Hey everyone! I'm David, the founder of TheraDev. I'm currently attending school for a Bachelor's in Computer Science and for the past decade under the username BlackJax96 I've been modding video games such as Halo 3 and Super Smash Bros Brawl and programming tools such as BrawlBox to aid in that process. After building up my experience I've decided it's time to develop my own games and even program my own custom engine along the way! I'm passionate about all aspects of game development and want to do this as my  full-time job. And it's not just me; several other volunteers have joined me in my endeavor.

Why start your own company?

To put it simply, I want to make content I love on my own time with other passionate like-minded people. I have a wild imagination that I want to express without limit and I'm not intimidated by the work that lies ahead to be able to do that. Most importantly I want to be involved in the whole game development process rather than just a small part of it. My expertise lies in programming but I also enjoy everything from 3D modeling, texturing and animation to storywriting, video production and musical composition.

Why not use an existing game engine such as Unity or Unreal?

I actually did work with Unreal Engine 4 for a good amount of time trying to develop Thera, our main game. One of the biggest problems I had was working around bugs in the engine that I came across while working towards implementing my vision. Despite being a AAA game engine, it was consistently crashing, compiling small changes very slowly, failing to compile with cryptic error messages, and loading the editor very slowly, taking its time to recompile thousands of shaders every time I had to restart after a crash (sorry if you're reading this, anybody from Epic. I still love you guys and your engine is... unreal). Despite the engine's codebase being open source, modifying it without breaking the engine and keeping my additional code up to date with Epic pushing new updates would be too much work to do all by myself. So I decided to take a step backward and take time to develop my own engine.

Won't programming an engine take a long time? What's the payoff?

Despite the huge learning curve and increased development time, programming my own engine opens up a lot of opportunities in the long run. I can design the development workflow to work exactly how I feel it should, and in the event that I come across an engine bug, I can fix it myself almost immediately (as long as it isn't too bad of course). I've been programming with C# for a long time as well and when making my decision, I was confident I would not struggle with development speed too much.

...Plus, it's just fun! I like to challenge myself.

So what's your plan for TheraDev?

Our main end-goal is to successfully launch Thera and turn TheraDev into a real company with a physical studio space and full-time employees. That's pretty far off in the future though, so here's our list of goals to help us get there:

  1. Develop the engine & editor first of all, so that we have tools to work with. As we work on our games, these will continually be upgraded with new features and the tools we need.
  2. Work on Chroma Crossfire and other small game clones like Tetris to not only test the engine's capabilities but also to hone our development skills and build interest in the community. We need a portfolio, of course!
  3. Release Chroma Crossfire on digital platforms like Steam, and our smaller clone games for free.
  4. Work on a Thera multiplayer beta that we will release before the full gameI feel that it's important for us to receive community feedback and determine what we need to change around before the final release so we're able to make the most fun and fair game we can.
  5. Release a story mode trailer video for Thera. This would ideally be released alongside the multiplayer beta.
  6. If Patreon doesn't eventually raise enough funds to get Thera's development going, post a funding campaign to Kickstarter.
  7. Work on developing Thera until release!

So feel free to browse the site and see what we're up to. We'll keep everything as up-to-date as possible and will post about any major revisions or additions on social media. If you're interested in what we're doing, consider pledging to us on Patreon and/or spreading the word about TheraDev! I work on this stuff every day but it's especially difficult juggling all of it along with school and freelance / part-time work on and off (and then alongside a full-time job once I graduate in early 2019). The ultimate goal for me would be to make this my full-time job so I wouldn't have to focus on doing anything else to support myself. 

Thanks for reading! :-)

A lot of indie developers who became ‘overnight successes’ were working at it for ten years.
— Dan Adelman, Business Dev for games like Shovel Knight & Cave Story
[Young game creators] want to tell stories that will touch people’s hearts. It should be the experience, that is touching. What I strive for is to make the person playing the game the director.
— Shigeru Miyamoto