News

Detroit gamer leaves well-paying job to become a video game developer

32 year old uses savings to create Spellmasons, a top down tactical roguelike video game
Posted at 1:36 PM, Dec 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-17 13:37:15-05

WIXOM, Mich. (WXYZ) — For some, Jordan O'Leary may seem like a regular guy living in Detroit.

He's a loving husband and a dad to two dogs and a cat. But there is more to this 32-year-old from Wixom than meets the eye. Two years ago, during the pandemic, Jordan quit his well-paying job and decided to follow his passion — building video games.

Earlier this year, Jordan released 'Spellmasons,' a top-down rogue-like video game for Mac and PC.

"'Spellmasons' is an online multiplayer tactical turn-based game where you are a wizard, and over time, you gain more and more spells, and you get to combine them in unique and creative ways to fight monsters," said O'Leary.

Since Jordan's dad was a tech guy, as a kid, Jordan was always immersed in the world of computers. Jordan even dropped out of college and became a self-taught software programmer.

"I love the problem-solving aspect of making video games. It's such a balancing act that makes it fun and understandable to the user and gives players moments of joy," said O'Leary.

A self-funded project, Jordan spent over $20,000 from his savings to create 'Spellmasons'.

The two-year long journey taught him a lot as a video game developer and entrepreneur.

"I've kind of tipped my toes in lots of domains. I got the trademark for 'Spellmasons.' I registered an LLC. I did my own advertising, marketing. I produced trailers for the game. I built a store page. So, there is all these tasks and requirements that are beyond just making the game itself," said O'Leary.

"What was the hardest part of making this game?" asked 7 Action News.

"Just getting to the point it was mostly stable and bug-free and then have it full enough for people to feel it was a full experience. It was just a lot of work," said O'Leary.

'Spellmasons' is currently available for download on Steam, and Jordan says if you like it, please leave a review.

"We live or die by the algorithm, just like social media, so if you want to support a creator you love... Leave a review because that's what tells the platform what people enjoy. Show it to other people," said O'Leary.

Meanwhile, Jordan advises aspiring video game developers to build small projects and get feedback as soon as possible.

Jordan is also looking to collaborate with artists for future projects. Interested artists can contact him by email him at spellmasons@gmail.com.

Click here to learn more about 'Spellmasons.'