There’s a lot of things that make Polish indie game developer Max Strzelecki different from you and I.
For instance, Strzelecki is a highly capable programmer. The 21-year old has been working at his craft since he was 14 with his friend and business partner Dushan Chaciej. College, Strzelecki says, isn’t all that challenging for him now. That’s part of the reason why he’s launched a Kickstarter to fund his first commercial game, called Warlocks for Linux, Mac, Windows PC, and Wii U.
Warlocks is a retro side-scrolling 2D game inspired heavily by Risk of Rain. It’s being developed for Linux, Mac, Windows PC, and Wii U. Up to four players can work together, locally or online, to explore a dangerous fantasy world. The game features lavish pixel art and classic sprite-based animation. It’s even been enendorsed by the teams behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Super Hot.
Strzelecki says that he’s also a pretty capable Dota 2 player. “I’m above average,” he says modestly.”
But the one thing that really separates Strzelecki from other people is the fact that he has no arms.
“I was born this way,” Strzelecki says. “This is the only version of me that I know. And it’s the best version of me I will ever be.”
In all other respects, Strzelecki says, he’s just like everyone else. He is completely self sufficient. To do his work he uses a regular keyboard, even a regular mouse. When the need arises, he can even use a gamepad like you and I. He just manipulates everything with his feet.
“It’s really not a big problem for me,” Strzelecki says. “I’ve completely adapted to it. I don’t really feel my disability on a daily basis.”
Apart from showing him working at his desk on camera during the Kickstarter video, the Warlocks campaign has not drawn much attention to his disability. Strzelecki says that’s because they are confident in the quality of their game.
There’s even a web-based playable demo for potential backers to try out.
The Warlocks campaign has 14 days to go. Right now they’re a little less than a third of the way toward their $25,000 goal.
Whether the game is funded or not, Strzelecki is confident this won’t be his last project. And he says that no one should be surprised to find him, or other people with disabilities, in the grueling field of game development.
“I would like to think that I could be an inspiration for someone else,” Strzelecki says. “But for now, I don’t know that I need to be. All the disabled people that I know share the same, tenacious mindset that I do.”
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