Indie game developer Ben Porter has finally released his game MoonQuest on Steam Early Access and indie digital distribution platform itch.io for the PC. The game is not fully finished however and is still in beta. Check out the new gameplay trailer!
MoonQuest might not ring a bell for many gamers and even those who heard of it once, might have forgotten about the charming little adventure-platform game. After all, it has been an astonishing 7 years since development started on the game.
“MoonQuest is a procedurally-generated adventure game for PC. Each game presents a new world to explore in your quest to illuminate the endless night. Seek out the lost forest, delve into the spider caves, storm the castle of the Silver King, discover vast seams of gold ores, and craft a hat of such splendour that the cosmos will be jealous. MoonQuest combines roguelike and minecraftian gameplay and is suitable for all inhabitants of this universe.”
The mind behind MoonQuest is Australian Ben Porter. In a post-mortem-like blog post on Medium, the indie dev talks about the reasons how such a long development cycle came to be and gives some nice insight on how directions, and sometimes the lack of, can impact progress.
Porter, who left his scientific career after getting his PhD, decided to follow his passion of game creation and shortly after MoonQuest – then called Moonman – started to take shape. As an advanced computer scientist, it comes only as natural that Porter didn’t just work on the game itself but on the tech behind it as well. It’s delightful how Porter can jokingly talk about the many decisions he made which added to the lengthy development period. I highly recommend giving Porter’s post a read. It’s not only highly fascinating for anybody with even a pinch of interest in game development but also a fun read in general.
“Build Your Own Engine. […] Don’t stop at creating your own engine. You can also create your own tools, like a custom sprite editor, because all those other sprite editors out there do not do exactly what you need. […]
Before development be sure to have an unclear image about what kind of game you are making. This will lengthen both your engine development time and your game design time.”
Maybe now that there is a happy ending for MonnQuest, Porter finds it easier to laugh at himself. A very charming dev, that is for sure. But the real meat of course is his game, MoonQuest. And all his technical knowledge in academics and his meticulous work ethic seem to have paid off, with MoonQuest standing at a very positive 83% user review at Steam.