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Same room gaming: Key to successful indie launch

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Local Tempe indie game developers Mario Castaneda and Chris Jennewein who comprise Prismatic games studio of Tempe recently celebrated the successful funding of their Kickstarter campaign for their game creation, Hex Heroes. Last month we reported on the launch of the campaign and since then the duo managed to gather over $86,000 of their original $80,000 goal.

With a successful campaign behind them we followed up with Castaneda to learn more about this project and the key to their Kickstarter success.

“I prefer same-room play to online any day,” declared Castaneda who created Hex Heroes with the same-room gaming element being one of the key features of the overall experience. While the game will be developed for multiple platforms including PC, Mac, and Linux, it was the Wii U that seemed the best fit for a game that emphasizes same-room play. “The Wii U, and Nintendo in general, has always had a strong focus on local play, and it's an experience that's available right out of the box,” explained Castaneda.

Castaneda explained the steps the small team tried to take once they went live with their Kickstarter campaign to ensure its success, “We began by reaching out to as many press sites as possible to drum up initial support, announcing the day our Kickstarter would launch.” Not stopping there, the team also sought out other means of support explained Castaneda, “We also got in touch with several fellow indie developers to see if they liked the game and would support us with a cameo inclusion.”

Due to the efforts of the two man team and the desirability of the concept the Kickstarter campaign met its goal. Castaneda also explained why he believes same-room gaming is so important in both a general sense and specifically with Hex Heroes, “I personally feel local play trumps online almost every time. In the case for Hex Heroes, players need to be able to communicate instantly with one another to effectively play, and so being together in the same room is integral. The experience of working as a team is heightened when you're directly next to your team mates.”

What originally started as a game jam concept has now successfully raised over $80,000, a substantial feat for a small indie game development project. Castaneda could not over emphasize his recommendation of taking game jams seriously, “Do them. Always. Game jams have really become the best way to develop games. They allow you to spitball ideas and strive to create a sample of the end experience.”

Same room gaming has undoubtedly hit a cord with enthusiasts as funding for Hex Heroes has been met and Castaneda and Jennewein can place all their focus on the team play concept they are anxious to introduce.

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