The coders of today are the wizards of the future.

-Gabe Newell

Coding is Magic

It's a game where you make your own magic spells by writing code. Play online with other people or explore a rich single-player sandbox.

CodeSpells began as one of Stephen's Ph.D. research projects. But Adrian and Jason completely reimagined the game, creating the version now on Steam. This was possible because Lindsey ran a super effective Kickstarter for CodeSpells. And the rest is history.

A brief history

Before the Kickstarter, Jason did a bunch of cool concept art to craft the vision:


Then Adrian made playable prototype of Jason's world, adding in scriptable spells. This allowed Stephen to make a demo video that became our Kickstarter trailer.

Then Lindsey managed to run a super effective Kickstarter campaign, getting over 5000 backers and netting $160K, more than 3 times the amount of funding we expected. She leveraged her background as a scientist, doing some cool data-driven analysis that she has shared with the Gamasutra community.

Releasing on Steam

Concurrently with the Kickstarter campaign, Lindsey also ran a Steam Greenlight campaign. Within 9 days of our Kickstarter campaign, we were greenlit. So we released on early access a few months later. This allowed us to design the game while getting feedback from real customers. We spent many months adding features based on this feedback.

Multiplayer

Of all possible features, the one people seem to want most is multiplayer. So we're currently working on that. The version on Steam has a prototype of multiplayer already. We did a press release about that. There are five multiplayer game modes (called Arenas) -- one of which is a cool "Wizard Soccer" Arena.

There has been one community-run tournament in CodeSpells already. We're excited to see this kind of thing happening.

However, one current drawback is that CodeSpells multiplayer requires you to forward your ports and exchange your IP address with people you want to invite to your Arenas. We don't like this.

So Stephen is working on a system that will allow CodeSpells players to start servers in the cloud whenever they want. Meanwhile Adrian is working on making the multiplayer gameplay more smooth. And Jason is building more multiplayer arenas, supporting a wider variety of multiplayer experiences.

Creatures

Jason has been dreaming of worlds filled with fantastical creatures for his entire life. So one of the ongoing efforts is to add more creatures. This will probably never be finished. We plan on adding content to CodeSpells forever.

More Arenas

We want to make CodeSpells into a platform for users to create content too. (We're a small team; we can't do all the work!) So Adrian is polishing up the tools that he uses to create Arenas. We'll release these to the CodeSpells community as an in-game interface, allowing anyone to create multiplayer Arenas and share them with others. Meanwhile Jason will make various Arena "starter environments" and assets and release them to the community.

Interested?

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