Mad Studio: A Small Team Making Massive Waves
Game development is becoming increasingly democratized, seemingly by the day. While the industry was once dominated by large studios with limited throughput of blockbuster titles, today we see small studios and even single individuals developing and releasing lots of creative games. At ROBLOX, we’re giving game developers of all skill levels and ages the tech they need to not only make a game, but make it a multiplayer, multi-platform smash hit. One of the best examples of the opportunity we offer is Mad Studio, a small group of ROBLOX game developers who’ve banded together to create great games and amass millions of play sessions.
Mad Studio‘s work resonates throughout the ROBLOX ecosystem. They’ve created multiple successful games (Darkness, Intense Sword Fighting) and even introduced features that other developers have adopted (Chat Voice). The studio is the brainchild of two ROBLOX developers: loleris and Nettimato. They manage every endeavor they undertake, and farm out additional work to other scripters and builders on a per-project basis. By having their hands in so many simultaneous projects, the pair of developers is earning huge sums of ROBUX (which invariably is leading to serious cash payouts) each month. Game development, feature development, collaborative efforts — they get it.
Loleris is a cool guy. Equal parts spontaneous and methodically organized, he’s created a business model using ROBLOX that allows him to pump out high-quality games, and earn himself and Mad Studio serious loot. He also gives an extremely candid interview — which you probably know if you’ve read one of the two Crossfire articles he’s done here on the blog. He’s modest about all he’s accomplished so far, and is constantly thinking about what the future holds.
“Nettimato and I develop the games — we’re at a state where we want to make a real breakthrough before we start delegating difficult tasks,” he tells me. “There is no place for a huge group to do a ton of work when you’re working with deadlines as short as one or two weeks. We move quickly. That’s how we roll.”
He goes on to describe a game-publishing strategy that that’s becoming more and more common in today’s market: publish early and develop quickly. He tells me his next big ROBLOX title, a sequel to the uber-popular Darkness (which has been played over 1.6 million times), has been in development for the past week, and will be ready to play in just a few days. When you consider that he’s rebuilding the game entirely from scratch, the speed of his development cycle is mind boggling.
“Darkness 2 is going to be the game that the first Darkness was supposed to be,” he tells me. “It’s all about polish at this point. New gun animations, new FPS animations, a new spectate mode where all players can spectate everyone, not just the Beast. New guns, new power ups, a ton of new sounds. Darkness was way too silent for a horror game.”
Loleris listed these features off as if he was reading groceries off of a long list. The next obvious question I wanted to ask was about the map — like he was reading my mind, he continued:
“I’m also going to be working with various map builders that aren’t from Mad Studio so Darkness 2 can have a ton of maps.”
At this point I’m slightly taken aback not just by the sheer volume of things on his to-do list, but by the calm organization with which he presents them. He has all his bases covered. It was clear to me that loleris, who is often in the middle of multiple projects, has built a well-oiled machine that focuses on efficiency and organization — something that came to fruition after discovering he could make real cash using our Developer Exchange program. I ask him about his newly found mentality, and was again surprised by his response.
“I’m the Idea Manager in Mad Studio, and I base all my ideas on things people like now, at this very moment. I look at others games to figure out how to make my games more entertaining. Unlike a lot of ROBLOX developers, I’m not on a mission to make my perfect dream game. I make games to entertain people, and earn money doing it.”
The stats don’t lie — loleris has cashed out the maximum amount every single month since DevEx was introduced in October. He represents exactly what we wanted to see when we introduced the program — he is a hard-working and diligent ROBLOX game developer who is earning money every single month for the places and games he creates, and he’s hungry for more.
“I was just on the edge of leaving ROBLOX in order to pursue a job that I could earn money doing,” he recalls. “But the minute DevEx came out I was so relieved. Now I earn cash developing ROBLOX games, which is the thing I know best.”
“Raise the monthly maximum to $4,000 so I can come visit you guys in America,” he adds with a laugh. He lives in Lithuania.
“Unlike a lot of ROBLOX developers, I’m not on a mission to make my perfect dream game. I make games to entertain people, and earn money doing it.” -loleris
Loleris and Mad Studio are only getting started. He told me that this month he “only has one million ROBUX” in his wallet (which made me laugh), and that he won’t be satisfied until Darkness 2 earns him two million. He’s eagerly anticipating features like Developer Products, a topic says rival developer Nikilis is “all in [his] face about it.” This reflects the passion and ingenuity of real ROBLOX developers — unafraid to team with others, and always thinking ahead to figure out how to make the next big title.
The story of loleris and Mad Studio illustrates the opportunity developers have when they’re fueled by ROBLOX. The studio might only be a two-person venture, but our robust technology infrastructure gives them the fuel they need to build fantastic games and reach millions of players on desktop and mobile platforms around the world.