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World Building - how Megamod plans to change user-generated content for every player

Industry veterans Alexey Kostarev and Dmitriy Semiriazhko plan to change the face of user-generated content with the new voxel-based Megamod platform. PG.biz finds out more...
World Building - how Megamod plans to change user-generated content for every player

Megamod is a new content creation platform which gives users the ability to build their own worlds and bring their interactive ideas to life. Built on voxel technology, MegaMod is the brainchild of Alexey Kostarev and Dmitriy Semiriazhko, two experienced developers, with extensive experience in games and social networks.

The PocketGamer.biz team sat down with them both to find out more about their work on MegaMod - and their goals for the future.

PocketGamer.biz: What is Megamod? Please give us an overview of the technology and what it does.

Megamod is a platform for creators and their activities: to create worlds, games, and new experiences. The product was designed with younger users in mind, including easy-to-use tools and forms for quick construction. Megamod is a platform for people who want to create and share games they enjoy. Creators can express themselves, make their desired games, and release them on the platform to get players and earn.

PG.biz: Who is Megamod aimed at? Is there an overlap between players and smaller studios or indie creators?

Internally, we divide our audience into two groups: players and creators.

We define a creator as an individual between 18 and 23+ years old who has invested ample time playing games, exploring their mechanics, and gaining an understanding of them. A person possessing these traits will likely be interested in pursuing game creation.

But many of these people are unfamiliar with development tools and technologies and have not spent countless hours, sometimes years, working with complex applications like Blender, Unity, etc.

Megamod provides them with an easy opportunity to join the gaming industry and collaborate with other creators to develop a fully immersive game product with all the necessary elements.

Firstly, we are a user-generated content platform, so much depends on the types of games that creators will produce. Based on what we've seen, user-generated content (UGC) platforms take time to predict. The game content on these platforms will likely reflect current and rapidly changing memes and other elements mixed with some lulz.

PG.biz: How does Megamod work? Do you need any coding expertise? Why voxel technology?

We simplified all the development tools we could reach and made them available to everyone.

There are now a few tools available to you:

  • The Voxel editor to create 3D models. It might seem not easy, but it's simple to learn, just like Minecraft. You can easily add or remove a cube, a process known to gamers. It's like a block building.
  • The Level design editor is a tool that helps builders create their unique game environments by utilising various models. They can take ideas from existing games or their creativity. Moreover, this tool provides the feature to easily duplicate and customise elements, making the experience more exciting and avoiding monotonous work.
  • We also have AI in MegaCode, a component of the Megamod network. You can issue commands to our advanced AI in any language. AI understands it all, whether it's English, Spanish, French, or even a made-up language.

Just say the necessary words, and Megacode will program the game objects! Magic.

Why use voxels? Models are lightweight (a few kilobytes), and worlds are lightweight (less than 1MB), so it's an easy way to minimise space. By experimenting with it and adding some shaders and occlusion lighting, We've found that, despite its simplicity, voxel graphics can be visualised very attractively.

PG.biz: What sort of games/content can you create in MegaMod? What successes have you seen so far?

In our catalogue, you'll find runners, parkours, puzzles, and physics puzzles ('Garry games' style with spaces and physical laws). Additionally, we offer various worlds and games with immersion and experimentation experiences.

Runners and parkour games are currently the most successful on our platform in terms of genres.

There are two reasons for this: first, creators can make them quickly and easily, and they've learned to make high-quality, competitive content based on these mechanics.

Second, it's important to remember that the platform was launched in beta access less than six months ago, and the parkour games and runners were some of the first game experiments, the quality of which has grown exponentially.

Keep in mind these two important points. You might not see everything we discuss since we're still waiting to display these games to the public. We're within a closed community of creators. However, we will release the complete games catalogue around the time of this article or a bit later. At that point, all games in it will be comparable to the current Megamod leaders in quality.

PG.biz: Where does Megamod fit within the ecosystem of Roblox, web3 and the mod community? Is it a walled garden?

Megamod does not align with the Roblox ecosystem, and there are no points of overlap in any visible business scenarios to date.

This applies to tools unification, content transfer of our creators, and the inception of Megamod as a groundbreaking UGC platform focused on creators' prosperity and well-being. Furthermore, we are working hard to attract creators from the Roblox community to ours.

We have unique ways of managing the platform, game releases, and development processes. Megamod creators are accustomed to easy and practical tools, unlike Roblox's maze of solutions. Our goal is to avoid overwhelming our creators with a complicated system.

Roblox must value its creators more due to the many commissions and taxes surrounding them. We'll do our best to change that.

As for web3 games and crypto technology in general, as a publisher of web3 games in the past, we understand how these technologies work and have a vision of how they should work in the future. But for today, Megamod is a different kind of game.

