Huddled together on weekends, they managed to develop their first game after a year: the mobile game Lava Fever. A promising test project that proved Happy Volcano was ready to become a real studio.
Up next they set out to create an immersive story-driven experience. Because the writing needed to be excellent, they joined forces with established Belgian writer Joost Vandecasteele. Their exciting collaboration became The Almost Gone and was awarded the Dutch Literary fund for literary games as well as the VAF Game pre- and production grant.
Hungry for another interdisciplinary project, they then developed an augmented reality game for the 2018 And& Festival in Leuven, called Pixel Picasso. It became an instant hit at other events, libraries and cultural houses the next year.
Wanting to challenge themselves, they decided to shake things up again. With You Suck at Parking, they created a fun and colourful single-player experience, until Hiro Capital and Sir Ian Livingstone saw the full potential of their game. Thanks to their investment and support – and with an additional year of developing – the game become a thrilling multiplayer experience and was released in late 2022.
We’ll take a deep dive into their projects during the conference The Art of Game on 22 November in Breda.