||October 9, 2013
My last day at The Amazing Society was May 15, 2012. The next day I started at what was then called "Z2Live". In a market full of me-toos and not-very-goods, Z2Live stood out as a company that was making really fun games in the free-to-play market. When I was playing a lot of mobile games for research back in 2012, Battle Nations and Metalstorm were two of the ones that I kept coming back to. So I was pretty excited to take the reins as Lead Designer on their new action RPG / city builder hybrid.
The goal from the beginning was to "make a casual Torchlight". My personal goal was to "make Battle Nations with swords". Doing the latter turned out to be the easier of the two. It turns out that "a casual Torchlight" really means "a more accessible Torchlight on a platform without mouseover". Less easy. Still, the 16 months I spent on the project (and at Z2) were an incredible learning experience, and even if Shadowslayer didn't have the longevity of some other Z2 games, we still shipped an action RPG on iOS with a new IP.
I managed four designers on the project, but still had time to create the world, characters, progression, quests, and design the bulk of the systems and content. It was a little like having two full-time jobs at times, but the combination of leadership/mentoring a diverse team and implementing so many of my (and others' designs) was immensely rewarding.