The one and only, Leth: An Interview

Leth is an incredibly talented guy making games you will be spending many many hours playing. He is also a very talented caster on twitch at www.twitch.tv/leth! A couple of years ago, I tested out Wanderlust: Rebirth after meeting him in a multiplayer game of Mass effect 3. Fell in love with the game, and reconnected on twitch through various channels. I asked him a few questions about his journey and this is what he had to say. Enjoy!

1. The last time we talked you were working on finishing up Wanderlust: Rebirth. Since then you have put a lot of work into Wanderlust: Rebirth’s release, Risk of Rain’s multiplayer, and the new project you are part of, Witchmarsh. When we talked last, did you think you would have been a part of so many projects?

Sure I did! I imagine there are some people out there who look at indie game development more as a “lottery ticket” opportunity than a career, but I am not one of those people. I don’t try to make games in order to keep making money; I try make money so I can keep making games. Of course, I always try to learn and better myself as a game developer. Hopefully soon I’ll get to the point where I possess the capability of giving other upstart developers the same opportunities that were afforded to me.

2. Is there anything you would have wanted yourself to know, back then?

I’ve never really been one to back down from completing a project, but over time I have learned that the most valued developers are the ones who live up to their promises (i.e. finish their work). In terms of my development career, I believe I am just a few more steps away from being where I have always dreamed – the sole head of a successful game development company. So, to answer your question, it’s hard to say I wish things could have been different because they’ve led me to where I am today.

3. Has working with other teams helped you as a programmer?

Not much, really. This is primarily due to the fact that I have been recruited specifically for my online multiplayer coding experience – a skillset which is lacking in the teams that I’ve I joined. 
Being a good team member is a skill that can easily be taken for granted, though. I work hard to ensure my projects get completed, and that they have the best opportunity to be successful. In fact, one of my primary goals when I join a team is to reduce the number of decisions made that ultimately create more work for everyone. In other words, I believe in helping to improve and inspire the people around me – an ideology which likely stems from my history in education as a teacher and tutor, where my duty was to enrich the lives of the young people around me.

4. Any tips for newly starting developers?

Go get Game Maker (www.yoyogames.com) and start a project that you think will be “easy” to finish. Even an “easy” project takes dedicated work and discipline to complete; and DO NOT start making your dream MMORPG for your first game! Of course, creativity is encouraged but that also means that you may have urges to move on to new ideas and abandon your current project. You’ll have to learn to simply write those ideas down and continue working, because being talented isn’t enough to be a successful game developer; it takes special discipline and mental effort to finish your work (or work successfully with others). I know I said this before having the ability to ‘finishing your work’ is an important skill all on its own.

5. What is your favorite project you have worked on, thus far?


I love all of the projects I’ve worked on, from Wanderlust: Rebirth and Risk of Rain (PC/Steam), to Gubs and Puckbang (iOS), and I very much look forward to begin coding in Witchmarsh (PC) but my favorite project always seems to be my current one, which right now is Wanderlust Adventures (www.wanderlustgame.com). All of us at Yeti Trunk (www.yetitrunk.com) are absolutely stoked! 

 

Wanderlust Adventures is an online four-player co-op, open world action adventure game with RPG elements. We’re nearing our beta stage soon and we just released the first official trailer for the game in the past week. It’s an exciting time for everyone on the team – myself along with Jason Gordy, Lauren Feehery, Chris Christodoulou and PowerUp Audio – that we’re finally able to share a glimpse of what we’ve been working so hard on the past year and a half.

Thanks again to Leth for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to me! Hope everyone enjoyed the article!

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