Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Vylan developer Jesse Madyson, who details the development cycle and more.

About Vylan:

In Vylan you can disable the timer or increase the amount of time to beat a level allowing you to customize the difficulty of the game.


  • 100 Levels.
  • Many Mechanics.
  • Not Super Hard.
  • Tile-based Movement.
  • Platforming Gameplay.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  How was this game born?

Jesse Madyson: Vylan was made after I failed to integrate the A star pathfinding system. The original game idea was a top down rpg but when I wasn’t able to integrate enemy Ai i thought, “hey what if i make the game into a platformer with tile-based movement?”. As weird as it may sound this is how I came up with Vylan.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  What is your role in the game?

Madyson: My role in the game is the overall development, including art, code, design, and etc. The only role that isnt done by me, Jesse Madyson is the role of creating music and sound effects, as that is done by Karl Hammond.

The character you play doesn’t have much of a role in the game, other than being the main character that you play as. There was going to be a story integrated into the game, although I decided to drop that idea and instead work on getting the game out and having the game be very fun for all audiences.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  What has development been like?

Madyson: Development has been very stressful during the creation of this game, which is about a year of development. The development of this game wasn’t stressful at all when it was the start and the end of the creation of Vylan. This game although being very stressful was super fun to make and was an experience that I would never regret.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  What makes this game special?

Madyson: This game is very special to me as it is the first game that I had made at the time that was fun to play no matter what time in development. Sometimes I would just play through as much of the game as i could over and over again and i would enjoy this. This made the game special as I knew that there was something good in what I had been creating.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  What games influenced this one the most?

Madyson: As weird as it may sound this game doesn’t have any game it’s influenced from, although the beginning of the idea to make a tile-based moving game was inspired from those simple indie rpg’s that people have made. This inspiration from these rpg’s was then thrown away as the game later turned into a platformer.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

Madyson: There weren’t any wild or fun stories during the development in particular but I would like to say that the coincidence of everything falling in place that led to the completion of this game was very incredible and one that I will never forget.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  What were the major lessons learned?

Madyson: The major lesson learnt while making Vylan is to not overdo the amount of work you put into something. In the beginning of the creation of Vylan I was working more hours than I should have, which led to the time of finishing the game to be stretched out. I would say that i am lucky to be able to finish Vylan in the first place, as i know that there are a lot of developers who start something and work on it too much and then quit. This is such a common bad habit when creating big games that you should definitely try to avoid.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

Madyson: Preserving old game mechanics is very important, as these old game mechanics are the ones that are simple but add that little bit of variation to the game that makes it very fun. I will say that if there is a game mechanic that hasn’t been touched in over 20 years then someone will inevitably use it in their game, either intentional or unintentional.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  The marketplace is crowded. How do you think you stand out?

Madyson: The sad reality of game development as an indie developer is that your game won’t stand out in the marketplace as it is overly crowded. This is where every game developer faces reality that no matter how much time they put into their game or no matter how fun the game is to play, that the game won’t ever be as big as they wanted or imagined it would be. The only way that indie games survive in this crowded marketplace is through luck or having a community that shares the game between other communities.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  How have your previous experiences in industry helped this game?

Madyson: My previous experiences in the industry of game development have most definitely helped with the creation of this game, as the minimal interaction I have gotten on other games like, “Sticky Sam”  or “Rontate” have helped my realise what I need to change or what kind of polish I should integrate, as well as bug fixes that I now intentionally search for when making games. The creation of these previous games also help me with improving my level creation skill, which have gotted overwhelmingly better. 

Old School Gamer Magazine:  How do you want this game to ultimately be remembered?

Madyson: I want Vylan to be ultimately remembered as the game that made people happy. As cliche as this may sound my whole goal is to make people happy and give them enjoyment in their life no matter how hard it is. This is why I won’t stop making games until that goal is fulfilled and even when it is I will probably continue. I don’t care how long the player is happy when playing the game as whether it is 1 minute of happiness or 10 seconds of happiness I know that I did something that was positive in their life.

Old School Gamer Magazine:  What’s next?  

Madyson: Currently I am working on a big project that is soon to be announced. The goal is for variety and to offer a cheap and affordable cost. This next project I’m working on will be released by the end of the year, guaranteed and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Old School Gamer Magazine:  Anything else you’d like to add?

Madyson: I’d like to say that whether you are or are trying to be an indie developer that you shouldn’t hesitate on releasing something that you’re not sure on how it will be perceived by people online. The only way to know what is good and bad about your game or to improve at all is through trial and error. Whether you spend 10 years making a game or 1 day making a game if you believe it’s finished, don’t hesitate. Release it. 

Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (326 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com