Island software developer to launch videogame in 2016

By Drake Lowthers

Oct. 14, 2015

James O’Halloran loves videogames.

As a kid, he would mash buttons on his controller. Today, he uses software that mimics real-life motion as he builds Miner Meltdown.

The 25-year-old software developer is set to release Miner Meltdown, his first feature videogame, in the summer of 2016 with his indie game studio Mighty Pebble Games.

“Miner Meltdown is a 2D competitive-multiplayer game in which the ultimate objective is to kill the other team.”

The playing field is an underground mine. Players are miners scouring for minerals used to purchase equipment and upgrades. They have multiple 10-minute rounds to cause as much havoc as they can.

Working out of a small bedroom studio on a quiet street in Marshfield, O’Halloran has built his indie game studio from the ground up.

After graduating from the UPEI in 2013 with a computer science degree, O’Halloran started working as a software developer for Adeptio, a start-up company based out of Charlottetown.

In July, Adeptio went out of business and O’Halloran faced a major decision, work for someone else or start his own company.

“I’m young, so it’s not the end of the world if this doesn’t work out,” he said. “I’m at the perfect age to take a risk like this.”

Mighty Pebble Games faces real barriers as an indie studio.

“Your game doesn’t have the same financial backing as larger studios, so there’s always a risk of the game not getting any exposure.”

Heavy competition in the videogame market means marketing the game will be the hardest part, as they’ll need to rely on natural marketing, O’Halloran said.

“You need to wear a lot more hats as an indie developer, handling game design, marketing, programming and art. You need to be prepared to spend pretty much all your time working on the game.”

O’Halloran spends 75 hours a week working on Miner Meltdown to have it ready for its 2016 launch.

He is also kick starting a Steam Greenlight campaign, to compete with gaining exposure. Steam is an online marketplace where independent game developers can sell their games. He can get his game on the site if he receives enough community votes.

“This allows for a better chance of success.”

To watch the game’s official trailer and to vote for Miner Meltdown on Steam go to http://mightypebble.com/miner-meltdown/.

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