A group of young creatives develop an action-adventure computer game -- inspired by Persian mythology -- in the back kitchen of a dusty office.
GAME ANIMATION, FANAFZAR STUDIOS - A group of young Iranians have entered the computer games market by bringing their vision to life from a cluttered kitchen in eastern Tehran.
It was their shared passion for gaming that brought the 20-strong group of engineering students, computer programmers, musicians and animators together two years ago.
The idea of the mythological creature, "Garshasp, the Monster Slayer" was formed in a small office, with its walls plastered with posters of fictional characters and desks adorned in computer games and toy models.
"We got together to talk to each other about an idea and all of the sudden we decided to go for Persian mythology, because it's very colourful, and within Persian mythology we can find a lot of beautiful graphical concepts, and also very very deep stories and a lot of , you know, surprising lessons to be learned. But still we've been trying to develop a fun game," said 35 year-old business developer Arash Jafari.
The team of young developers do everything independently, including composing the soundtrack of 'Garshasp.'
The game, set in the Persian Empire, is played in a world seized by mythological creatures named 'deevs.'
All characters are inspired by Iranian mythology Jafari said, adding that the team was never driven by money, but wanted to develop a one-of-a kind product.
"We never have some kind of perspective of what this game industry looks like. How much the scale of budgets and projects. The very major requirements that you need for sure to do something professional and fun and attractive. The first step was, hey, let's do something that we like, and do it by ourselves, by our small money to make something fun that no-one has done before in Iran," Jafari said.
Following their launch in 2010 in the Islamic state, Fanafzar studios also garnered the interest of foreign distributors.
"Sales figures in Iran. from the latest reports that I've read from the distribution companies is more than 120,000 copies and outside Iran, (where) I can say we are new outside, after two months it's more than 10,000, I guess," said Jafari.
Having won the praise of those active in the international market, the group hope to collaborate with game developers from other countries.
The success of 'Garshasp' is set to transport Jafar and his colleagues from their office kitchen to international exhibitions and seminars across Europe and the Middle East.