My user name is Slipsilk, My first name is Kevin, I was the co-designer and artist on Lantern Forge which was just released on Steam. I have worked on several other games over the years as well. I am all through the forums helping people

Comments: 355 • Responses: 88  • Date: 

Seioch42 karma

How are you guys going to tackle the difficulty of marketing an indie game to a well saturated market?

a_popular_opinion207 karma

"well we're going to start by doing an AMA on reddit. Because everyone knows AMAs are just free marketing disguised as community involvement."

lanternforge112 karma

exactly!'s part of it. We have twitter, facebook and I have been contacting review sites and magazines endlessly. I live on the steam forums to talk with customers who loved the game. have to try everything cause the one thing you don't try, is going to fail 100% of the time.

Our game is really good and people honestly love it so I just need to run down the streets with a big sign and yell at people to go look at it

or not

Soof498 karma

Yeah. I did check out the game, and it looked good and all, and I'm optimistic for them. It's even got good reviews. But being perfectly honest, someone somewhere was like "This is a perfect opportunity to advertise our game."

GourangaPlusPlus2 karma

C'mon guys can we please just talk about Rampart?

lanternforge5 karma

We want to continue development on the game like Minecraft and Terraria do and actually put in more tower defence stuff to let people play around with :)

FallenWyvern7 karma

Legit question: Would you rather devs stay away entirely? I ask because often the community sees right through shameless marketing (say, the SimCity AMA) and something like this, where the devs are answering questions?

Me? I personally love when smaller devs come here, but when it's a large company like Ubisoft or EA, I start suspicious. Sometimes it turns out for the better, and other times it doesn't, but I'd rather someone posts something, instead of no game-dev related posts at all.

That said, I also subscribe to /r/gamedev and other programming subreddits.

lanternforge8 karma

I'm honestly new to Reddit but this is really cool and fun :p I will be looking for other devs to see what they do and such myself.

I agree...there is a balance. Do I wanna advertise Lantern Forge? well for sure I do. I like to eat and have an apartment and LF will allow me those things. But I also love the industry and love talking about it so this lets me just go on and on about it lol. I'm an artist, people ask me about art? freaken great!

friedpikmin1 karma

I checked this AMA out because I have always been fascinated with indie game development.

lanternforge1 karma

and I love talking about it :p It's a ...horribly terrible underpaid clustered kinda way...

Bob00225 karma

Why should I buy your game? What sets it apart from others?

lanternforge45 karma

Our game isn't so much about setting itself apart, but bringing everything together :)

We love RPGs and always have, we have loved crafting, exploring, looting and combat and wanted to really bring those together in a fun and easy to manage way.

So we took what we loved about Minecraft, Terraria and Torchlight and mixed them together into an isometric view. This gives us the view to allow strategy and hack'n'slash combat of Torchlight, while having the gathering and construction of Minecraft and Terraria.

We also approached the whole game as an open world with a broad audience that have different play styles. We have worked to allow you to succeed in the world by being a gatherer/builder, crafter. Or you can just venture out into the dungeons and slaughter stuff. There are 4 character classes that you can level up and blend together to match your play style.

We are also an indie studio that released a game that people have said they went to play for 10min...and played for 4hrs or more :p So that's pretty awesome too.

SomeBlindGuy77 karma

Our game isn't so much about setting itself apart, but bringing everything together

If being in development doesn't work out, try advertisement, I'm sure they'd love you.

lanternforge64 karma

Just wait until I give passionate speeches about edge loops and normal maps...brings people to tears!

Glurky_Spurky5 karma

is every indie dev paid by mojang to mention how much they were influenced by minecraft even if their game has nothing in common with it?

don't get me wrong, yours does. but still. damn every indie dev mentions it.

lanternforge6 karma

I feel it has more to do with the popularity of it when trying to explain stuff to other people. Minecraft obviously not even the first of it's kind. When talking with people "in the know" sure you can mention lots of other voxel games and so on but with the general's just easier to say minecraft. Kinda like when you wanna refer to FPS you just say Call of Duty :p

HireMeThroughAMA14 karma


lanternforge6 karma

Not at the moment, hopefully we can start to take off and then take on people to help continued support and expand on Lantern Forge along with taking on new projects.

ozsum12 karma

How long did it take you to develop the game (from concept to release)? How hard was it to get it released in Steam? And, this might be confidential but, how big of a chunk of the sales goes to Steam?

lanternforge19 karma

Last year about this year, July/Aug Hazden and I were hanging out in person on vacation (we've only seen each other in person like....4 times in over 10yrs) and we started to discuss what game we would love to make.

We spent around 3-4 months concepting and planning. We finished in July even though we had submitted to Greenlight much earlier knowing it would take a while.

