Artist and designer Justin Ma started working in the games industry in 2009 at 2K Games Shanghai alongside Matthew Davis. After leaving the studio, the two co-founded Subset Games in 2011 while developing their first game, FTL: Faster Than Light. After FTL found critical and commercial success, Justin and Matthew spent 4 years developing their second title, Into the Breach, released in February 2018. While video-games play a large role in his life, he and his wife are traveling and food-obsessed and hope to spend more time exploring the world.
Into the Breach is a minimalist Mechs vs Monsters tactics game with elements inspired by the roguelike genre. In many ways, the creation of Into the Breach was a direct response to Subset Games' experience creating FTL, however, its development was anything but straightforward. Through much trial and error, it took over two years of prototyping to settle on the basic structure of the game. In this talk, Justin will explore some of the twists and turns Into the Breach took on its way towards completion. He will focus on the design challenges, the reasoning behind their choices, and lessons to take away from their experience.