Launch and Beyond: The 'Junk Odyssey' Space Cleanup Saga

Welcome to the bustling heart of Nexrage Studios, where an innovative mobile puzzle game, 'Junk Odyssey: Space Puzzle Adventure', was born. This post will explore the development journey of this unique game, from the initial idea to the final product.

Article by
Becky Chase
Article date
April 22, 2023

Why managing AI risk presents new challenges

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The difficult of using AI to improve risk management

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How to bring AI into managing risk

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Pros and cons of using AI to manage risks

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Benefits and opportunities for risk managers applying AI

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In this cosmic adventure, players adopt the role of a mini astronaut named MARVIN, whose mission is to clean up various planets by collecting trash, navigating obstacles, and evading menacing space monsters.

The Genesis and Evolution of an Idea

The birth of Junk Odyssey didn't happen in a vacuum. It evolved from numerous brainstorming sessions, unexpected inspirations, and gradual refinements. Initially conceived as "Shadow Box," a simple square-navigating puzzle game, the idea took a turn when the team began experimenting with space-themed backdrops. This switch introduced an astronaut character, planetary settings, and a compelling mission to clean up intergalactic waste.

The development journey for Junk Odyssey was an intense four-month expedition, driven by the creative director and a Unity developer. Their goal? To craft a game blending strategy, entertainment, and a touch of interstellar environmentalism. This quest led to an engaging, environmentally conscious game that not only provides fun but also imparts a potent message about cleanliness, even in the vast cosmos.

The Creative Minds Behind the Game

Junk Odyssey owes its success to two talented individuals, Dustin Williams and Luka Hyman.

Dustin, a software engineer with a knack for animation, rigging, and modeling, handled a large chunk of the game's technical development. Luka, a Creative Game Director with a storied history at well-known game development companies, concentrated on concepting, designing, task management, level design, and testing and tracking analytics. Through continuous communication and organized to-do lists and sprint work strategies, their collaboration successfully navigated the challenges of a small team size and a pressing deadline for the launch at SXSW.

Constructing The Game

Junk Odyssey's creation required a plethora of tools and technologies. Character models were designed and customized in Blender, while Unity formed the backbone of game development. 2D art was brought to life in Inkscape and Photoshop, and video editing was carried out in Davinci Resolve. GitHub, Gitkraken, Visual Studio 2022, and Visual Studio Code played a crucial role in source control and coding in C# and HLSL/ShaderLab. The game's visual style evolved from basic 2D designs to complex 3D elements, fostering a vibrant and dynamic gaming environment.

The Unity developer focused on game mechanics, smooth gameplay, and the diverse environments MARVIN explores. In contrast, the creative director was the visionary force behind the unique concept, ensuring the theme of interstellar environmentalism was woven consistently throughout the game. This partnership overcame challenges and ensured a fun, impactful game that combines intriguing puzzles with a captivating storyline.

Overcoming Challenges

As with any creative project, the development of Junk Odyssey was not without its fair share of challenges. First, the team had to balance the need for challenging puzzles with the requirement of an engaging storyline. The initial focus was to create a fun game, but the additional layer of incorporating a strong message about environmentalism added complexity. The puzzles had to be stimulating, yet the importance of the overarching theme could not be diluted. Additionally, the limitations of a small team and a demanding timeline for launch at SXSW introduced further complications. With just two people juggling a multitude of tasks - from concept design and animation to coding and marketing - the process was intense.

Despite these challenges, the team's dedication, commitment, and constant communication prevailed. The team meticulously planned and organized tasks, using detailed to-do lists and sprint work strategies to stay on track. Beta testing and gathering player feedback was invaluable, informing adjustments to gameplay mechanics, tutorial formats, and level difficulty.

Moreover, the team remained unwaveringly committed to the game's central theme of intergalactic environmentalism. It ensured this theme permeated every element of the game, from the design of M.A.R.V.I.N. to the types of debris players encounter, effectively combining gaming fun with environmental consciousness. Navigating these challenges not only resulted in a game that resonates with players but also provided invaluable lessons that would undoubtedly shape the team's future projects. The hurdles encountered during the creation of Junk Odyssey have only reinforced the team's collaborative spirit, creative resolve, and commitment to making gaming a medium for significant messages.

