Sponge Hammer Games
Csaba Berenyi, MD

Csaba is a gifted programmer by trade and he laid the foundations for Flatstone Grove. He is also responsible for making sure the project is heading in the right direction and removes all obstacles in the way. He believes the right story at the right time can change the way you think and can affect your life in unexpected ways. In his free time, he likes to play narrative-driven games, listen to audiobooks and spend time with Rio, his fierce but cute bird.

What would you like most about Sponge Hammer Games?

Sponge Hammer Games is a really special place. We are a remote gaming studio and I managed to find the most creative and wonderful people on the planet. We are scattered around all over Europe and every time we meet there is a lovely atmosphere. We laugh a lot, solve problems, and argue a lot, but we always come to a conclusion. It is always great to work with like-minded people. It kind of makes you smile when you think about going to work.

If you could learn anything, what would it be?

I would love to learn to fly a plane. That’s been on my list for quite some time now. But, because I know how planes are polluting everything, I will never be doing that.

Can you tell us a few things about your role?

I try to organise everything, and I try to get things done. I’ve hired the staff. I found help in terms of voice acting; two brilliant voice actors are helping with the project now. I’ve worked on some of the stories with Magdi and Robi, and I generally provide direction as to where the product should go. And, of course, I do a little bit of programming as well.

If you could live anywhere, where would that be?

Exactly where I am right now. I am one of those people who are not necessarily motivated by material things and I live with my family, we have a home, and that’s the best place on the planet.

Can you tell us your journey through the gaming industry?

My story started 22 years ago, when I had just graduated, and I had a job offer from a large German company. When I signed the contract, my friends came over to say they are working on a game and they want me to join them. I told them I would never do that. They were quite persistent and showed me the game; two days later I resigned from my upcoming role and joined them.

Since then, I have worked on a large number of games and changed countries as I’m living in the UK. I mainly worked for large companies, started at Codemasters, spent eight and a half years there, and then moved to Freestyle Games for three and a half years. After that, I started my own company called Sponge Hammer, and recently Sponge Hammer Games, where we are working on story-based games for our audiences.

Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I have a superpower. I speak tech and I can translate it to a human language.

You also have a bird.

Rio, parrot of Csaba
Rio, Csaba’s Parrot

I have a bird, and he is a parakeet. His name is Rio, and he is a kakariki, which is a native of New Zealand. He is a proper menace. Destroys everything; he genuinely tries to kill me on a daily basis, yet he misses me so much that every time I come home he starts singing because he is happy. So he can kill me. And I love him to bits.

Flatstone Grove is an interactive storybook app for children between three and six years, running on Android and iOS devices. Our stories are designed to teach children core values such as bravery, love, and kindness. The app is free of in-app purchases and ads, and the content is suitable for small children.