Magnus Games Studio – a product of hardship and perseverance, an effort by 2 Malaysian brothers with great passion for games who wanted to bring their vision to life.
We got to chat with DC Gan, the older of the 2 brothers, about the journey and experiences he and his brother, Welson Gan, have faced in order to get to where they are now.
Quick mention of their achievements thus far:
– Kickstarter campaign for their game, Re:Legend garnered up to USD630,700.
– First Malaysian indie game company to sign an international contract.
– awarded the 2017 South-East Asia Best Rising Star Award at the regional 2017’s Level Up KL.
The Perilous Journey of Our 2 Heroes
The Gan brothers picked up their interest in games from a very young age. At the mere age of 3, these brothers were already playing games such as Tetris and Snakes. They soon transitioned to consoles such as the Nintendo64 and even handheld consoles like PSP. Their burning passion for all things gaming gave them the push to get into the game development industry.
“We play a lot of games and we have expectations for these games. That’s the reason why we thought we should start making our own games.” DC explains. Starting off their game development endeavors roughly 10 years ago, DC and Welson attempted to create their first mobile game (a zombie game) for the iOS platform. Back then, they had no help whatsoever as the industry wasn’t really developed as it is these days.
The brothers had no idea about marketing or coding and had to turn to Google to learn about most if it. DC being a musician created the soundtrack/sound effects for the game and Welson did the coding with whatever little knowledge he had.
Safe to say, their attempts at creating their first game didn’t go quite according to plan due to their lack of knowledge on the subject. After several stabs at creating games, the brothers decided that they should take a break from their dream. In an attempt to gain more knowledge, Welson furthered his studies in game development while DC traveled to the US to study music production.
Soon after finishing their studies, they got back together to try to rekindle their dream of becoming game developers. Even with a whole lot more knowledge, the brothers found a roadblock in the form of financial issues. These 2 had a great vision of a game and did everything possible to make it come true. They borrowed money from family and friends and even went into debt.
According to DC, thanks to all who believed in their vision, they were able to work on creating an awesome game that would win people’s hearts. This would be the fateful moment that Re:Legend would come to existence.
A Game with Charm and Nostalgia
Re:Legend is the most charming little game you’ll ever see. At its core, it is a Role Playing Game (RPG) where you not only lead the simple life of a farmer but also go out adventuring and tame cute, unique Magnus which are the creatures that reside in Re:Legend. The art style is incredibly adorable and gives you a calm, serene feeling whilst playing the game.
“The inspiration for Re:Legend is that we always have one thing in mind; we want to share the classical game experience with today’s generation that did not have a chance to experience it.” DC explained.
The goal of Re:Legend was to bring back classical elements from games like Harvest Moon, Monster Rancher and put a twist on it, modernising the formula. “You will see a lot of similarities but when you play it you will find that the in-game features are quite uniquely different …. macam yes, tapi bukan (like yes, but not really), in a good way of course.” he added cheekily.
Incorporating a 4-man multiplayer mode, Re:Legend aims to deliver a unique user experience for every player. In this mode, you can choose to be a farmer while others collect resources or even hunt monsters. Magnus Games Studio’s focuses on making the game feel special and something the player can feel attached to even when they aren’t playing the game. They want their player base to have a positive user experience whereby they are constantly learning how to survive and become a respectable hero. Being gamers themselves, the Gan brothers implemented features into Re:Legend they personally would love to see.
DC confidently tells us that we won’t have to wait too long for Re:Legend as they plan to release the game on early access some time this year. Regarding the price, DC assured us that they are looking to make the game as accessible for all players and is confident that the game will be affordable for all.
Words of Wisdom
Having gone through his fair share of experiences and hardships, DC had very helpful advice for those looking to dive into game development. “Having self-motivation is very important, it’s not going to be an easy journey, so be prepared to face challenges and obstacles along the way.” he elaborates.
Looking toward the future, DC explains even though Malaysia is our country, we as game developers have to set our sights on the global market and learn from different countries. DC even reckons that creating games can be more impactful that making movies. Game developers are like movie directors and games are like interactive movies. Gamers can take their time to learn about the lore and the backgrounds of the characters, making them more attached to the game as a whole.
With the help of MDEC, DC is confident that gaming and game development will take a step forward for the better. In this new age, with more positive spotlight being shined on gaming, we can hope that Malaysian parents will be able to understand the industry better.
The story of how Magnus Games Studios came to be is truly inspiring. DC and Welson had to have true grit and perseverance in order to make their childhood dreams a reality. Having such great role models for Malaysians especially in the game development industry is truly another great Malaysia Boleh moment for us all!
To check out Magnus Games Studios Re:Legend, go to www.play-relegend.com to learn more!
Written by Kaemon Ong, writer, student, gamer, Twitch streamer and procrastinator. He can be found huddled in his room either watching anime or taking a nap.
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