Alex Horatio is a game developer from Swansea in South Wales and I sat down and had a chat with him about his upcoming steam game, Mass O’ Kyzt. Mass O’ Kyzt (pronounced masochist if you didn’t get it) releases on the 2nd February and we’ll be reviewing the game shortly. You can purchase the game on Steam, where it’ll be available for £5 / $7.
This is your first game release on Steam – how long did the game take you to make?
Alex Horatio: I’ve released a few games on smaller indie sites like Itch.io and GameJolt, but this is my first proper commercial effort. I’ve been working on Mass O’ Kyzt since May 2017, so about 9 months or so.
If you’re interested in the game development process, Alex has been making regular development logs over on YouTube.
Here at the Welsh Gaming Network we have quite a few budding young game developers, students, and graduates, but it might surprise you to know that AlexHoratio is only 17. He’s written a bit on his blog before about the challenges of working on a game from home whilst studying full time in a busy household and has some great advice for other young developers on that. He offers a little bit of insight into his development background and future plans.
Alex Horatio: I’m still in school (Sixth Form, aka Year 13) for the time being. My school doesn’t offer any game development courses, but it does offer Computing so I suppose that’s the closest I’m going to get! Apart from that I’ve taught myself everything I know about game development thus far. It’s been a long time coming, I used to make little text adventures in Windows .bat files when I was 9 or 10, and there’s even a little (read: awful) Flash game that I made back in 2008 somewhere online. I’m planning on trying my luck as a full-time developer as soon as I’m done with my A-level course- if I fail, I can always go back and try University. I’m aware there’s a high likelihood that I’ll fail but honestly I really need to at least give it a try! This is sort of a pilot project for my career- I’m still in full-time education, so it’s a safe environment to try out something like this and see how well it performs.
You’ve been sending out copies of your game to content creators, how are you feeling about that? Excited or nervous to start getting feedback and reviews?
Alex Horatio: Definitely both, at least in some capacity! It’s really quite a strange feeling because in a way I’m excited to show my game to everybody, but there’s the lingering feeling that I’m woefully underestimating how impactful the shortcomings of my game can be. I’ve gotten some feedback from my peers, but that’s nowhere near representative of the wider market of gamers out there. I think that overall I’m just happy that people can play and experience something that I made, so I would say I definitely lean towards “excited”.
I’ll be playing Alex’s game this week and I’ll be reviewing it in all it’s glory or shortcomings, so keep an eye out for that. If you happen to pick up Mass O’ Kyzt on Steam, make sure you write a review if you can as any constructive feedback at all can really help game developers both new and old. I had one final question for Alex before we finished:
Do you plan to add any content to Mass O’ Kyst in the future, and any information you can share about your next project?
Alex Horatio: I think that I’m going to have to spend some time fixing bugs and providing support as people find more and more ways to break my game after release, but after that I’m planning on taking a little break to focus more on the schoolwork I neglected to get this thing finished. I don’t know how long I can go without working on a game but I suspect I’ll cave in and start working on a new project within a few months. I’m so used to working on something now that gamedev has practically become a habit- though I think it’s relatively unlikely I’ll continue work on Mass O’ Kyzt, since it’s in a finished state and I don’t want to spend another 6 months aimlessly tweaking it. I have a few vague ideas floating around regarding my next project. I’ve got nothing particularly concrete, but it MIGHT be either mushroom-related or whale-related. I can’t say much more than that for fear of changing my mind, but yeah- I’m looking forward to working on it.
You can add Mass O’ Kyst to your wishlist now on Steam and buy it from the 2nd February. If you’d like to follow Alex and his future game development, catch him on Twitter, on his development blog and over on YouTube.
If you’re a Welsh developer and would like to talk about your upcoming projects, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org