We see development teams of all shapes and sizes using GameMaker, but it’s pretty rare to see a father and son creative team. Rarer still to see one where the creative lead on the project is a 6 year old named Logan.
We spoke with John, Logan’s Father, to talk about Pigeon’s Mission's development, bonding over video games, and how Logan’s ideas are helping make Pigeon’s Mission look like it could be a heartwarming hit.
Can you tell us a little bit about Pigeon’s Mission?
It’s an exciting new platforming action game from a 6-year-old gamer named Logan. Beautiful pixel art, various locales, exciting platforming action. It’s a heartwarming tale about a little pigeon named Archie who’s fighting to save his family. He’s young, starts out timid, but gains confidence, new moves and discovers special power-ups.
Archie shows us his moves
It’s great to see someone of Logan’s age getting involved in Game Development. Can you tell us a little bit about how it all came to be?
The entire process started when Logan fell in love with art. He’s been drawing since he was three, creating stories and characters to support his images. We bought him a Nintendo Switch and he fell in love with Super Mario Odyssey and enjoyed the story so much that he cried when he finished it! Real tears!
Since then, we’ve established a tradition on Friday nights. Snacks, staying up late, and bonding over video games like Yoshi’s Island, Smash Bro, and so many absolute classics.
Then, earlier this year, Logan approached me with an idea about his own video game. I’m an avid game myself, and I know how daunting this was so I asked, “Are you sure? Maybe we should think about it a bit.”
But he proceeded to create a story, characters, power-ups, and an entire world. At that point, I thought that we had to make it happen. After some research, we found GameMaker and figured it was perfect.
As a designer, any amount of documentation will always be appreciated.
What’s your process of going from a Very Cool Idea to something that works in GameMaker?
Every idea comes from Logan’s mind. Sometimes I do have to let him know what’s feasible in the game world, but we like to work to make sure that at least some of his most outlandish ideas are made possible.
Ray, for example, is the first boss in the game and him spitting out bugs was Logan’s idea.
Logan talks about it, sketches it out, and then I help him document his ideas. Then, we send those ideas to Benz, our pixel designer, to execute. Logan gets to give feedback and has the final say on everything. He’s the boss!
Ray, after his glow up!
Did you have any prior experience with game development before embarking on this journey with Logan and Archie?
We had zero experience making games! I’m a Web Designer myself and I’ve found that there are a lot of similarities. UI design, creative and conceptual design, coding and technical skills, project management, problem solving, and debugging. So, not only did I get to do this with my son, but I got to sneakily teach him these principles through the execution of his very own game! It’s a win-win in my eyes.
It’s still wild to me that my son and I are creating our own game!
Has there been anything in particular that Logan has gravitated towards?
Just asked and he said, “I really like drawing the game characters the most, and playing the demo is a lot of fun!”
Thank you to John and Logan for this wonderful interview. You can find out more about Pigeon’s Mission here.