Sarnia video game developer celebrates release of first game

Sarnia-born and raised video game developer celebrates the release of his company’s first game to market.

Maple Powered Games President Kerry Vandenberg said Monster Harvest was developed with a core team of four and a few outside contractors.

“It took us over two years to create the title, but it has always been a dream of mine and I think everyone on the team is producing a video game and now it’s become a reality and we are just thrilled, ”Vandenberg said.

He said the team is operating remotely at the moment.

“We had an office set up before, but when the coronavirus hit we changed to being totally distant and it ended up working better for us. As you can imagine, we work on computers all day anyway, so we ended up sticking to this format.

Vandenberg, 31, graduated from Gregory Hogan High School and (former) St. Christopher High School in Sarnia and said he left town for a few years but was happy to be back home.

“I didn’t expect I could build something so complex in Sarnia, but it turns out that I think Canada has one of the most successful video game industries in the world and there were a lot of people who had the same dream as mine. “

Monster Harvest is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch and has been translated into ten different languages.

“We are now working to bring it to PlayStation 5 and a few more systems in the future. The game is an RPG (role-playing) hybrid collecting and cultivating monsters, so it takes inspiration from some of the classic games that I grew up, such as Harvest Moon and Pokémon.

Vandenberg said the game is “text heavy,” so he recommends it for anyone over the age of seven.

“Basically a lot of the game revolves around your player running a farm. But, instead of fertilizer, we have a magical substance called slime which allows you to mutate your plants into ‘planimals’ which you can use to fight various monsters and get better in-game items. “

Vandenberg said sales are going so well that they are currently working on a content update to double the number of hours played.

“I work on the game with my wife, she is my best employee,” he said. “We founded the business together and it’s wonderful to work with your partner on a daily basis. So I would recommend anyone to pursue a career in video game production and if you are in Sarnia don’t let that limit you. It can be done, it just takes a lot of planning and a lot of hard work, but it’s work that you will enjoy.

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