It's pretty hard to release honestly, we had to push marketting and advertising in order to get people to see our game and vote for us. It wasn't the game itself (people loved the game) it was just being seen in the mountain of games. In the end, IndieRoyale was the big advertising push we needed.

I can't say the steam portion, it's confidential but it's quite reasonable and totally worth it.

NakLok9 karma

Hi as an inspiring game developer wheres the best place to start learning (I have no experience in the field) and what should i learn first (Modding, a language, etc)? Also is going to collage for game development worth it or should I go for a degree in another field like computer science?

lanternforge13 karma

WHen you say need to figure out what part of it you want to be. I'm a developer, but an Artist. A programmer, musician, animator, team lead, designer are all game developers.

Figure out what you love because you are going to do it a LOT in hard fast paced environments, you may have to sacrifice things to make it happen. So make sure it's for something you really want.

personally...I did not find school very useful as an artist. There are lots of online things you can find to teach you what you need to know. For a programmer? probably a different story. but first...find out what you wanna be. really research it

morewaffles6 karma

Congrats! What did you guys write the game in?

lanternforge9 karma

My partner in crime used an old SDK which uses a few languages, C++, C# and a few others too. He had to re-write a ton of the SDK to work for Lantern Forge to make it do what we wanted

Yellowish_Yeti5 karma

What is your favorite color?

lanternforge20 karma

Blue, #68b0ed or around there is awesome

lanternforge9 karma

oh ya! I had forgotten about that. Ya I was looking for a good reference for a goblin camp and loved that design. It's one of the few assets in the game where I used such a close concept.

anko474 karma

What's it like working with Valve on the Steam/distribution side of things?

lanternforge9 karma

Working with Valve is great. They provide you with everything you need. I can't say too much, they have a lot of contracts about it so I do apologize if I can't be too specific but it's great.

Teysh4 karma

So if I ask about commission on a sold copy you can't anything, right? :(

HereForGames5 karma


lanternforge9 karma

I asked for a months worth of hotdogs...they said no :(

flugsibinator2 karma

How many hot dogs do you consume in a month?

reseph4 karma

Way too much, apparently.

lanternforge2 karma

waaaaay too much. But they are so cheap and versatile.

reseph3 karma

Versatile?! What are you using hot dogs for...

lanternforge3 karma

pastas, sandwiches, Pad Tai and other menu items you can just switch out the meat with hotdogs :)

lanternforge2 karma

right, Valve has tons of contracts and rules about their process. Most of the distributors do. But all of them are easy to figure out and deal with.

Razor_Junky4 karma

Do you think your game could benefit from co-op multiplayer? And do you have any plans to add co-op multiplayer in the future? Terraria and Torchlight have been two of my most favorite games, mainly due to the availability of co-op multiplayer.

lanternforge5 karma

On the gamer side of view? the game is a great single player game that they had fun with for many hours (average is like 10hrs up to 40+) But if it had multiplayer it would offer more hours of fun for sure.

On the Dev side of view, adding MP alone would add 3x the Dev time to our schedule. We have one programmer with no experience yet working with MP so it would be atleast a year to learn, re-write the game and implement it. That's a whole year of no sales and costs to live and work. So to justify something like that, we would have to believe that the game would sell a minimum of 3 times or more copies compared to what it would sell as a single player experience.

So that is something we have to consider when making the game. I played Terraria and Torchlight as MP as well and it was great. I also agree that having MP in our game would be good as well, however the financial aspect of it is too much for just the two of us to justify at the moment. We sell a freaken ton of copies and can hire someone who is great with this stuff to work with us to implement such a thing quickly and I would love to have it done for sure.

but right now, I actually know that our game would not benefit from co-op on the business side of things. Which is what feeds me hotdogs and pie so I have to keep it in mind.

chromebookbob4 karma

Have you ever tried developing a game completely on your own? If so, do you have any tips on decreasing workload, currently devving my first game in python: and would be grateful for some hints

lanternforge8 karma

keep it super small. It's amazing how much work it ends up being. Plan EVERYTHING from the start. Know exactly what you need to make, list all those assets and then start to connect them however you can. Try and blend them together. example: create assets that you will re-use through the game so that you only have to build a few of them.

avoid feature creep. Literally just figure it all out at the start. Write it down and stick to it. We never would have finished Lantern Forge if we actually added all the ideas we kept coming up with as we went.

I have never made a game completely on my own, it's hard enough just doing the art and animation. The more you do, the quicker you have to do it and the less quality you have time to put in.

AdoraWyld4 karma

How long have you been making games? My husband is finishing his degree in Game Design and we are both eager for him to enter into the world of making games to share with others. And what has it taken for you to get to this point?

lanternforge5 karma

Not to scare you too much, but it's hard to get into the industry. I'm sure I'm a worst case scenario but I have been trying to get into this line of work for 10yrs. I went to school twice and both times I didn't feel it did me justice.

