Magicite Game Designer Sean Young
Magicite game designer and UCF student Sean Young presented at last week’s IndieNomicon anniversary celebration. Sean developed the game himself and was able to fund it through Kickstarter, bringing in more than sixteen times what he was asking for, at a total of $16,308. Here’s an interview with Sean covering his interest in game design, experience designing Magicite, and advice for other indie designers interested in crowdfunding their games.
Tell me about yourself. You’re a student and a game designer, correct? Studying game design at UCF?
I’m a junior at UCF studying Computer Science. I’ve been developing games and apps since freshman year, ever since I got an Android and took the “Into to C Programming” course at school.
Why games? How did you decide that this was what you wanted to do?
Well, I grew up with video games, and designing them has always been my dream job. So once I learned how to program in college it was something I became obsessed with.
When did you start working on Magicite? What was the development process like?
I started working on Magicite in August of 2013. I developed any time I could, sometimes up to 8 hours a day. At first I developed a prototype in order to be sure that I had a fun game before doing any artwork. Once the main features were set, I started practicing my pixel art in order to find the correct art direction for Magicite before sharing my vision on indie gaming sites. Soon after I had a solid demo and polished visuals, I launched a Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaign which only helped the development process by motivating me with words from all of the supporters and fans.
Tell me about the gameplay.
Magicite is a multiplayer RPG platformer with permanent death. Players create their character and set out on an adventure in a procedurally-generated dungeon filled with trees to chop, ores to mine, and enemies to slay. Players can harvest these resources in order to craft new gear and items, increasing the chances of survival. The game is very hard, and will take many tries to beat. One of the main focuses of Magicite is the combat, which requires players to have a strategy when approaching enemies rather than it just being a simple hack and slash.
You funded this game on Kickstarter. How was that process?
The Kickstarter was a huge success, and getting such great feedback and support at the time was all of the motivation I needed to continue the development of the game. Running a Kickstarter is like having a job, though. It requires your attention almost every day. I had to constantly be pushing out updates, messaging backers, and answering any questions people had. Kickstarter is a fantastic way to get your game out there and in front of people.
What advice do you have for other indie designers looking to fund their games this way?
Developing an amazing game and setting up the perfect Kickstarter page is only half of the process. Before even launching a campaign, it is important to establish some sort of fan base for your game. A great way of doing this is being active on gaming forums and small communities where you can post screenshots, GIFs, and videos of your awesome idea. This will start generating hype, and when you release a kickstarter everyone who was interested will be glad to support you.
What kind of support have you received from the Orlando community? What is it like to build a game/ studio in this area?
I’ve only recently begun attending IndieNomicon and other Orlando gaming events, but at every one I went to I received amazing support from the community. Orlando is really an up-and-coming place for Indies, which is great because game development is always better when there is such immediate feedback and support for your game.
What are your next steps?
I plan on finishing Magicite in the next couple of months, then hopefully get started right away on a few other projects. I’m looking forward to purchasing dev kits for all of the consoles, and developing games for those platforms as well.
Magicite has already gone through the Steam Greenlight process and been approved for the platform. It can be found on the Steam store here. For more information about the game, find Magicite on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit. Also, here’s a video interview with Sean from Orlando Business Journal.