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How Gamesalad Can Help You Create Your Own Video Game

This Austin company can turn almost anyone into a game developer.

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This story appears in the July 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
It's one thing to post a few cute animal videos on YouTube or populate a Facebook page with photos and status updates. But it's something else to think that anyone can create video games. Or is it? That's a bias GameSalad, an Austin, Texas-based video game development company, is trying to turn on its head.

Michael Agustin and friends Tan Tran and Daniel Treiman founded the company in 2007. Each had great jobs in the tech field--with collective experience at Apple, Edge of Reality, Hotels.com and Epic Systems--and Agustin had earned a master's degree in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon as part of the video game development curriculum led by the late Randy Pausch, author of the bestselling book The Last Lecture. But the drum beat of "user-generated content" and the success of companies like YouTube left the trio wanting more. Together, they had the resources needed to develop and launch a platform to share their interest in game development with the masses.

They decided to move to Austin, a creative city with a low cost of living where their less-than-$20,000 self-funded startup capital would go further than in Silicon Valley. Launched as Gendai Games (the name change to GameSalad came in 2010), the company offered an easy-to-use platform with drag-and-drop features, allowing anyone with minimal gaming and computer skills to become a developer.

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