But again, I know that I just had a lot of bad luck, bad choices and it wasn't until someone took a chance on me a few years ago that I finally got to really grow as an artist.

GamesinaBit3 karma

Lets try this again. Your game looks great and I'm looking forward to purchasing it. What games inspired you to make this game?

lanternforge5 karma

Minecraft, Terraria, Diablo, Torchlight for the most part. We LOVE RPG. We once made a match 3 game that was an RPG. You actually had 6 toons on the right, and as you matched tiles, your characters of corosponding color attacked the bugs on the left :p

So we wanted to mix the two of open world building/crafting with the hack'n'slash RPG.

SMTRodent3 karma

As someone who likes match 3 games a whole lot, what was that game called, if it's commercially available?

lanternforge3 karma

Keepers of Dryandra, I believe it is still available actually.

SMTRodent2 karma

Thank you. I just ended up back on Big Fish games for the first time in years, downloading it now.

Lantern Forge is on my Steam wishlist for just now, as I have a birthday coming up soon so might well end up wit it then.

lanternforge2 karma

awesome. ya it's been years since we made that game...

SMTRodent3 karma

Well, I just had a total blast with it this evening. I like the concept and the story, and the signposts. It's my new casual go-to.

lanternforge3 karma

That's great. Ya a lot of work went into that game for sure. You will unlock characters, level them up, fight new types of bugs and venture across tons of backgrounds and such...glad you are enjoying it.

You may get a laugh when you see that the bee in that the one in Lantern Forge :p

Acataeono3 karma

OH MAN I was looking forward to buy this game(still saving up)! I saw it on steam and I love sim games! I'm a small game artist myself and I have a question:

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like giving up on art? If so, what was it like and how did you over come it?

edit woops that was 2 questions :I

lanternforge8 karma

Actually yes, once I almost gave up. It was about 3yrs ago...I was super broke, working a retail job that didn't give me enough no matter how long I worked, I was working on game art on the side and applying everywhere just to try and get a job.

I had been like this for about 7yrs now, paying off school loans and all that jazz. But after trying for so long, making a few games that didn't really make any money and having a GF that wanted a bit more of a life then living in a crappy apartment that we were about to lose. I truly considered for the first time in my life giving up.

The answer to how I overcame it isn't even a good one for everyone to use cause I feel it involved some luck. I was probably within months of calling it quits when finally someone called me and gave me a chance. L3O interactive hired me to work on their title Horizon and that did several things for me. The money to live and start to catch up, (it wasn't a lot but it was more then retail) It finally gave me a true taste of what it was like to work in a studio was everything I dreamed of. I got my resolve back and won't ever think of giving up again now that I tasted the fruit if you will.

so honestly, do everything...something will eventually happen. Cause when you give up, 100% it won't happen.

iamgarrettt4 karma

Saving up? ...What is your steam name?

lanternforge2 karma

Slipsilk :)

Minimobi43 karma

What advice would you give to people trying to get into game development, now that you have released a full game?

lanternforge2 karma

Don't be an artist! I'm kidding

I would say be prepared to not succeed. Even welcome it. This isn't my first game...I have a ton of failures behind it. But that is what has helped me get better (and I still have a long way to go)

You need to get into game development because you love MAKING games. Not because you like playing games. They are so different it's mind blowing. You have to love what you do.

If you program? you have to think of nothing but pushing to program the next cool feature, making the game run super efficient and feel proud when you find that bug.

If you are an artist? you have to love eating nothing but hotdogs and getting paid pennies and being told your art looks like it came from the 1980s :p You also have to love art, love drawing something...then re-drawing it, then guessing at what the designer is thinking and what the audience is hoping for. You have to love creating...and also love to just make what you are told to make.

It's like that for everything in game development. It's hard work...but if you love it? you don't even care (well maybe after a while you do...)

Zero28913 karma

What is next? You are going to update the game? Make another one?

lanternforge3 karma

For now we are continuing to update the game, we want to add a bunch of new things...keep the game alive for us and everyone else playing.

NPCs, bosses, world events, quests and pets. We started a world and would love to continue to expand on what we have built.

We obviously have come up with a new game idea every week or more will be coming sooner or later but for now, ya we just wanna keep focusing on Lantern Forge.

Shabhira2 karma

Is there a plan for future changes? What about a community of players outside of steam (forum or subreddit)? This game seems right up my alley, but I'm hesitant to get involved without some assurance that it is going to grow in the future after being burned by a few other games with big promises.

Although I have to admit, that it is already a full release makes a big difference. So yeah I'll probably buy it anyway

lanternforge2 karma

Our steam forum is already huge with players showing off what they have built, the gear they have gotten and tips and guides and wikis. There are tons of videos people are making and we honestly want nothing more then to keep building on that.

