Laughing Buddha Games was founded as an experiment to test the social theory that games could impact global change. The idea of using games for global change came about when we saw a call for submissions from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to raise awareness of global issues and ways to impact them.
We submitted a game concept to the contest and was surprised by the reception. This led to us reaching out to Heifer International to ask about leveraging their case studies into game stories that could teach about empathy and giving, while increasing global awareness of social issues and ways to help.
Software engineers we were, but developing a game from scratch was new. That didn’t stop us. 🙂 We started with a simple prototype to conceptualize the game mechanics and then started building on it. With constant feedback from friends and family, the game, StarSmasher* went through many iterations of code, art, music and game platforms to become what it is today.
The alpha release of StarSmasher*, led to a nomination at the Indie Showcase at Casual Connect Asia 2013 and the game was also showcased on Singapore’s GameBox website. The studio relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014, with a focus on getting a “complete” version out. That meant, a complete port over to Unity with better graphics, more puzzles, iAds and iAP – the whole nine yards! Off we go!
Hitting the milestone of releasing our first complete game to the AppStore and Google Play was a big win for us, validating our business pipeline and game operations: we knew that we could do it and gaining that confidence was a priceless journey!
Thanks to your support, as of today: we’ve been featured in Apple AppStoreSEVEN times and on Google Play, our app StarSmasher* has some great 5* reviews and is now at a solid 3.5*/5, HOW AWESOME IS THAT.
Right now, we’re experimenting with an Arcade feature, that showcases the BEST HTML5 cross-platform games, handcrafted by indie developers all around the world, that you can play free on any device. We are partnering with Extra-Life.org to profit share our advertising revenues from our games and remain true to “do good while gaming”. Stay tuned for more developments on this feature!
We also have released a beta version of our AI assistant: BudAI, as a Facebook Messenger chatbot to provide the latest games and other related information on demand. Ask him about Tao, games and news or tell him what you want to know more about, so he can learn from you! BudAI is currently in development for Slack and Microsoft Bot Framework.