This is probably the funniest look at game development I’ve ever read

Seanbaby invites you to kill monsters with math

Those of you who grew up in the late ’90s and early 2000s might remember Sean “Seanbaby” Reiley from his comedy website where he reviewed awful Nintendo games and comic fruit pie ads. Or you might recall some of his articles in EGM or on More recently, he’s been working in game development as the lead designer and programmer of a mathematics-based card game of his own design, Calculords.

Seanbaby’s writing tends to be laugh-out-loud hilarious, and he has a legitimate claim when he says he invented being funny on the internet. His latest project is a sequel to the aforementioned card game, Calculords 2: Rise of the Shadow Nerd, which has less than a day left on its Kickstarter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though the game will be funded if things continue as they are.

Seanbaby wrote about his experiences creating the original Calculords for Cracked, and I’d encourage giving that a read even if you’re not interested in funding Calculords 2. If nothing else, it’s a frank look at app development from someone who’s extremely good at getting their thoughts across with words.

“I illustrated Calculords with pixel art, mostly because my Nintendo Entertainment System was more influential than my art teachers, and I thought it gave the game a nice retro feeling. Then we decided to port it from iPhone to Android, and suddenly those countless, meticulously placed dots became my worst enemy. See, there’s no standard Android device size– you might have a tiny rectangular phone or a giant square tablet, and pixels don’t stretch. So now I had to either stop sleeping and redraw my entire game or give players blurry, half-visible graphics. I chose the tedious, difficult option, because my Nintendo Entertainment System was more influential than my doctor.

[Against my wishes,] I made a tutorial… I live by few rules, and one of them is that I’m not going to mansplain space murder to you. As it turns out, my rule goes against all design philosophy for a reason. I heard from legitimately intelligent, clever people that they got confused and gave up early. Still, I fight the urge every day to go in and trim out more of that soul-sucking tutorial. I truly believe a tutorial should never be more than you asking your friend not to kick you for a second while you figure out your buttons.”

If you are interested in checking out Calculordsthe first game is free on iOS, Android, and Windows phones, and the Kickstarter campaign for the sequel is in its final countdown.

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Kevin McClusky
I'm a longtime member of Destructoid, and you may have known me in a prior life as Qalamari. In other words, hi. I've been here a long time. There's a good chance I'm older than you. I write freelance articles for other publications, so you might see my name elsewhere occasionally. Disclosure: I wrote a paid testimonial for the Speedify VPN service in April 2017.