It would be amazing to get to a point where we can start to have user content involved and other close we are to that? not close honestly...but it would be great to get there but for now? new things to play with in the world, new features and plenty of community support and ideas.

Thopterthallid3 karma

What made you design Lanternforge as a singleplayer game as opposed to a multiplayer one?

lanternforge7 karma


It takes 3x the amount of time to put multiplayer into anything really. We couldn't afford to do that so we had to go with a single player game and focus on that. We also believe that we could make a single player game that was fun and great and bring in the sales.

We also have never made a multiplayer game before so on top of several things we were doing for the first time, MP is a huge task to learn and felt it would really hinder the whole development.

twinhed2 karma

Two questions:

Does steam contact you before seasonal sales to ask if you want your game on sale? Or do they note need permission? Can you also contact them saying you want your game to be on a daily deal, etc?

Do you occasional read your game reviews on steam and elsewhere?

lanternforge2 karma

Can't fully talk about steam processes...but like anything, if you aren't making them a buttload of money, they don't really approach you for anything.

I read almost all the reviews good and bad. There is a ton to learn most of them. You have to learn how to deal with it of course. Hearing that people don't like something is never fun, you just have to realize that hey, you aren't gonna please everyone. But there is still plenty to learn, find out what they didn't like and why...maybe it IS something you can fix or add or tweak.

A review that says "awesome" is just as useful as one that says "sucks" basically you know they liked it or didn't but you have no idea why. (Still, obviously would prefer 50 awesomes to even just one suck)

but reading them is very important for sure. Honestly...we were shocked how well the game was received. We were super nervous about releasing and getting hate mail for years afterwards. You can think you have a great idea only to find out the world disagrees :p

rconnelly202 karma

What kind of monsters would one encounter in the different environments?

lanternforge7 karma

Since the game has been a heavy push, I tossed in some of the regular stuff. Goblins, skeletons, zombies, spiders, scorpions.

I was able to have some fun after all that making enchanted Dolls made of cloth and buttons that attack with needles and scissors. I made rock monsters with big mouths and eyes. Even made a block (mimic) monsters with a giant tongue.

I am going to keep adding monsters as the game goes on. Aliens, aquatic stuff, more biome specific monsters, steampunk robots. We made the game so that I am not limited to what I can make.

Super robotic ninja clownasaurus rex! ...

Prothall2 karma

What language did you use? Trying to get in on all this but i am not sure how to get a game going. Doesn't need to be fancy arts and all, but i'd prefer not to use something like Unity.

lanternforge3 karma

You will have to use several languages. C++, C# and so on. If you don't have experience building an SDK or the time ('s super hard and takes a long time) then I do recommend a pre-made SDK like Unity or Unreal. It really does make your life a ton easier. Then you can go in and edit it (depending if they allow that which I think they do or should) to how you like. There will still be tons of programming to do...but a lot more time to make what you want instead of just trying to get it to work.

Prothall2 karma

Ah.. ok so i should probably not code something all by myself unless it's a real project that will get somewhere ;)

What do think about Java? I feel like there is an easier way to get into Java, because there are more online courses and, while i love reading books, coding by "book" always makes me tired!

Thanks for the anwser btw!

lanternforge1 karma

I've seen Java as part of an engine, some components may run on it however that is sorta how all the languages work. I've never seen an SDK run on just one language alone for everything. Learning Java is useful though cause it gives you some flexibility in the webpage front of things.

TheWiredTimeBomb2 karma

Why should I buy your game? Is there a demo so I can try it?

lanternforge3 karma

There is the demo, several aspects of the game are locked and several bugs already fixed but you will get a good feel for how the game plays.

honestly beyond all the features in the game and so on the game is fun. People just fall into it and enjoy themselves with the freedom to play the game how they like.

NavAirComputerSlave4 karma

Sweet. Thanks you. :/ i would have just pirated it first if there was no demo.

flugsibinator3 karma

Honesty is the best policy.

NavAirComputerSlave3 karma

Yea i mean i would have bought it if it was good but.. you know i gotta play before i buy

flugsibinator3 karma

I've wasted too much money on games that looked cool but I don't like to buy a game without playing it first anymore.

NavAirComputerSlave3 karma

Same. I try and only impulse buy stuff thats is sub 5$

lanternforge4 karma

agreed. games are so expensive these days and are starting to fall short of their value. $60 for a game that is 5hrs long and way.

I want to make sure that it's something I'd like and we would expect anyone else to do the same for sure.

zjbirdwork2 karma

I'm taking my first back-end development course in a week and it's on Ruby on Rails. Any advice for a new programmer who's only gotten as far as completing an HTML/CSS course on codeacademy?

lanternforge5 karma

I'm the artist, but I've talked with a lot of programmers and from what I've seen. Learn your math, learn your C and be nice to artists :)

take in everything you can in anything you do, be open to new things.

