According to their website, “Basement Dweller Games was founded by some random 18 year old with no previous experience in game design and altogether no life at all. I mean, we're not exactly a success yet, but we're getting there.” (Basement Dweller Games, 2019) This description perfectly characterizes Aaron Taylor’s sense of humour, which plays a key part in the unique design of his game Time Crackers. Aaron is the founder and creator of Basement Dweller Games (BDG), an independent video game company. Their first game Time Crackers is a hyperbolically humoured 3D platformer whose main character is a calculator trying to erase all of existence.
From a very early age, Aaron knew he wanted to be his own boss, “Since I was six years old I loved the idea of going into my own business and since I was seven years old I was obsessed with video games.” In 2017 at the age of sixteen, he started to study how video games were made and after seven months of research into video game marketing and the 3D platform genre, he started making his own game. He is completely self-taught and has no experience in programming. Because of this, Aaron considers his biggest success being able to get his prototype going, which he did by hand over eight months. While he is the writer, game and character designer, he needed a team of 3D modellers and programmers to implement all the mechanics and bring his game to fruition. Currently, he has eighteen people working with him on this, all of which he found through the internet.
The next step in the process is to connect with publishers so he can port his game to another platform, which he hopes will be Nintendo Switch. His main reason for wanting to sell his game to Nintendo, besides the obvious marketing and advertising support he would get from them, is their business and work ethic principles. “The Morals part is really important to me, especially since as video games get more expensive to develop crunch time is getting worse and some companies don’t treat their employees well,” explains Aaron.
This past spring Aaron graduated high school and took part in the Medicine Hat College Entrepreneurial Development Centre’s Pub Pitch Night. He won both the People’s Choice and the Best Pitch award and was honoured when one of the judges offered him money to put towards his college education. “I was flabbergasted at the response of people seeing potential in me, it was really uplifting,” says Aaron. With that money, he will be attending the Business Administration program at Medicine Hat College; he will also be working part-time, so he can continue to pay his team with a goal of a late 2020 release date.
APEX Alberta is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates. These partners work together to help entrepreneurs start, grow and innovate their businesses.