FrankenStorm a hit for game developer Winmalee | Blue Mountain Gazette

Video game developer Winmalee saw his latest creation unexpectedly gain popularity after reaching # 1 among new releases on leading online store, Steam.

Ethan Close designed the free online game FrankenStorm in collaboration with his development partner Bilal Akil, who lives in Sydney. While they don’t have such high hopes for the game, Mr. Close and Mr. Akil were elated when he secured a position on Steam’s main store page in late November. Steam is a video game distribution service with global reach.

“We don’t expect to make any money, but we hope our modest success could lead to more opportunities,” Mr. Close said. “For an indie game release, it’s a wild hope to earn a spot on the main store page. We were amazed to get there.”

The project that has become FrankenStorm started during a “game jam” – an event where developers have 48 hours to create a game on a given theme. FrankenStorm is based on a traditional tower defense game, but also incorporates themes of mad scientists, laboratory experiments and the Frankenstein monster.

“The theme of the game jam was ‘Joined Together’, with ideas for connections and broken connections,” said Mr. Close. “Bilal loves tower defense games, a type of strategy game where waves of enemies attack and you have to defend yourself.

“We initially thought of trying to stop something that was trying to escape and sever a connection, which gave me the idea of ​​an escaping lab experiment and the Mad Scientist theme. As we continued to think, I thought about electrical circuits and the need to be connected to a power source, which fit well with the mad scientist idea and how Frankenstein’s monster is made. of “assembled” parts.

“So we went for a tower defense game where you build mazes with electricity to defend your science experiments against an angry mob.”

Additionally, Mr. Close and Mr. Akil have had player requests for a bigger, more complex game based on FrankenStorm, which is paid for – and the pair will now embark on work towards this larger product. Together, Mr Close and Akil run the Doodad Games studio.

Mr. Close and Mr. Akil previously released the two-player game Viking Trickshot, also on Steam, earlier this year.