"I think I structured just the development of the game and my life so I can get a lot of satisfaction out of making Towerfall before it’s even released."
- Developer Matt Thorson reflects on the value he found in the process of making games.
Polygon published a thorough feature
today that elucidates the work and development philosophy of Matt Thorson, the man who recently released Towerfall: Ascension
It's a good read that sheds light on Thorson's work and life in the Canadian "Indie House" he shares with four fellow game creators, all of whom contributed to the production and playtesting of Towerfall
. It also delves a bit into the developer's origin story, detailing his early experiences with Game Maker and his decision -- made shortly before graduating from college -- to completely forego a career in AAA development.
"I was like, 'OK, [making games] is like a career now. This is something I can just do,'" Thorson told Polygon. "And then I realized I didn’t have to work at a studio, so I never did."
The feature also details the origins of Towerfall
as a game jam project, and expands upon how its development and early release seems to have brought the occupants of the Indie House together in a way that only local multiplayer games can.
It's worth noting that when Gamasutra interviewed Thorson
earlier this year about the IGF's decision to nominate Towerfall: Ascension
for an Excellence in Design award, he cited games like GoldenEye
and Super Smash Bros. Melee
as major sources of inspiration for his goal of making a popular, endlessly replayable local multiplayer game. Based on Polygon's feature, Thorson seems to have achieved his goal -- the article claims he's made more than half a million dollars from sales of Towerfall
, and his housemates have spent countless hours playing builds of the game together. Now, Thorson seems to be working out what's next.
"I've never thought as far as 35. I think, for right now, this is perfect for me. I think it could last another few years at least," said Thorson, when asked what the future holds for himself and the home he shares with other developers. "I feel like eventually someone will move out, maybe someone else will move in. That kind of thing, just as people are at a place in their lives where it doesn’t work anymore for them. That's fine. I think we'll all always be friends regardless."
You can -- and should -- read the fulll feature over on Polygon's website