Be clean, efficient and organized. Code can get very messy and becomes impossible to fix and change.

GourangaPlusPlus2 karma

Pfft screw that artist scum. Joking man artists bust their balls on their craft and its a much harder industry than programming with fewer fall backs

lanternforge3 karma

aye, it really is. I do recommend that anyone that is in any position, to learn what others do. By knowing their tasks and what they can and can't do it really lets you become more flexible and have a better work flow.

I don't just make a model and email it to the programmer and go "good luck" although...I should sometime :p You gotta talk with everyone so that you make stuff others can actually use.

Legym2 karma

What are your plans for advertising the game? Have you been to gaming conventions or have you looked into adsense?

Congratulations on the release!

lanternforge3 karma

I am new to all the marketing stuff and it's a ton of work. I can really see how this would be a full time job for people. I'm hitting all the social media groups, review sites and magazines.

It's really hard to get seen these days even if you have a good game. So far some have worked, some haven't but we still have a long way to go.

mleon2462 karma

How did you manage to get past greenlight? I've had one on greenlight for a while now and have only gotten 15% to passing.

lanternforge3 karma

Honestly...we were stuck forever until we got into a bundle deal. That gave a lot of exposure to our game to get us the votes we needed. I would say we got over half our votes and then greenlit within a week of being in the bundle deal.

mleon2463 karma

We had a bundle deal as well but only sold 2k copies. It wasn't enough.

lanternforge4 karma

We sold about that many as well, what game do you have on greenlight? I'd love to take a look and give you some pointers.

-DesertPenguin-2 karma

Is this a side thing or your full blown career?

When did you decide you wanted to do this, and how did you break into making games?

What type of game do you want to make next?

Have you ever considered working for a big name company?

What is your view on today's industry as a developer?

(Sorry for all the questions, I'm curious to join the field of Video games)

lanternforge6 karma

I'm really trying to make it my full blown career. Been doing it straight for a few years now.

For me, it's not so much the type of game...but the genre and style. I love fantasy, sci-fi and steampunk.

I have considered working for a big company, the experience working with excellent artists on big projects would be tremendous.

Today the industry is tough. It's packed with everyone screaming to get a bit of the pie. But the tools, the people and the work you do is just so amazing. It's super hard work, but I love it and would never want to do anything else.

TajMaBalls4202 karma

What are your thoughts on mobile gaming? That's a broad question so let me break it down. How will the growing popularity of mobile games affect the markets for console and PC games? How do you see companies/devs like King impacting the future of gaming and IP laws as a whole?

lanternforge4 karma

King shakes fist Seriously, the whole IP thing is nothing more then greedy money grabs and I don't get why the law lets stuff like that pass through.

As for mobile, I don't see it over taking PC/Console. They are more like good buddies that do different jobs. When I'm out and about, I don't have a PC or console to play. When I'm at home...I don't whip out my phone to play a match 3 game when I have Destiny or something to play on the tv. We do need both.

IusedtobeCool_Iswear2 karma

How does steam decide if your game goes on sale? Do you have any input on that front?

Do devs make less/more money when it is on sale?

Also, do the devs make money of of steam cards?

lanternforge3 karma

steam cards are a free thing that get traded amongst people in steam, them selling them to each other afterwards isn't connected to devs.

Everyone always makes less money per unit if something is on sale, your hope is simply to sell more units to make up for the loss. If you put something on sale for 20% off, you wanna sell atleast 20% more units to make up for it then you normally sell.

punch_you2 karma

Favorite 'Steam' game of all time? Besides your own of course.

lanternforge3 karma

hardest question today!

Serious Sam games are amazing, give me a minigun and a 100 enemies to mow down and I'm a happy camper Torchlight 2 gave me a great hack'n'slash to go at with friends. Love the art. Warframe,Terraria ....all these games I got over a hundred hours logged in easily.

vengpjer2 karma

The game looks very neat, reminds me of classic Runescape waay back in the day. My question; what was your favorite part about making the game? What was the most fun? Thank you for doing this AMA

lanternforge2 karma

I love making characters and weapons and flowers blush plants are just cool and organic ok! I am who I am!!! cough but ya, monsters and weapons and such are always fun :)

4runnerlyfe2 karma

How often do you go outside?

lanternforge5 karma

My GF drags me out all the time...kicking and screaming! no seriously...I'm so white I scare zombies away.

jrschmitz2 karma

Will you ever make it playable on Mac? :(

lanternforge2 karma

the basic code is there to allow it to be ported so if it gets big enough and we can hire someone to do it then yup. We tried it on a tablet once and it actually worked :p We built the game to use a lot of icons and such as well so that we could consider porting to tablets and since apple people love their ipad. That would be a big incentive.

ken272382 karma

What are your thoughts on early access? should their be rules in place that set when/what/point in development the game could be made early access?

lanternforge3 karma

I was in early access on another game and it was sooooo helpful for us devs. It allowed us to help mold the game better into what the community wanted. So I really do see the benefit on the Dev side to help make the game better.

