What is Just Kidding Studios?
For an artist, one of the most satisfying things in life is being able to create and explore ideas without being under the watch of someone else. Some of the best work is realized in an environment with unlimited artistic freedom.
That’s what Just Kidding Studios is all about. Artistic duo James Haynes and Kristan Yadao dreamed about being able to create fun games on their own, their way. Both graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado with Bachelor degrees in Media Arts and Animation, armed with the knowledge to create and entertain. With a history of working for other people and producing work according to other’s specifications, they felt it was finally time to break away and set out on their own, even if only during nights and weekends.
And so they did.
It all started out with some rough sketches, planning over dinner, more late nights than they can remember, and a lot of work. This was all while still working their regular jobs.
Just Kidding Studios finally released their first independent game in March of 2012. 21 Ice Clues is a neat word game that takes the clue-solving of crossword puzzles and combines it with building-blocks for a unique puzzle game experience. James did all of the game programming while Kristan created artwork for it. Her father, Dennis Yadao, a musician, provided custom sound effects. According to Kristan, “We put a lot of ourselves into this. We have sacrificed so much sleep and time, but it’s totally worth it. We’ve released our first game and we feel really accomplished. It’s exciting to know we can keep doing this and make more games!”
Continuing on with their goal of making their own games, James and Kristan are already planning out their next projects as well as some exciting updates for 21 Ice Clues. James says, “My main goal is to become a leader in casual, puzzle, and learning games. I want to make exciting games for all ages that make you think.”
James and Kristan believe that it’s important to have the courage to take the leap and try something new. If you want something bad enough, you’ll get there. If that weren’t true, there would be no Just Kidding Studios.