16 March 2016, Written by Jenna Rathbone


EVIL wizards, looming ghosts and dark dungeons - this is the world in which Gold Coaster Scott Modra lives as he aims to make a name for himself in the tech space.

The 28-year-old, together with business partner Van Phadilock (24), has developed a new gaming app which has been played by more than 250,000 people from around the world.

Mage, an action-platform game where players take control of a wizard and navigate through a dungeon full of monsters and master spells, is proving to be the first of a series of popular apps built by the young entrepreneurs.

"The overall goal is to create more games based on Mage," says Modra.

"We have a quarter of a million people who have played the first one and we are currently working on a game that is set in the same universe.

"The goal is to build a complete world out of it and develop a few different games and stories so we can create an interesting and interactive universe with games that complement each other."

Modra says Mage aims to build on traditional and iconic games. He says the games are reminiscent of several that are 20 to 30 years old.

While Modra admits the first app was a massive learning curve, with piracy impacting overall revenue, the sequel is set to be a money-maker.

When Mage was first loaded onto the Android market it cost to download, however this was undermined by illegal downloads of the application.

"We sold about 3000 or 4000 apps but at that time there were about 70,000 people that had actually downloaded it, so about 90 per cent of the people playing it had not paid for it," says Modra.

"I decided to make it completely free, just to get as many people playing as possible, and to create a more monetisable app next time."

The Mage sequel will again be free, however there will be purchases within the app.  This includes purchases for unlocking puzzles or progressing to different levels.

Modra hopes to prove that the Gold Coast can be the birth place of great techies, however notes that his journey hasn't been easy with a lack of leadership in his industry.

"There are hundreds of people capable of making some really great stuff but they need someone to rally them and someone to work under so they are not individuals, they are a team," he says.

Modra, who studied at computer gaming institution Qantm College in Brisbane, says it was difficult to get a job after graduating.

He aims to combat the issue through his new company Game Sage Productions.

"Before we started this company we were trying to find jobs in the industry and we couldn't find anywhere that was suitable; there were not enough jobs to apply for," says Modra.

"One thing that we are trying to do is as we grow is to bring in graduates from colleges who have studied games.

"We find that a lot of companies want to hire a level of skill than what the colleges offer. There is no level in-between, so people finish college and they have nowhere to go because there is no assistance with that next step.

"Our goal is to offer internships to bridge the gap between study and skill."

Modra and Phadilock recently moved into Ipswich's new innovation hub, Fire Station 101, which provides tools and mentoring for the digital technology start-up community.

Through this incubator, the duo has picked up a number of contracts for app development including leads regarding Virtual Reality technology.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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