However I also believe that it can be easily abused so I do think there should be some rules and control on the situation. When devs take the money and run, it's really just ruining the pot for the rest of us.

Games should almost be feature complete when they go in. If you need to add something here or there cause the community would really benefit it and has asked for it then sure...but the point of early access IMO is to find bugs, smooth out gameplay mechanics and so on. If the game is still so bad that people aren't buying it or it's so broken it's not fixable. Then you should pull your game with the prospect of fixing and putting it back up.

CoinDrop082 karma

How do you feel about early release or early access games? Do you think they are bad or a good thing?

lanternforge2 karma

Games released too early are truly a shame...because they ruin a lot of the potential they may have held. Early access I really do agree with as long as it's used properly.

Early access should be for Beta games to allow the public to help with tweaks, bugs and getting the game good to go. You shouldn't be trying to add tons of features and submit a half done game...Simply too much work still to do and manage plus the rick of abandonment is very high.

Flying_lawnchair1 karma


lanternforge2 karma

Depends on how bad your game is I would say :p

Trying to get that flappy bird clone on? best of luck... Did you make the next CoD? probably a lot easier.

honestly marketting will determine a lot

Uberwafflezz1 karma

Waffles or pancakes?

lanternforge4 karma

pancakes! I make really good pancakes, toss in some blueberries or strawberries? oh ya....

Moon_Sugar_Dragon1 karma

Were you at all inspired by Ultima Online? I love isometric games and the art style reminds me of UO. Will def. download once I get off work today.

Also, what made you decide on the name for the game? What was that process like?

lanternforge3 karma

Actually I hadn't played Ultima Online and had only heard of it by name until after we got going but I do see the resemblance for sure. I went with an art style that allowed me to have fun with 3D with some photoshopping thrown in that could be made quickly while still looking nice.

The name was something that slowly formed over time. Wanted it to basically give you an idea of what was in the game. We had several names get tossed around, some bad...some worse. There is SOOO much about a name, it's so important so we took our game and let it form.

SplendaMan1 karma

I plan on checking out your game when I get off work here in a few hours. Until then I do have a question or two...

As someone who is just beginning, where do I start? To clarify, I just built my PC last week and would love to eventually produce my own video game. Whether that be an app, indie game, or whatever. Where do I begin? I have absolutely 0 background knowledge of game development aside from a few classes in high school on basic graphic arts. So that doesn't really help. What sites, programs, resources, software any of it should I look into? I'd like to dabble in it a little and if I find that I really enjoy it eventually go back to college for it. Thanks for any input, for I'm clueless at the moment.

lanternforge1 karma

Making even a simple game is a huge process. Don't just dive in and try to make a big game and probably don't even dive in and try to make a small game :p

I really recommend making mods or play with level editors or make some characters or program an app. Do something really small and see how you feel about that, find what you love to do and then focus on becoming really good at that.

Think of video game design as a place where you can apply your skill. It's the whole package, you need to find where you fit into that puzzle. So figure out the basics. Art, Music, Programming, Design, Corporate business mogal.

then open that box and start to dig around and find something you like cause all of those basic categories spread out even deeper. It's the easiest way to find your calling.

PlatinumJoystick1 karma

What problems did you run into during the process, if any?

Are there any stories from development?

lanternforge1 karma

Tons of problems for sure. performance issues that required us to rip apart most of our sprite tables and redo them so that they loaded better to not kill computers.

I had to redo several animals because they looked terrible or mobs because they were too scary. We had plenty of technical issues to over come like lighting and such which really drained the system.

Some days we would spend all day...figuring out how a button looked/worked.

All of which was done online. We live across the country from each other so the whole thing was done remotely between two friends. We had another musician friend who did the music that lived somewhere else and another artist that did some of the icons for us who again was remote :p

ElvishisnotTengwar1 karma

  1. How hard was it creating a game? 2. Do you like pizza?
  2. Do you like isometric games like Diablo or Fallout?

lanternforge2 karma

It's quite hard...a ton of time and effort. you have to force yourself through the times when you are doing boring things and some days are so long. I LOVE pizza. When I was in college the first time I ate 4 slices a day for a year straight.

Love Diablo and Torchlight for sure, big inspiration for our game

HalfBakedHarry1 karma

Im an 18 year old who wastes all of his time playing video games and painting, how do I get into indie game development? When did you decide this was something you wanted to do?

lanternforge2 karma

I knew I wanted to make video games when I was like 7yrs old :p Drawing out levels, making up monsters and game play scenarios.

