Kongregate Developers Blog

Behind the Scenes of Mojo Melee | Mike Levine & Ted Newell

Mojo Melee is a new PvP auto-chess game created by Mystic Moose and recently published on Kongregate.com

Featuring a unique art style and fun gameplay, Mojo Melee blends real-time strategy with intelligent team tactics to create a truly immersive experience for players of all experience levels.

Mojo Melee is also Kongregate’s first foray into publishing a web3 game that was not developed in-house. But with Kongregate leading the way with emergent technologies that make web3 gaming possible, Mojo Melee is a perfect fit for the Kongregate brand.

We sat down with Michael Levine, CEO of Mystic Moose, and Ted Newell, Director of Marketing to get some extra insight into this new and exciting project. 

Crafting the Mojo Melee Experience

"The inspiration for Mojo Melee came from recognizing a distinct void in the auto-chess market," CEO Mike Levine explained. "Many existing games felt too long-winded and were generally tailored to attract hardcore gamers, which left a considerable portion of casual players feeling alienated. The aim [with Mojo Melee] was to design a game that was not only streamlined and quicker to play but also inclusive for all types of gamers."

Mojo Melee's gameplay, which features 1v1 duels and 8-person multiplayer battle modes, provides a fresh, nuanced experience that adds new dimensions to the classic auto-chess gameplay.

"Players can expect a rich, rewarding gameplay [...] that accommodates a variety of skill levels. From highly detailed character designs to customizability, the game features numerous elements to keep players engaged. They can delve into competitive ladders, unlock special achievements, and even participate in seasonal events."

Standing Out from the Crowd

What truly sets Mojo Melee apart is its focus on community and inclusivity.

“The team designed this game is designed to cater to both hardcore gamers looking for a challenge and casual players who want a quick and fun experience,” says Ted Newell, Director of Marketing.

“This commitment to balance and fairness is made possible through a data-driven approach, with constant iterations based on player feedback and behavior. Mojo Melee is more than just a game; it's a living, evolving universe.”

The Art of Mojo Melee

The captivating art style of Mojo Melee plays a crucial role in bringing the game's enchanting atmosphere to life.

"The art style was born out of a desire to craft a universe that was as visually striking as it was compelling. We wanted a style that would resonate with the mystical and whimsical nature of the game," said Levine.

This design encapsulates the magical essence of the world and sets the tone for the game's broader themes of competition, camaraderie, and environmental awareness.

From character sketches to enchanting surroundings, every detail is crafted to engage players and immerse them in the Planet Mojo universe.

Mojo Melee and Kongregate

The decision to bring Mojo Melee to Kongregate was a strategic one, as the platform aligns perfectly with the game's vision.

"Kongregate is a platform that has consistently supported innovative indie games and cultivated thriving gaming communities," said Levine. "The visibility and the dedicated user base that Kongregate offers seemed like the perfect venue to present our game to a broader audience who could appreciate our game's unique aspects."

Development Challenges and Player-Centric Approach

Developing Mojo Melee wasn't without its challenges, particularly when integrating web3 technology.

"Creating a game that runs smoothly across various platforms - particularly when integrating web3 technology - was not trivial. We wanted the web3 aspects to be as seamless as possible for new players and give them the option to participate. A lot of effort went into ensuring the web3 aspects are at the end of the funnel, treated as a reward, and do not give any competitive advantage."

The player-centric approach is at the heart of Mojo Melee's development process. Newell highlighted, "We place immense value on player feedback. We’ve employed a multi-pronged approach to gather insights, ranging from AMAs to detailed community surveys. These insights are then fed directly into our development cycles, ensuring that we’re making the improvements and additions that our players actually want to see."

A Message for Aspiring Developers and Kongregate Enthusiasts

For developers considering creating a web3 game, the developers' advice is clear:

"First understand how blockchain can genuinely add value to your gaming ecosystem rather than just using it as a marketing gimmick. We believe web3 in games is critical to empower players, but we also don’t believe it should be the headline per se. It’s a feature."

For those considering Kongregate, the platform offers an incredible resource in the form of an active, engaged community. It’s a fantastic venue for indie developers to get the visibility and user engagement they need to succeed. Web-based gaming lets players dive directly into games with few hurdles.

Community and Future Plans: A Vibrant Player Ecosystem

The Mojo Melee community is an essential part of the game's success. The developers have instituted regular AMAs, update logs, and social media campaigns to keep players informed and involved. Their Discord server is a hub of activity, featuring a shop, points system, and constant events for players.

With Mojo Melee now on Kongregate, the developers expect to seamlessly integrate the two communities, enriching the game and community with diverse perspectives and feedback.

"We're extremely excited to introduce Mojo Melee to Kongregate and can’t wait to see you dive into this unique blend of auto-chess gameplay and community features. Whether you're here to climb the competitive ladder or just to enjoy the game, we have something to offer that will meet your needs. Your participation is not just playing a game; it's being part of a community and a journey that we're all on together."

Play Mojo Melee on Kongregate!