Joymania

 

 

Joymania, the developers of the Knights and Merchants series have naturally also worked on other projects than just these games. Over here you'll be able to read all about it.

 

 


 

 

Joymania Entertainment

 

Joymania Entertainment Logo

 

During the years 1995 and 1996 both Peter Ohlmann and Adam Sprys were working over at “Blue Byte Software GmbH”. While they had an aspiration for strategy games, they felt that they were creatively limited while working over there. Eventually they also got into conflicts with certain people at the company. Persuaded by this, they eventually decided to leave the company after finishing work on The Settlers II (in late 1996) and found one of their own.

 

When the company as initially founded, it went by the name “Ohlmann Peter & Sprys Adam GbR”. This was the legal entity used during most of the development of the game as they did not have contact with any publisher yet and as such a GbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts) business type was the most prudent.

 

The first title the company started working on did not carry any internal title, but it was what was to become “Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom”. As GbR businesses are not allowed to have outside funding, initial development of the title was funded internally by Ohlmann and Sprys themselves.

 

In 1998 the development of the game was well underway and it was time to look into the possibility of publishing the title. This was also when the company “Joymania Entertainment GmbH” was officially founded as they could not use the previous label for actual publisher relations. A prototype demo of the game was sent to different publishers and in the end “TopWare Interactive Deutschland GmbH” was chosen as the most promising publisher. They also provided the title for the game, which was to be “Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom” and required that the intellectual property rights for the title itself would be owned by them.

 

They eventually got their first title released in Germany during late August 1998. Reception was very positive and the game sold over 100 000 copies in Germany alone. During the rest of 1998, the game saw its release in other major markets including the United States and the United Kingdom. The game itself was actually localized to more than 10 languages, a testament to the fact that TopWare had very high hopes for the game.

 

Due to the success of the game, the Mission CD that had already been planned before the release of the game itself was green lit. Development of this expansion for the game would keep the crew busy until April 1999. This is when TopWare Interactive announced that they were experiencing financial problems and had to cut their portfolio to conserve funds. One of the products that were cut was the Mission CD.

 

funatics_logo.gifDiscouraged by these problems, both Peter Ohlmann and Adam Sprys decided to join “Funatics Development GmbH”, where they had some former colleagues from their Blue Byte days. Here they were helping out on the title “Cultures”, which was finished during summer 2002.

 

Once this game was finished, the former Joymania Entertainment crew felt that is was time to focus on their own projects again. As the Mission CD had been scrapped as a commercial product and TopWare Interactive had filed for bankruptcy, they no longer had any contacts with any publisher. Due to this they planned that they would polish up what had been finished of the Mission CD and release it as a freely downloadable add-on.

 

However, as “ZuXXeZ Entertainment GmbH” had bought what remained of TopWare Interactive, this naturally also meant that the rights to the title “Knights and Merchants” also rested within the company. They felt that it was a more prudent move to release the game as a retail title combined with the base game. As such, development of the add-on was prolonged all the way through most of 2001 when the game was finally released as “Knights and Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion”.

 

The second title of the company was not all that well received. It was plagued by bugs, but perhaps more importantly still largely relied on 3 year old technology which the base was running on. At this point the crew thought it was time to start working on an actual sequel for the game...

 

SIMILIS Software LogoAs the gaming industry kept on growing, the two man team that Joymania Entertainment was would no longer be sufficient in developing a modern strategy game if it was to match the other triple A titles that were released to the market. Due to this, Peter Ohlmann and Adam Sprys joined “SIMILIS Software GmbH” in hopes of developing a true sequel to Knights and Merchants.

 

Initial development of the title started in early 2002 but there were problems with making the whole team work together on the title. The graphical style that Adam Sprys used in the title just couldn't be matched by the other artists at the company. Furthermore since the game was 2D and 3D was pretty much taking over, concerns were raised that the game wouldn't hold up with the competition.

 

As such the game development was restarted and now it was using a 3D engine. Despite this the team was still not satisfied with how the prototype turned out and the decision was made to cancel development on the title. Because of this Ohlmann and Sprys couldn't find motivation to keep working at the company and they soon left.

 

Games Developed:

 

 


 

 

Joymania Development

 

Joymania Development Logo

 

As working together with another team to create their own projects didn't pan out, they decided to resurrect the Joymania label. This time the company was renamed to “Joymania Development GmbH” and this new company was founded in 2002. The focus of this new company was not to develop triple A titles, but instead they focused on smaller titles with smaller budgets.

 

The first tile to be released with this new philosophy was “Santa Claus in Trouble”. It was published by “CDV Software GmbH” as a freeware title just in time for Christmas on December 2, 2002. As a small but fun platformer game, it was very well received. It has been downloaded more than 3 million times as of November 2004.

 

Due to the success of the freeware game, the possibility of using the engine in a commercial title was considered. As such, another season themed game was released just in time for Easter 2003 called “Rosso Rabbit in Trouble”. This time the game was commercially released, though a demo version was also offered. Once again, the title was published by CDV Software.

 

Peter Ohlmann spent some time improving the engine that the games were running on, and one final title was released called “Santa Claus in Trouble... Again!” was released in time for Christmas 2004. Once again the title was released commercially with a demo version available for those wanting to take a peek. Even though the engine had seen improvements, the title was largely overlooked even though it offered features such as online high scores tables.

 

Later on both Santa Claus titles were combined into a single package by CDV Software and sold as “Santa Claus Gold Edition” at retail.

 

Rumors of an eventual third title in the Santa Claus series surfaced, but nothing concrete ever turned up. By now it is safe to say that the Joymania Development brand is dead.