If you love painting and want to get into video game design. You should look into becoming a digital painter, get a background in that and you can easily get into studios drawing environments and BGs and such. Digital painting is becoming quite a thing now.

wuhu1 karma

I added this game to my wish list a few weeks ago! Are there NPCs currently in or planned for the game that help you defend your structures ? If yes can you tell us a bit about them thanks

lanternforge1 karma

ya we have NPCs planned for sure. We started with just the merchants who will actually run off to fight monsters and such if they get too close but we want to add more NPCs that you can manage around your town.

We aim to have them defend and fight monsters that come close (or any siege event where they try and attack your town) We would like to build them up to have little jobs like collect resources and such. We want them to be useful...not just stand around doing nothing.

ubermatik1 karma

How experienced would you say you are in the game development field, and roughly how long did it take you to get up and running with the basics of game development through to actually finishing this project?

lanternforge1 karma

I am quite experienced now. This isn't my first game and I have been involved from planning/concept to making assets to polish to marketting now :p

For LF, it has taken us a year working almost every available minute we had and even inventing a few now and then.

UltimateHemorrhoid1 karma

What games, if any, brought inspiration to you for this game?

lanternforge2 karma

Minecraft, Terraria, Diablo, Torchlight... basically RPG hack'n'slash and crafting games :)

OutOfApplesauce1 karma

Hey, I've been really enjoying the demo of the game, however I bought it and have been unable to download, something that has already been brought up on your community page. This seems to have been going on for a while, with none of the normal fixes working. How will you handle this later on? There seems to be people who have owned this game for over a week with no ability to play.

lanternforge1 karma

ya, been trying to get a hold of steam to figure out what is going on. For some reason the steam client isn't sending the data like it should. This has happened with other games too but it's still rare so hopefully Steam can figure out their issue. I have been searching so hard to find solutions like all the ones we posted in the forums.

Not happy ):<

We are working hard to find a good solution, if I have to walk over to everyones home who it isn't downloading for and transfer a copy onto their harddrive myself! ... well I won't, cause that would cost waaay too much cash but we'll figure something out.

SMTRodent1 karma

Which individual person would you most be stoked to impress with your game, and why?

lanternforge6 karma

My parents.

It's hard to be an artist and a game developer and have your parents really know what the hell you do and why. Living broke and suffering for so long. So if I could impress them and show them that this is what I love and can be able to support myself and loved ones doing it?

That is easily the more important to me.

Reyzuken1 karma

Are you my clone? My name is Kevin too and I wanted to become a Game designer and an artist.

lanternforge3 karma

or...are you MY clone....

Gamertroid1 karma

As someone who loves video games and want to get a job in the industry where can I start?

lanternforge2 karma

realize that loving video games and making video games is really different. Find what you love to do, programming, art, music and enjoy that and get good at it...then apply it to video game development.

assassinsweed11 karma

If you had the chance to work in a big game company like Ubisoft or Rockstar, would you have chosen that instead of making your own game? And why?

lanternforge1 karma

oh! I like that question. It's really hard honestly...

I would love to work at Ubisoft or the other companies, I've totally applied too. The experience to gain would be unmeasurable. I still would love to take part in it, to work in a huge team on something grand like that. But I know it wouldn't be forever.

Making our own game has so many perks, freedoms and liberties that makes it amazing.

So I would like both really, plus making your own game doesn't always involve money which is nice.

DatMooch1 karma

What's the best way to get started with Steam game programming? Are there classes for it? And how did you get started with the programming?

lanternforge1 karma

I'm just the artist, my friend is the programmer and he has been programming for other industries before working on game development.

You don't really program for steam. You just make a game that runs on it's own and then sell it on steam. Our game is available on other websites as well and run through them like same game, just sold differently.

kaiserwroth1 karma

What would you suggest to a very weak game programmer ways to break into the game industry? Given that most game developers started out learning reasonable amounts of programming to start off their careers.

lanternforge1 karma

learn more programming! Practice...lots of practice. Try making little apps, game mods or whatever else you can get your hands on. The wall to get into the game industry is easier to break for programmers for sure, but it's still pretty thick.

mr_willz1 karma

Game looks great! I see on your website mac platform is planned in the future, is this near or already in process or just some random point of time? :-(

You guys should look at Don't Starve, highly successful and kind of in the same field, highly recommended to see some features that make life a bit easier (yet extremely dangerous) in this genre. This looks very similar but has it's own unique edge, and I really like top down games so it's one to add to the bag for me!

lanternforge1 karma

Mac is such a small market portion that we'd need to see some serious sales to consider it.

