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OneBigGame reveals Zoe Mode's Chime

Charity publisher taps Perry, Cecil, more.

Pioneering non-profit publisher OneBigGame has revealed Zoe Mode's Chime as the charity-focused label's first game.

Available from Xbox Live Arcade this winter, Chime has musical blocks you need to rearrange so they sound clearly individual notes when a vertical line sweeps past, a bit like Lumines. Apparently musical men Moby and Paul Hartnoll have contributed.

Admirably, OneBigGame sends 80 per cent of any money made via game sales straight to charity. For publisher founder Martin le Ronde the vision has taken three hard years to materialise. And during that time he has enticed some serious support.

"I can officially confirm several [games], although there are plenty more in the pipeline," le Ronde told GamesIndustry.biz during a deep probing.

"David Perry, founder of Shiny - he's doing a remake of one of his favourite games of all time, which is a classic ZX Spectrum game ... Masaya Matsuura, creator of Parappa the Rapper, he's going to be doing a sort of reinvention of the genre ... And then there's Charles Cecil.

Cecil, creator of Beneath a Steel Sky, approached le Ronde with an idea to rework Minesweeper, of all games. Given the freedom of OneBigGames' approach, le Ronde happily agreed.

"Charles is going to come up with a backstory as to why the mines are there and why the war is being fought, and he's come up with a character and a storyline and it's going to be an action adventure hybrid," he said.

OneBigGames wants to be considered first and foremost as an "art house" game publisher producing top quality games. But the charity angle is strong, and le Ronde will rely on the goodwill of developers to get the service off the ground.

Nevertheless, there's another reason why creators may take the plunge: prototyping - OneBigGame will give back the IP rights to the developer after a "certain period" has passed.

"We are the most lenient publisher in the world," boasted le Ronde.

"... Some people come to us with ideas they've had for years and they go, 'finally I can do that'. And others come to us and say 'I'm working on this, what do you think?' As long as it's exclusive for us we'll take it.

"... OneBigGame, and this is I think vital, could become a launch platform for new innovative IP that is initially not constrained by commercial issues," he added.

Martin le Ronde would like to become the games equivalent of a non-profit art house cinema, "something like that".

Head over to GamesIndustry.biz for the full interview with Martin le Ronde.

Alternatively, pop into our Chime gallery for the first shots of the game.

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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