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Rogue Legacy Game Interview

interview gaming

Our very own Kbassil has a chat with Teddy Lee, the Game Designer of the highly anticipated, Steam Greenlight candidate "Rogue Legacy".
Rogue Legacy is an ambitious new project by indie company Cellar Doors Games, which is made up of a talented young team of up-and-comers. Rogue Legacy was recent admitted into the Steam Greenlight program, where it stands a VERY HIGH chance of being accepted into the Steam catalog of games.

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About a week ago, Cellar Door Games posted their trailer (seen below) to reddit, where the team was met with almost instantaneous tremendous support from gamers worldwide. Within a few hours, the post made the front page of reddit (a rare feat), while the youtube video it referenced shot up to over 100,000 views.

During this chaos, kbassil [denoted as PM below] was able to make contact with the Game Designer Teddy Lee to discuss game development, Reddit fame, and the Steam Greenlight program. Before you read through some of the questions, check out the developer's video below!


PM: First off, who do we have the honor of speaking with today? Could you tell us about your team too?

Hey, my name's Teddy Lee, and I'm the Game Designer on the project. My brother Kenny Lee is the programmer and producer. He wrote the whole game on his own, and he's the guy who did all hiring and communicating with every other member on the team. So he's done the lion's share of work for this game.

Our Pixel Artist is Glauber Kotaki, and he's our only artists. The majority of what you see was drawn by him, so he's pretty amazing.
Gordon McGladderly is our musician and sound technician, so he's made a big portion of the songs, and all of the sfx you hear in the game, he is also amazing.

Judson "Tettix" Cowan is another musician on the game, and has also written a bunch of the songs for the game. We've worked with him on some of our other projects including My First Quantum Translocator, and Bullet Audyssey, and he is always awesome to work with.

PM: Is this the first game your team has come up with?... because I must say it's truly original and well thought out.

I've worked with my brother on a bunch of Flash games before this, but we've never really done anything this big before. Well, actually, we did try making a big game before called Band of Bears for DreamBuildPlay 2009, it did well, but it didn't place high enough to make any money. We were broke, so we had to bail on the project.

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PM: How did you guys come up with this idea of the genealogies? I think that's the most exciting feature I'm looking forward to.

We came up with the idea way back in development. Not exactly at the start, but pretty early on. Scarily enough, genealogies actually got implemented in very, very late into development. Because a game of this scope required so many things working before we could actually add it. Such as physics, the editor, the procedural generation. This isn't how we usually do things, but for some reason, that's how this project ended up. So if it didn't work, we'd be pretty hamshanked.

PM: How long have you guys worked on this project?

The project was started about a year and a half ago, with me working on it part time, and my brother working on it full time. I only transitioned to full time about 3 months ago. Everyone else on the project has come on at different parts of the development cycle.

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PM: Can you tell us about some of the technical decisions you made? For example, what engine does the game run on? What about the graphics design? Was that all in-house? How about the music?

The game was written in C# using XNA. My brother built the engine from scratch, and as for art, it was just a process of looking through the internet for people whose art we liked, contacting them, and then working with them for a bit to see if they fit. We really needed independent people because this whole project was done from everyone's homes.

Glauber lives in Brazil
Gordon lives in Vancouver, Canada
and Judson lives in America

PM: How did you acquire funding? Did you ever think of crowd funding "Rogue Legacy" through mediums such as Kickstarter?

My brother and I have funded through our own pockets. We've been saving up for around the past 5 years, and we're or less betting everything on this.

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PM: What have you learned about the game development process? What would you change or adjust if you did it all over again?

We've made a bunch of games now, and our process is pretty good. It's very loose.

If we could change one thing, it would have been letting people go sooner if they weren't a good fit. My brother went through a lot of artists and musicians, and it was a very expensive and trying time. If someone's not working, don't settle. Your game will only be as good as the weakest link.

PM: What's the work environment like during the development period? Suits and ties or shorts and sandals?

We don't have an office. We couldn't afford that. My brother and I live together, and Kenny contacts Glauber, Judson, and Gordon through the internet.

So I guess to answer your second question, it's PANTS - OPTIONAL.

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PM: What do you think of the TREMENDOUS support Reddit has given you when you posted your latest trailer? You were front page'd VERY quickly.

It was pretty amazing. We didn't expect it to get so big. When I made the post, I thought it was dead on arrival because after 2 hours it only had like 20 upvotes. I don't know what happened, but I guess a bunch of people all decided to check out the 20th page on the gaming subreddit, and the post exploded.
It was pretty crazy.

PM: Have you guys begun celebrating yet? Or are you still waiting on the official "Greenlight" before you pop the champagne?

We celebrated the reddit post by eating icecream, and going outside. We don't go outside very much, so the sun burned. Our games still a bit away from getting Greenlit, so it's back to work until the games finished and ready for release.

PM: Would you like to add anything else?

Thanks to everyone whose helped us so far, and to everybody whose helped spread the word about Rogue Legacy. We'll try not to let you down!!!

Thanks again to Teddy Lee and all the others at Cellar Doors Games! We hope to have a game review up as soon as we get our hands on it.

Update: Rogue Legacy has been Greenlit! When we head back from the devs we'll post their comments. I'm sure they're thrilled and thankful.
  • Kbassil, Pantalga, wee_ag and 1 other like this