Launching Merge Dragons: My Indie Project
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
Nearly 3 years ago (as of late 2016), I left Maxis, and I left The Sims. A piece of my heart remained behind, with all the wonderful people and with the games I loved working on for 10 years as an engineer, a designer, then a creative director. I strode out on my own to follow a calling -- one to make a game of my own.
I worked full time, then part time, and eventually nights and weekends as I explored a game idea that grew and flourished into Merge Dragons, which I've dubbed a “merge 3” game. What does that mean? Well, Merge Dragons immerses you in a fantasy world where you can grab almost anything directly from the land and drag it near similar things to merge them into better things. Think match-3, but better and smashed right into the game world. For example, you can merge eggs to hatch helpful dragons, which harvest useful things for you to merge -- like "life flowers" which you use to heal the dead land that plagues Dragonia.
The experience has been transformational. Appolicious interviewed me, and I shared with them thoughts on my struggles, my philosophies, my inspirations for Merge Dragons -- including how The Sims has influenced my design approach -- and I also talk through how Merge Dragons stands out as unique and fun in a world where tens of thousands of games are released to the app store each month. If that interests you, please check it out.
Here's a snippet:
My experience on The Sims has been invaluable. It is such an incredible series of games and I was surrounded by veritable swarms of highly intelligent people at Maxis. The lesson [from The Sims] that most influenced Merge Dragons is about “hidden depth.” Hidden depth can...