How Michael Garcia Created A Hit Game in Only 3 Weeks

Running Monsters by Michael Garcia skyrocketed up the charts in the US ranking #38 in action games and was featured globally around the world. This simple yet addicting endless runner was also ranked Top 100 in 11 other countries.

In the game, players become a werewolf on a rampage, running through a forest chasing villagers and eating them for a high score. It’s an insanely fun game and a real adrenaline rush for endless runner fans. As you race through the woods, you’ll encounter different obstacles from logs to armed townsfolk! You have to jump over the obstacles and dodge flying bullets to stay alive. If you take a hit or stumble, it’s game over. 

For every devoured villager, you’ll earn souls that can later be exchanged for new playable characters. Running Monsters lives up to its name with a wide variety of monster characters that you can unlock as you progress. There are aliens, giant lizards, vampires, and more. During the game, you can also collect jumbo pill power-ups that transform you into a gigantic monster giving you temporary invincibility. Players can also unlock new worlds like the Desert zone to wreak havoc too.

Running Monsters 

Running Monsters is available now on iOS!

It’s no surprise why this game has become a favorite among mobile gamers. But here’s the interesting thing, it was created in only three weeks by Michael Garcia, a talented 19-year-old aspiring game designer who recently discovered Buildbox. He was able to create a hit game in record time with our easy to use no-code software. It’s impressive what’s possible with the right tools! 

So, we were honored to have the opportunity to chat with him about his game development journey, experience using Buildbox, and how he created his hit, Running Monsters.

Buildbox: Can you share a little bit about your background and how you got started in graphic design and making games?

Michael Garcia: I have always wanted to make games ever since I was a little kid. I picked up Gamemaker Studio when I was nine, and I would teach myself by watching YouTube videos, I made a handful of games that I would show to friends and family. I tried to use Unity, but I struggled to learn code. Programming has always been my weakness. My favorite part about game design was making the art. I went to school for graphic design, and I taught myself how to use Blender in my free time. I began creating 3D animations and posted them on my TikTok.

Buildbox: What led you to use Buildbox and how has it helped you with the game development and design process?

Michael Garcia: I have heard of Buildbox before, but when I first discovered it, I didn’t realize the potential it had. I really wanted to make a 3D mobile game, but I still didn’t know how to code. I decided to give Buildbox 3 a shot. It was super easy to learn and exciting to use. My 3D assets imported smoothly into the software, and using nodes was a breeze compared to code.

Buildbox: How did you come up with the concept for Running Monsters? 

Michael Garcia: I keep a sketchbook where I write down and draw all my game ideas. My original plan for Running Monsters was a little different. It was initially going to be a werewolf collecting game, but I later expanded the roster to all monsters. 

Buildbox: There are so many cool characters in the game from werewolves to vampires and in-between. How did you create the characters and what are your favorite graphic design tools to use? 

Michael Garcia: I create all my characters in Blender, and I model them in a low poly art style. Blender is my favorite 3D art tool, but I also love the app Procreate for all of my 2D art.

@xickelHow I make characters for my mobile game! Download Running Monsters on iOS! ##foryou ##runningmonsters ##mobilegame ##gamedev ##howto♬ Nice Music for a Meal – Smooth Piano Jazz Jams

Buildbox: You were new to Buildbox and created Running Monsters in just three weeks! Any tips for others new to Buildbox trying to make their first game? 

Michael Garcia: The biggest I can give to others new to Buildbox is to learn nodes as soon as possible instead of brainboxes or using templates. Making a game from scratch using nodes gives you a lot more creative freedom and control than using a template.

Buildbox: Running Monsters is a huge hit. It was ranked No. 38 in action games and featured in multiple countries. How did you promote your game? What was your strategy? 

Michael Garcia: I promoted Running Monsters on TikTok. I have a huge following on that platform, so all my fans really loved my game.

Buildbox: Wow, you built your game’s fan base while you were creating it. That’s an excellent indie dev strategy and one that we often recommend to developers. What’s one piece of advice that you think every game developer should also follow for success?

Michael Garcia: Make something original! There are too many games that all look and play the same. Make something that’s different and stands out.

Buildbox: Any upcoming games to be on the lookout for? What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

Michael Garcia: I just released a new game called Skate Birds! It’s out on iOS right now. I am also working on some other projects that I haven’t announced yet.

Buildbox: That’s awesome! We’ll definitely check it out and be on the lookout for those upcoming projects. 

You can learn more about Michael Garcia and his game development journey on his Xickel TikTok and Instagram

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Tiana Crump

About Tiana Crump

Tiana Crump is a staff writer and social media manager at Buildbox with a passion for inspiring others and driving brand awareness. As a gamer and creator, she enjoys sharing game development insights, tips, and success stories from the Buildbox community.