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Calgary game developer sets up death matches in space

Drawing from retro games like Asteroid, Astervoid 2000 hits the Steam store

Calgary game developer Justin Luk just hit Steam with his space death match game, Astervoid 2000

Jennifer Friesen / Metro

Calgary game developer Justin Luk just hit Steam with his space death match game, Astervoid 2000

Justin Luk’s marriage saved his debut video game.

After nearly three years of working on Astervoid 2000, Luk was burnt out. You see, Luk taught himself how to code using online tutorials, starting from nothing and creating the original Astervoid game.

He saw potential in it to be a commercial product – more than a training exercise – so he recreated it. Again, and again, each time updating the graphics, smoothing out the gameplay and generally upping the awesome quotient.

By the time Luk’s wedding rolled around in August, he was all but done with the project.

“We’d recreated it so many times I was so burnt out on the concept, I was like, ‘man, I’m going to walk away,’” he admitted. Luckily for him, his partner on the project, Chuck Bergeron, continued to toil away on the game for three weeks while Luk honeymooned in Japan with his new wife.

By the time he got back, he was ready to work. Three years of work was saved by his two great partners (one in life, one in Astervoid) and it’s finally paid off.

Justin Luk.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Justin Luk.

The game is officially on sale Dec 1., through Steam, the largest online PC gaming store.

Astervoid 2000 is a space brawler, where up to four players compete in a space death match – while avoiding asteroids and other dangers. The game has no online component and is meant to be played with everyone in the same room, shouting and blasting away, like the good old days of gaming.

It seems to be getting traction – YouTube gamers have sought out early access copies of the game, from as far away as Saudi Arabia, to share on their channels.

“Getting here has been a long journey. I’m super excited to get this finished and move on to the next one,” Luk laughted. “I have a list of one hundred ideas I want to try.”

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