Don't Starve is very neat and we took a few cues from them, but we wanted ours to be more colorful and fun then simply dark and out to kill you. But a great game for sure!

English_Gamer1231 karma

Was Tibia an inspiration for this game by anychance? It looks great!

lanternforge1 karma

hey that is cool, I had never heard of Tibia before (which probably answers your question)

DoomBread1 karma

What one sentence would you use to sell your game to me?

lanternforge1 karma

I tend to talk too much to only have one sentence...

but I guess I would say, come play our sandbox RPG crafting game how YOU want to play it.

oh oh! how about "play in our world, your way!" hmm...Sony might get mad at me for that...

kill monsters and put their corpses on your front lawn!

...but that doesn't really tell you about all the cooking and gardening...


SgtNmbr1 karma

Why didn't you make it just about the lantern? I wanted to play a game about a streetlamp where I could be worshiped as a god..

lanternforge2 karma

Lantern Simulator, quite an illuminating idea, something i could really lean on...

ItsAMeMitchell1 karma

Will you be sending any YouTube gamers (Markiplier, Steam Train, etc.) a copy to help spread the word?

lanternforge1 karma

ya, I've been passing out keys to all sorts of media outlets. Certainly not enough youtube people yet. Playing and seeing the game in action is truly a wonderful way to show off our game. We already have a few pages of lets play and such but we'd like that to expand plenty.

PoorlyDrawnKermit1 karma

If this question has been asked sorry, but how is piracy handled? is there some system like when crysis made you shoot chickens or are you just gonna let it happen?

lanternforge5 karma

We believe...nothing will stop piracy. Plus, any one that pirates our game...will hopefully have some fun and tell others who may go buy the game.

We have no DRM or anything, you won't really get updates or anything either but honestly...we just made a great game worth the $10. If you feel like you have to pirate it, then there is probably a reason and putting a bunch of stupid blocks that make the rest of the community suffer isn't gonna stop you from pirating it.

fcman0 karma

Need any minor dev help (bugs, enhancements)? I'm a full time financial systems developer who needs some game-focused coding to do in my spare time.

lanternforge1 karma

our coding is under control at the moment but I do recommend you to pick up some free SDK and give it a spin. Tear it apart and make something. There are plenty of free art assets out there and make something you want to make.

magusonline0 karma

As someone who predominantly plays indie games. I enjoy roguelikes especially. Crafting is fine, but I need something that latches onto me.

The store page, 2 videos (although one was just your company logo), and screenshots didn't do it for me. The description of the game on the store page, didn't quite grab me.

Sell it to me, I like buying indie games. Can you convince me to buy the game?

lanternforge1 karma

The description and videos show you exactly what the game is. So unless I wanted to lie to you or bribe you with pie then I don't think it's really the type of game for you.

We have had people that thought they would hate it, end up loving it. People that went to play a few minutes and played for hours endlessly. Our records show that someone played for 11hrs straight 0.0

We have a demo available so I recommend you play the game for's an experience really. Let that help you decide. There is no single game for everyone so if you still aren't into it. Nothing I can say will change that and that's ok :) I do hope you have fun though

Wesside0 karma

What, if anything, have you learned from the Castle Story fiasco, and others like it?

lanternforge3 karma

Don't overscope.

This is why we didn't include more NPCs and a few other features in the would have just dragged development way beyond scope and run the risk of being buggy and a peice of crap.

We set a goal, we made a time line for everything and we completed the game right on time with everything we wanted to do at the start.

It's all about scope and resources.

Gurip-2 karma


lanternforge3 karma

Actually we have a ton of customers that think it's under-priced for what it has to offer. We have had people even try and offer us more on the side or buy a couple copies to support us.

But you are welcome to wait for a sale, I know you will have a great time when you finally get into it :)

TheKool-AidGuy-2 karma

This game looks so good! What was your inspiration for making this game? And could I have a steam key? ;)

lanternforge1 karma

We were inspired by Minecraft, Terraria, Diablo and Torchlight. We wanted to make a game like Minecraft that had better graphics and combat like Diablo/Torchlight.

We are also just two guys who have been working really hard and are kinda broke, the game is only $10 and really worth it so if you purchased it...I get to eat more hotdogs ;)

Tablspn-6 karma

Windows only, huh? Looked interesting.

3clipse8 karma

It's a 2 person team, can't really blame them for programming for the OS with the largest install base among gamers.

lanternforge4 karma

It's pretty crazy really. You almost don't even have a choice.

I tried to find the pie chart for it but basically Windows 7/8 is over 80% of the market, Linux (which ALWAYS gets asked about in every game forum in the world) only makes up about 2% of the market. Apple is about the same. It's a double edged sword, no one makes games for those markets, so no one buys for those no on makes for thos.... and so on.