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Local cartoonist and video game developer starts brand-new Vancouver game studio

The 26-year veteran of the Vancouver video games industry is a founding member of the latest studio to join Pipeworks and the Sumo Group
Introducing2
Timbre, a Pipeworks Studio and the newest member of the Sumo Group, is so named for its West Coast roots and the musical quality of distinctiveness.

There are lots of things to know about Geoff Coates but here are just two: he’s the one who creates the hilarious cartoons you see featured on Vancouver Is Awesome, and he just launched a brand new game studio here in Vancouver.

A 26-year veteran of the games industry in Vancouver, Coates and two of his friends launched Timbre Games on July 13. Timbre, a Pipeworks Studio and the newest member of the Sumo Group, is so named for its West Coast roots and the musical quality of distinctiveness. Coates is the studio’s creative director while Joe Nickolls and Zoë Curnoe serve as the president and production director respectively.

As one of its founding members, Coates says the studio came together largely because of the people involved. Coates worked with Nickolls at the late Capcom Vancouver and had previously worked with Curnoe at EA years before. It is the people and the experience they bring that will help Timbre create very different and unique games Coates says, drawing on the best experiences and lessons from their collective past.

 "There are a lot of different experiences that most games haven't touched or covered and I think there are new types of experiences that may draw in people who don't necessarily play games,” Coates said of what games Timbre is looking at creating, adding there are some gameplay mechanics he would like to experiment with.

Coates says in most multiplayer games the objective is to make yourself better to the detriment of other players via killing or looting them for resources.

"I think one of the things we talked about was what if you had something where you supported everybody around you? What if there was more of a thing where making people around you better or improving the people around you is how you get better in the game," Coates said.

There couldn’t be a better time to start a game studio either Coates says, describing a video game boom that took place over the last year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

As for what is next for the studio, Coates says there are many games in the works and the team will be “hitting the ground running.”