A Strong Start to Video Game Campaign
A love for creative design is a family affair for Academy of Art University online game development student Amario Andre, who has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his first video game Abandoned.
Andre’s father, also named Amario, once worked for Marvel Comics and founded an art school in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, Amario’s Art Academy for the Gifted and Talented.
Amario Andre. Courtesy of Amario Andre.
Andre’s video game, Abandoned, has already seen some success. It originally started as a tech-demo for a game design competition sponsored by the start-up investment company Semantic Seed. The competition was judged by development companies like Microsoft and Apple. Abandoned’s demo won first place.
“I went to the event with very little experience in making games and came out with an extreme love for the process and outcome,” said Andre, who has entered the competition three times. “It wasn’t even that the competition taught you how to make games; it didn’t, it was the pressure of having a concept turn into a prototype and finally something that’s presentable in just 72 hours.”
Abandoned is a first person survival game with a unique story and game-mechanics. You work for a secret branch of the government called the Agency, and your mission is to go to an insane asylum undercover to ensure that a fallen agent does not somehow leak intel within the prison walls. You must survive not only the tyranny of your fellow agent and brother Dom, but other inmates as well.
“I would say a lot of my background in becoming an artist sprung up from his love of the field,” said Andre, who volunteers as an instructor at the school.
“I teach somewhere between 20–30 kids each week from grades ranging [from] three to 12,” he said. “We’ve done many murals and community projects over the years.”
Andre’s two sisters also teach at the family academy and are both enrolled at the Academy.
“Its fun when some of our assignments line up, so that we can give advice to help each other,” said Andre.
Courtesy of Amario Andre.
Courtesy of Amario Andre.
“I’ve never done a 3-D game before, but I really wanted to push myself and try it out. And what better way to learn how to do it than in front of judges who work for companies like Microsoft and Apple,” said Andre. “The motivation of what others might think and the critique about my ideas only inspired me to learn faster.”
Andre is inspired by the independent developer community because it’s members continue to innovate games in the industry as well as help each other succeed knowing the challenges in making ambitious games without a big budget.
Music is also a big part of Andre’s inspiration. Andre was able to fund Abandoned’s soundtrack already through his first Kickstarter campaign. He completed the score with music composer Christopher Escalante.
“The current campaign is going great so far, and I hope it continues to do so,” said Andre. “There are so many of my supporters who can’t wait to see the game in its fullness, and I would love to be able to give them more than what they had hoped for.”
For more information on Abandoned, please visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1069586425/abandoned-pc-mac-linux