Indie Games Showcase: Cellar Door Games

PlayStation gamers will know Cellar Door Games by their recent title, Rogue Legacy. We ourselves gave it an excellent review score and it nabbed Game of the Month for the month that it was released. In fact, Rogue Legacy won our PSN game of 2014 award. That’s right, it even beat out AAA PSN releases like inFamous First Light. If that’s not telling of the quality game that Cellar Door Games created, then I suppose you’ll just have to play it yourself to really get what we’re talking about here. But enough about the games. Just who are the people behind the Cellar Door?

Cellar Door Games was founded in April of 2009. Here’s what co-founder Kenny Lee had to say about the founding:

“The company originally started when a group of friends decided to participate in a Microsoft sponsored videogame competition called DreamBuildPlay. It was an event meant to promote game development on Microsoft’s new development framework, XNA. Our entry was a four-player Zelda-esque game called ‘Band of Bears’ where the puzzles in the world would change depending on how many players were participating. The demo received a very positive response, and we ended up as one of the top 20 entries, but the honourable mention ultimately didn’t help us in any way so we scrapped the project. Looking back, that was probably a good thing because we were way in over our heads, and if we did decide to continue pursuing development we’d be in big trouble.”

As for the origin of the name? One of the original co-founders of the studio was responsible for coming up with the name, and landed on what J.R.R. Tolkien called one of the most beautiful combinations of words in the English language: Cellar Door. Those who are less up to speed with their literary studies may also recognize the name as a reference from the film Donnie Darko

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Meet the Team

The current core team at Cellar Door Games consists of:

Kenny Lee – Co-founder/Programmer

Teddy Lee – Co-founder/Game Designer

Marie-Christine Bourdua – Producer

Glauber Kotaki – Character Artist

Sara Gross – Environment Artist

Tim McLennan – Programmer

Ryan Lee – Business Manager

Fun Facts About Cellar Door Games

“The PC version of Rogue Legacy actually lists a lot of our company’s past, so not too much of it is a secret. But our company hasn’t been successful for very long, and we struggled for a few years before Rogue Legacy was released. In fact, the company was originally founded by four people, but a few of them had to quit to focus on real jobs and feed their families. The two remaining founders stayed on because one juggled a full time job while providing game design (Teddy), while the other just mooched off his younger brother (Me!).” – Kenny Lee

Cellar Door Games’ Games Gallery

Upcoming Game Highlight

While we don’t have a title for their next game, Kenny assures us that they are indeed working on their next project. Here are a few things he had to say about it.

“The next game we’re working on is a beat-em-up of sorts. At least, that was the original plan. Since then the game has taken a significant turn, so your guess is as good as ours on how it will turn out. Work has been very on/off because of business obligations that keep coming up, but we’ve been able to dedicate some solid time recently to its development, and now we’re pretty excited about where things are going.

“We’ve been wanting to make a brawler for at least 6 years now (yes, even before the creation of the company), so it’s tough to recall what our original inspirations were. Definitely some big ones belong there, like Castle Crashers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it’s not in our nature to be like “this game is fun, let’s copy it.” Our goal is always to address common flaws we find in genres, as well as apply our own flair (and our own flaws!) so that players always have a new experience.”

Inside the Studio

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A huge thanks to Kenny Lee of Cellar Door Games for providing us with the information found in this feature. You can follow Cellar Door Games on Twitter @CellarDoorGames.