Microsoft Game Dev Blog
Spotlighting Brent Batas, founder & creator of Legion TD 2
Welcome to the next installment of our series highlighting new Game Dev Ambassadors! Our next ambassador profile puts the spotlight on Brent Batas. As a designer, coder, and PlayFab expert, he's currently working on his game entitled Legion TD 2.
To create this game, he's integrated Matchmaking, Multiplayer Game Servers, Steam, Inventories, Player Data, Groups, Leaderboards, Segments, and many other PlayFab features. Legion TD 2 has sold over 300,000 copies and is played by thousands of people each day. As the designer and coder for the entire game, Brent has invaluable knowledge to contribute to the Game Dev community.
What got you into game development?
I always loved designing games growing up. It started with designing mazes and house rules for board games. Then I modded games for 12 years—mainly Warcraft 3.
What game development project are you proudest of?
Legion TD 2. It's an infinitely re-playable multiplayer tower defense. It's based on Legion TD, a Warcraft 3 map I made in high school that was played by probably over a million people. I developed Legion TD 2 with my best friends, so it's a passion project, but it's also my livelihood as a full-time job.
How would you like to contribute to the community?
I look forward to sharing my knowledge in game dev communities, especially on Discord. I'm happy to share my own experiences and approaches to common problems that devs face. I've been the recipient of a lot of help over the years, so it's nice to give back.
What are you doing right now game development-wise?
Working on Legion TD 2. I designed the game and wrote 280,000 lines of code and counting. With Legion TD 2, I'm currently continuing to work on new content, bug fixes, quality of life tweaks, and other improvements to the game. Players expect updates, and we want to meet those expectations to keep them playing. Financially, it also makes sense for several reasons. Firstly, because it's a multiplayer game, people are only interested in buying it if there is a thriving community, so we have to do a lot of work to maintain & grow the community. Second, there is an in-game shop where you can unlock skins & other cosmetic items, which provides a revenue stream from long-time players.
What is one of your favorite MS Game Dev features or tools?
PlayFab is one of my favorite tools since it takes care of so much backend work that I wouldn't know how to do myself. It gives me peace of mind knowing that features like player authentication, matchmaking, statistics, inventory, and other features 'just work' and are battle-tested. We've had our fair share of PlayFab outages which were extremely painful, but without PlayFab, I don't think I'd have been able to even ship the game I wanted to ship.
What are you most looking forward to in this program? What do you hope to do as an ambassador?
I'm looking forward to meeting like-minded individuals—passionate people using PlayFab to support awesome multiplayer experiences. I'm also looking forward to any ways I can help improve the Game Dev platform—I think I have some useful insights after working with the platform since 2016.
How has your voice impacted the community, and how do you envision your future impact?
Hard to answer this question myself, but I've met a lot of great people in the PlayFab developer community. Some of them have joked that whenever they asked a PlayFab related question, either I answered it, or someone linked them to a thread that I had posted.
What skills or resources made you a great fit for this program?
Years of PlayFab experience, years of community management, a launched & commercially viable PlayFab project, and passion for helping others.
What is one of your favorite game development platforms/communities, and why?
Warcraft 3 map-making communities from 2003 to 2012. This is where I learned to be a game designer/programmer. Everyone was super helpful and excited to help anyone of any skill level, all for free.
What are you most excited about in the community's future?
I'm excited about meeting like-minded developers, especially people making games full-time. In the past, it's always been kind of a mystery who else was using PlayFab. Till now, it's felt like there are the AAA projects that the marketing team brags about, then a bunch of new learners asking for help on the forums/Discord, and then a silent group of people who mostly know what they're doing but aren't engaged with the community. I'd like to connect with the latter group.
Brent's passion for the Game Dev community comes from his own experiences. As a designer and coder, he received lots of knowledge and support from the PlayFab team. Timely support can make a huge difference for amateur coders, and now Brent is paying it forward. His experience with PlayFab helps, too. It enables small teams to realize big dreams that would otherwise be impossible, which is what it did for Brent.
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