Innovators rarely consider themselves to be pioneers within their own industry. And Andrew Augustin is a prime example of this axiom.
Augustin is a graphic designer who, in 2011, founded Notion Games, an Austin-based video gaming company that creates games for people of all ages.
But that brief description fails to mention that Augustin’s a self-taught pioneer in the field of gaming who is recognized for being an innovator in the video gaming industry.
When HTML5 technology was released, Augustin was one of the first of the bigger video game designers to use the platform to create video games.
Although HTML5 wasn’t really intended for gaming when it was first released, Augustin saw its potential. While some were using it for smaller games and prototypes, Augustin used the platform to make a full length, console-style game.
Being in a previously unoccupied space, and utilizing that technology in such a unique way, provided valuable exposure for Augustin.
It allowed a lot of eyes to see his projects since many people were exploring what HTML5 was and what it could do in the gaming space.
Over the past 10 years, Augustin has created several video games playable on various video gaming consoles.
Super Ubie Island 1 is a game that pays homage to video games from the 1990s and is available on the PC platform called Steam. Augustin took elements of a variety of games from the ‘90s and mixed them together to create this unique game.
Sheep Herder Nay is a puzzle game that was previously online but it is now back in development for a much broader release. This game allows sheep herder Nay to lead her sheep herd to paradise and requires the player to take a strategic approach since each sheep has a different background and, therefore, a different influence on the game.
Up, Up Ubie is a free game that can be played online via HTML5 technology and is also currently undergoing a much broader development for wider release.
A fourth game, Team Notion, first developed in 2008-09, serves as proof of his innovative mindset. The three heroes in this game are women whose backgrounds are African American, Asian and Latino. Video game characters who are female and people of color were a rare commodity in the early 2000s and Augustin broke new ground in using members from those demographics as his protagonists.
The near absence of female heroes in gaming at that time also reflected the dearth of African American game developers in the industry. Augustin was one of the first African Americans to make the Forbes list of the top 30 under 30 in their magazine’s gaming section.
With so few people of color in the industry at that time, Augustin stepped aside for three years to teach animation design at a minority majority high school in Houston. That experience led Augustin to decide to develop online courses for young people who can’t afford college to nurture their creative talents while they learn independently, just like he did.
An online course he is constructing via Notion Digital Arts Academy is but one of a number of innovations on the drawing board for the graphic designer. Notion Games is also entering other entertainment-oriented avenues that utilize Augustin’s talent for graphic design and his love of animation.
Augustin recently signed a deal that has allowed him to expand his company from four to nine people. The deal permits him to have access to resources to “recreate, re-release and remarket” his existing video games while creating new ones.
In addition to finishing Ubie Island 2 for XBOX, Notion Games is also developing an animated comic book series called Middle Skool. The show is about a diverse group of children in an urban setting who are making that always awkward transition from childhood to young adult. Middle Skool is a show with plenty of diversity about individuals growing up in an urban environment, and represents all colors as well as characters of different shapes and sizes.
With an eye for design for video gaming and animation, an innovative mindset, and development deals in the works, Notion Games is a company on the rise.