 

Games Developed:

 

 


 

 

Coreplay

 

Coreplay Logo

 

Coreplay was founded in München, Germany in 2007 by Peter Ohlmann and Robert Andreas Drude. As you can see, Adam Sprys is not a part of this company.

 

This company also works on lower budget indie titles. The first title to be released by the company was “Ion Assault” which was released in 2009 for the Xbox Live Arcade. The company has been pumping out titles with a steady pace, with “Crazy Chicken Tales” (Wii) and “Germany's Next Top Model 2009” (Wii) both being released during 2009. During 2010 “Fit For Fun” was released for the Wii and the DS, and “Ion Assault” received a PC port. A Playstation Network port of “Ion Assault” was released in 2011 and in 2012 “Jagged Alliance: Back in Action” was released for the PC.


The most recent title developed by the company was called “Chaos Chronicles”. Unfortunately Coreplay faced legal issues with their publisher “bitComposer Entertainment AG”, and as such development of the title was been cancelled. As the company was unable to recover from this setback, it has now been shut down.

 

Games Developed:

 

 


 

 

The Crew

 

Peter Ohlmann

Peter Ohlmann

Born on 7.7.1973, Peter Ohlmann started off in the gaming industry by working at Blue Byte Software on the title Albion. From the get go, he has been mainly involved in the programming aspects of game development. After a few years at Blue Byte Software, he together with Adam Sprys decided that they would found a company of their own in order to focus on their own projects.

 

Joymania Entertainment is what was to become of the company, and their starting title Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom ended up being a huge hit. Due to the initial cancellation of the expansion pack for the game, he and Sprys took a break from their own company and helped out Funatics Development with one of their titles. Eventually the expansion pack for Knights and Merchants was resurrected and the guys were back at their own company.

 

Following this, both Ohlmann and Sprys joined SIMILIS Software in hopes of developing Knights and Merchants 2. When this didn't pan out, they rebranded their former company into Joymania Development and started focusing on low budget titles. After Santa Claus in Trouble... Again! had been released, both Peter Ohlmann and Adam Sprys would end a decade long partnership and start working separately as freelancers.

 

In 2007 Peter Ohlmann had evidently had enough of the freelancing business and co-founded a new company, Coreplay. The other founder of the company eventually left and as such Peter Ohlmann became the majority stakeholder at the company. In 2013 the company got into trouble with their publisher and as a result of this the company was shut down. At the moment it is not known what future plans Peter Ohlmann has.

 

Released Titles:

• Albion 1995 Blue Byte Software
• The Settlers II 1996 Blue Byte Software
• Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom 1998 Joymania Entertainment
• Cultures 2000 Funatics Development
• Knights and Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion 2001 Joymania Entertainment
• Santa Claus in Trouble 2002 Joymania Development
• Rosso Rabbit in Trouble 2003 Joymania Development
• Santa Claus in Trouble... Again! 2004 Joymania Development
• SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars 2006 Phenomic Game Development
• Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge 2006 Spellbound Entertainment
• The Settlers VI 2007 Blue Byte Software
• Sacred 2 2008 Ascaron Entertainment
• Ion Assault 2009 Coreplay
• Crazy Chicken Tales 2009 Coreplay
• Germany's Next Top Model 2009 2009 Coreplay
• Fit For Fun 2010 Coreplay
• Jagged Alliance: Back in Action 2012 Coreplay

 


 

Adam SprysAdam Sprys

Adam Sprys started off his game development career in the same fashion as Peter Ohlmann; through Blue Byte Software working on Albion. He however had more artistic inspirations, and as such has mostly worked on graphics throughout his career.

 

He co-founded Joymania Entertainment together with Peter Ohlmann where they worked on Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom. After this he joined Ohlmann in the adventure to Funatics Software to work on Cultures, only to return back working for his company in form of the expansion pack for Knights and Merchants.

 

After this Sprys and Ohlmann once again went working for another company, this time SIMILIS Software. The motivation behind this was the possibility of making Knights and Merchants 2 a reality. Unfortunately this didn't work out, and as such both Adam and Peter left the company and refocused the Joymania Entertainment company to work on lower budget titles. To make the new direction of the company more apparent, it was also renamed to Joymania Development.

 

Once the final project (Santa Claus in Trouble... Again!) was finished in late 2004, the guys went their separate ways working as freelancers in the industry. Adam Sprys is still working as a freelancer, though he did publish his first very own game, Sky Party, in 2007.

 

Released Titles:

• Albion 1995 Blue Byte Software
• Dr. Drago's Madcap Chase 1995 Blue Byte Software
• Archimedean Dynasty 1996 Blue Byte Software
• The Settlers II 1996 Blue Byte Software
• Knights and Merchants: The Shattered Kingdom 1998 Joymania Entertainment
• Cultures 2000 Funatics Development
• Knights and Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion 2001 Joymania Entertainment
• Santa Claus in Trouble 2002 Joymania Development
• Rosso Rabbit in Trouble 2003 Joymania Development
• Santa Claus in Trouble... Again! 2004 Joymania Development
• The Settlers V: Heritage of Kings 2005 Blue Byte Software
• The Settlers II: 10th Anniversary 2006 Blue Byte Software
• Sky Party 2007 Adam Sprys
• Think: Logic Trainer 2007 Independent Arts Software
• The Settlers II: 10th Anniversary - Vikings 2007 Blue Byte Software
• Tom Clancy's EndWar 2008 Funatics Software
• Solitär 2008 Independent Arts Software

 

 


 

 

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