The Character - MARVIN

Every great game needs a memorable character, and for Junk Odyssey, that character is MARVIN - an acronym for Mini Astronaut Recycles Various Intergalactic Nonsense. MARVIN evolved from a simple name to a fully customizable character with various animal heads, colors, and "trails" symbolizing his rocket pack's exhaust, offering players an immersive gaming experience. As the top operative of GalactiClean, no task is too daunting for him!

Beta Testing and Feedback

Beta testing played an indispensable part in Junk Odyssey's development process. Multiple rounds of closed testing and surveys offered the team invaluable insights into player preferences and game functionality. This iterative process helped the team learn essential lessons about tutorial formats and level difficulty, resulting in necessary adjustments that catered better to the player's experience.

Launch and Reception

Junk Odyssey made its debut at SXSW, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback. Players hailed its engaging gameplay, and the anticipation for future levels was palpable. The game has been recognized for its entertaining and addictive nature, an accolade the team is proud of.

Marketing Junk Odyssey

The marketing of Junk Odyssey was an essential component of the game's success. With an infinite number of games vying for attention in a saturated market, it was crucial to find innovative ways to generate buzz and captivate potential players' interest.

The team's marketing strategy began before the game's launch, building anticipation through the creation of the MARVIN suit. This suit would not only create interest in the game but also allow the team to engage with potential players, creating a community around Junk Odyssey at SXSW and other industry relevant events.

Learn more about the marketing potential at SXSW with our SXSW ultimate guide!

The game's launch at SXSW was the centerpiece of the marketing strategy. This renowned tech event provided a platform to present Junk Odyssey to a global audience. The reception was overwhelmingly positive.

Going forward Nexrage will partner with influencers in the gaming community who were recruited to play and review Junk Odyssey as well as future games. Their positive feedback will be powerful social proof. Moreover, leveraging their platforms can extend the game's reach to a broader demographic of potential players.

Social responsibility is another crucial element of the marketing strategy. The game's environmentally conscious theme was promoted, underscoring its unique selling point. This theme was emphasized in all promotional material, aligning the game with a broader societal issue and showing potential players that their engagement with Junk Odyssey could contribute positively to environmental awareness.

Post-launch, the team maintained a consistent marketing presence, regularly updating players with potential new features, updates, and forthcoming levels. This approach sustained player engagement, encouraged ongoing feedback, and fostered a sense of community around the game.

Ultimately, the marketing strategy of Junk Odyssey was about more than promoting a game. It was about establishing a brand identity, cultivating a player community, and standing out in a competitive landscape. Through carefully planned and executed marketing efforts, Junk Odyssey has managed not just to reach, but to captivate its target audience.

The Impact and Future of 'Junk Odyssey'

'Junk Odyssey' is not merely a game; it's a movement. As it continues to engage players, it subtly instills the importance of cleanliness and environmental conservation. The team has plans for potential updates, depending on the game's sustained success. Furthermore, there's already buzz about their next project. While the details remain confidential, one thing is for sure - it promises to be as intriguing as Junk Odyssey.

The game serves as a platform for Nexrage Studios to showcase its creativity and innovation. The unique concept, combined with engaging gameplay and stunning visuals, has set a new benchmark for mobile puzzle games. Nexrage Studios is committed to continuously improving the game, adding new puzzles and challenges, and expanding the story of M.A.R.V.I.N.


The development journey of Junk Odyssey is an inspiring story of creativity, collaboration, and commitment to an idea. It stands as a testament to the power of a simple concept transforming into an engaging, purposeful, and much-loved game. 'Junk Odyssey' shows that even in the vast cosmos, cleanliness is paramount, and games can entertain, engage, and educate simultaneously. The future is bright for the team behind Junk Odyssey, and we can't wait to see what they create next.

Check out the latest from their team on Instagram and TikTok !