We warmly invite members of the web3 community, such as creators who appreciate the intersection of art and technology rather than solely trying to profit from reselling goods.

PG.biz: What’s the business model behind Megamod? Can creators be rewarded for their games/content? How does it work for Xsolla?

We have two main plans for our monetisation. The first is selling game time for coins that players can use to pay for the games produced by different creators. The second plan is selling in-game items. All the items and characters will be one of a kind due to our great potential and ability to create them.

The creator can publish their game on Megamod's platform, and as more players spend time playing it, they will earn in-game coins. These coins can then be withdrawn via Xsolla's web payments.
It's worth noting that Megamod is currently in the pre-production market stage.

Therefore, we are currently paying creators from our funds.

But all the financial mechanics in our platform, which we are currently experimenting with in Megamod, are based on Xsolla's solutions.

We solely rely on Xsolla as our partner and provider for purchases and payments.

PG.biz: What was the inspiration for MegaMod? What are your goals for the platform?

The idea of Metaverse sparked the creation of Megamod. We calculated that making our own Metaverse required around 200,000 models - the same amount you see in the early versions of GTA. The usual approach for accomplishing this would cost an immense amount of money, resources, and time, like how one 3D model typically costs around $50.

That's why we considered developing Megamod as an affordable tool for assembling 3D models. We picked voxel graphics because they're small, fast to make, and have fewer details. It brightens up, gets a sense of life, and appears almost believable. This way is 30 times quicker than creating a standard 3D model. The wonder begins when you apply cool shaders and shadows to the station model.

And, of course, we'll always hold a special place in our hearts for Minecraft. We drew tremendous inspiration from this game. We're not alone - 600 million players choose this stunning voxel graphic style. They know how to build in it and truly enjoy it. This indicates that its popularity and demand will continue to grow. We can already see that creators with Minecraft experience quickly adapt to Megamod and begin making real voxel art. Many talented artists are underestimated, and we want to assist them financially.

To clarify our objectives, we will be the top UGC platform globally, possessing the world's most substantial selection of voxel graphics, with over one million games made by our creators. We already have more than 9,000 games designed by 800 creators as of May 2023.

PG.biz: Where can creators/developers find MegaMod, what do they need in terms of tech/hardware? Is there a developer programme they need to join?

You can start using megamod.io now without having to learn anything. Just do it like one big brand says.

Our creators are usually between 20 and 23; keen observation and acquired skills allow us to produce top-notch content. We don't accept work from minors or individuals under 18.

Nonetheless, we strive to keep our platform tools clear and easy to understand, even for children.

For instance, we have a family from Ukraine on our team who have been with us from the start. They came to us through their daughter, who was brought to us by her grandmother after seeing an ad on the Internet. Occasionally, we request parents to present our tools to our nine-year-old fans and players, including those we plan to release to the public.

If she can't use or grasp it easily, we decide not to introduce it.

We also have a private community on Discord for creators whose work inspires and shows potential. Members constantly communicate with each other and art leaders, learn new things, test games, and make their creations.

We don't intend to release any separate developer programs or charge creators. Megamod is an open platform available to everyone because everyone has the right to create and share their work with the public for free. Charging money for it is a major stop factor for young, talented creators made by corporations like Roblox. We will take advantage of their errors, such as the excessively high entry requirements and complicated game creation tools.

PG.biz: Tell us more about yourselves

We are serial entrepreneurs with more than 20 years of practice in a number of areas.

Dmitriy is the co-founder of Clowder, which created social networks for businesses (more than 100 have been launched). He also led a user-generated content (UGC) project for entertainment, birthday cards, etc., that reached 80 million people and was the largest in the early days of social networking. A true geek and technology expert Dmitry is focused on product and technology vision.

Alexey is best known for I-Jet studio, which published the Happy Farmer game for social networks with a multi-million audience. With game development expertise and experience in building more than $20M in sales, Alexey focused on the marketing, business, and IR vision of Megamod.

PG.biz: If you have one message for potential creators, developers and users - what would it be?

Imagine. Create. Play - in slogan terms.

And to be a bit more boring and detailed. We aim to eliminate the obstacles accumulated over the years in the industry. Our simple product and friendly community will help you learn and create without barriers. So, join Megamod and start developing your next game!

PG.biz: What happens next?

Now is an excellent time to announce our upcoming plans.

We are getting closer to the mobile version of the game - it will probably be the fastest experience of moving between game worlds and switching between games (also because these games are very small and do not require any additional downloads).

We also look forward to partnering with YouTube to bring our games to the new YouTube Playables platform.

This could be the disruption that the game industry has been waiting for. Keep an eye out for updates!