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Making a Nintendo Game: Four Years of Dev, Travel, Pitching, and Publishers

by Zachary Johnson | 3:45 – 4:30 in Tackle | View Schedule

Minneapolis-based game development studio Space Mace released their first video game Joggernauts for Nintendo Switch in October 2018. What are some of the things they did in the four years they worked on the project? Well...

Built a game development team. Found a lawyer and created the game studio Space Mace. Booth-ed our game at over 25 events including SXSW, GDC, E3, PAX West, and PAX East. Pitched to publishers and consoles for almost a year. Signed with a publisher. Went full-time. Hired contractors. Kept up morale for over four years. Shipped a Nintendo Switch game. Shipped a Steam game. Saw what indie game sales numbers look like in 2018.

You could say they learned a lot. Developer Zachary Johnson from the team is going to do his best to tell you everything important that he wishes he had known before the team started... if he can remember it.

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Zachary Johnson

Zachary Johnson is a weird, web-obsessed artist and programmer from the midwest. He started his software consulting business Zachstronaut in 2011 and co-founded the game studio Space Mace in 2016.

He's worked on a Nintendo game called Joggernauts, a pixel art comedy RPG called The Legend of Equip Pants, a delicious indie arcade cabinet called The Donutron, and a haunted 8-bit NES.

Zach has spoken at events in Berlin, New York, Chicago, and many times at Minnebar and Minnedemo. He's also been on the committees for MinneWebCon and IGDA-TC.

He's great at remembering fish facts and only slightly obsessed with taking selfies with other people's cats.


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