A Walk Over the Pumpkin Patch: How Pumpkin Jack the Game Came About
A long time ago I was looking for a game to play. Something colorful offering a great single-player experience. After a long time of searching I couldn’t find what I was looking for. 3D combat platformers were my favorite genre during my childhood days, but unfortunately this kind of genre was pretty scarce on PC.
At some point I had a crazy idea: Why not create my own game? I was young and I had no idea how easy or hard this would be. Everything started with a simple search on the internet: “How to make games?”. Sounds a bit cliché? Yeah, you may be right, but that’s how the endlessly long learning process began.
The first idea was to make a scarecrow controlling other crows. True, it’s a stereotype. But hey, that’s where everything began. I learned the creation of 3D models, tinkered my first scarecrow, taught myself how to animate it and integrated everything into the Unreal Engine. After I had learned that too, of course. All in all, this took me one week! The following steps: I created more animations to let the scarecrow attack and made some monsters to have enemies to fight against.
After working on this for some months, I canceled the project again. It was not good enough. I started all over again with my newly learned skills, and it worked way better. But I canceled it again, remade it, canceled it again, and again, and again… I restarted the project six times until I was happy with Curse of The Scarecrow (at this point the game was not called Pumpkin Jack). I set high standards for my own work, so it was hard to be satisfied with my work.
Two long years later, I released a demo on Itch.io. I had not expected much from it, but it was freaking successful! It was then that I thought for the first time that this demo could be the basis for a successful game. There was a lot of feedback from YouTubers, streamers and even publishers – and everyone was interested in my game. I could not really believe it at the time.
Back then I put everything on one card and decided to quit my job to work full time on Curse of The Scarecrow. People seemed to like my game, and so I wanted to spend more time on it. And to give the players out there the best possible gaming experience, I re-started the development once again. That was the moment when Curse of The Scarecrow died and Pumpkin Jack was born
I won over a publisher for Pumpkin Jack and from this point on I worked with the guys from the Germany-based publisher Headup who helped me out and made this game possible. So, the moral of this story: You yourself are responsible for making your dreams come true.