GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls company aimed at getting people interested in video game creation recently expanded their reach.
Addatudez Entertainment Co., an umbrella company for video game studio Team KAIZEN, became a verified streaming partner for the online gaming platform Twitch this month.
According to Twitch, the live streaming platform has more than 15 million active users each day, has 220,000 affiliates, and 27,000 partners.
Co-founder Josh Hughes says before becoming a partner, Twitch approached the company to see if Team Kaizen’s programs would work well on their platform.
After two months of streaming a mix of educational gaming videos, Twitter approached Team Kaizen to become partners.
“We started doing all sorts of streams involving education streams-hangout streams where we play old games and deconstruct them and show people how they inspire games that come after them, Mom wrote a young adult adventure novel and she’s doing a book club where she reads chapters out of it, Trevor has a show that’s kind of a gamercentric cooking show that’s called ‘8 Bit Bites’”, he said.
The status means more online reach for AddaTudez, Team Kaizen and their non-profit sister studio Ingenium, along more funding options when it comes to teaching youth around the state and the world video game creation.
“Kids in Great Falls have easy access to (our) gaming education, but there’s people in outlying areas-rural and Tribal reservations-that don’t, and it’s a problem that we want to be a part of the solution to but that means we need resources to be able to that,” he said.
Hughes says the partnership is key to the future of their mission to educate youth and to break the stigma around having to be born into the right place before starting a career in STEAM areas, including game design.
“It’ll make it so we’re not just making our games for free anymore because right now, it’s all sweat equity, it’s all putting in blood, sweat and tears,” said Hughes.
He says they were approached to become partners because of their educational outreach, but also because of their passion to develop other abilities and interests in players.
“We’ve already had several kids comment on our Twitch page, ‘Oh thank you for being polite to me, thank you for replying to me because they’re so used to someone being aggressive or mean to them that they are blown away, that, y’know someone that’s a superstar in their eyes by being on a Twitch stream was being decent and nice. And so we hope that we can show people that that’s a way to succeed,” he said.
Along with online etiquette and 8 Bit Bites, their Twitch streams range from ‘Gamer-Mom-Ology”, which focuses on what parents should know about the video game, to topics such as social media safety.
Addatudez is also part of a team from Montana State University that was recently awarded a three-year National Science Foundation grant.
The money will help explore engineering aspects in specific games to get kids involved in thinking like an engineer and learning skills like problem solving.
The company is also working on two video games right now- Shattered Soul and Burst. They’ll be in Bozeman for the Fall Brawl in October, where they will be offering demos of Shattered Soul and a playable build for Burst.
Reporting by Keeley Van Middendorp for MTN News