Dallas-Based Video Game Startup Develops Super Mario Maker-esque Game

Triple.B.Titles' Popup Dungeon lets players make the game all their own—and it's being created right here in Dallas.

For those who have wanted to create their own video game, but don’t have the training needed to do so, Popup Dungeon will give players the option to “make entire games” with its user-friendly elements. 

“I invite anyone who is interested in making their own games to try Popup Dungeon. Whether you’re a first-year student, a hobbyist, or just a gamer with a wild idea, Popup is a great first step into the world of game design,” Enrique Dryere, Triple.B.Titles’ co-founder and developer, told Dallas Innovates.

After Super Mario Maker’s success in 2015, the game’s sequel has managed to garner the same results with over 2 million courses being created by players in the first 11 days, according to Engadget. Popup Dungeon will have similar playability to Super Mario Maker with its focus on user-generated content that’s easy to create.

But what sets the indie game apart is its attention to gameplay and story, unlike Nintendo’s focus on level design. 

“We allow users to create everything from an ability to a character or enemy. They can put these together to make entire games,” Enrique says. “The tools for both games are very democratic and inclusive; they’re designed to be used by gamers, not game developers.”

“We are a very small studio that makes very big games.”
Enrique Dryere

Popup Dungeon is a role-playing game that features characters resembling origami figures. Visually, it looks like “a cross between Jumanji and a Dungeons and Dragons board game,” according to its Kickstarter page.

Players can make the game completely their own by not only designing characters and abilities, but also creating custom theme music, weapons, and more. For those who would rather play instead of create, pre-made settings will be included with the game as well as the ability to download creations that other people have made.

[Image: Courtesy Triple.B.Titles]

Triple.B.Titles’ Dallas beginnings

Triple.B.Titles is a family-operated independent game studio that started in 2008 and consists of just three people: Enrique Dryere, his brother Paul, and Enrique’s wife Courtney. Enrique is the developer and Paul is the programmer; Courtney joined later on as the studio’s 2D artist. 

After graduating from the University of Texas, Enrique felt that he didn’t have a sense of direction. 

“My brother was beginning to study computer programming in the ATEC program at UT Dallas,” Enrique says. “I decided then to take a big risk and go back to school in order to pursue the possibility of making indie games together.”

The brothers built Triple.B.Titles from the ground up by crowdfunding and receiving funding from their publisher, Humble Bundle, along with investing their own money. A little over $100,000 has been raised in support of Popup Dungeon on Kickstarter, but the biggest investment in the company has been the creators’ time, according to Enrique.

So far, the three-person team has put a combined total of 25 years into the company.  

“We really had no idea what we were getting into, and it hardly felt like a reality until several years into our first project,” Enrique says. “We were always serious about it, but in the same way people are serious about a sport which eventually morphs into their career.”

So far, the indie game studio has released two games: a space shooter called “Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages” and “Dungeons and Deuces,” a tabletop card game. 

Popup Dungeon is expected to release next year, but if you want to get your hands on it sooner, Triple.B.Titles plans to release an early access version of the game before then. 

“We are a very small studio that makes very big games. So in the span of 10 years, we will have released only 2 games,” Enrique says. “This is not a course of action I recommend, but it’s what keeps us excited to work 10 to 12 hours a day, every day.”

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