SASKATOON -- What started as a hobby five years ago for Andrew Riche has turned into a commercially available product on Steam.

“I grew up in Bethune, Saskatchewan and the winters were pretty dull so I just spent a lot of time drawing, playing video games, just creating stuff on the PC, even just like little programs. And eventually I just kind of started on one themed project,” said Riche, who lives in Regina.

Riche is the creator of Legions of Maelstrom, a retro-style RPG video game about a distant land of settlers who suddenly find themselves under the rule of an ancient sorcerer. They must band together to repel this dark power which threatens towns and cities.

“You start off as just a common citizen and then you seek the help of the elders around you, and eventually just take on what’s brought upon you.”

He says the game went from a hobby to being a more serious project once the pandemic started.

“I had also just turned 30 as well at the time when I started it, so it’s like, ‘well if I’m going to start doing what I’ve always wanted to do I might as well start right now.’”

Riche did all the coding and artwork for the game and got help from a friend in Moose Jaw for the music.

The game was released last month on Steam, which Riche says is a big accomplishment.

“It’s my art portfolio right now. So yes, I honestly do want it to sell and make money on it. But just seeing one of my creations after 20 years of wanting to do something like this, it’s awesome.”

He says the experience has led to another important step in the process – marketing.

“It’s not something that I ever expected would be difficult. I thought maybe a few Twitter shares and just word of mouth would really help out. But it’s a business all in itself.”

Early reviews, although only a handful in number, are positive.

“Just seeing something that I’ve created and have strangers talk about it and Twitch streamers look at it and give their first impressions, it’s amazing.”

GET READY TO BODY SLAM

AEW fans eager to give a body slam with their controller got a sneak peak at an upcoming AEW video game.

The AEW Games Twitter account recently tweeted out a small video preview of the game, featuring Darby Allin in action.

Canadian born AEW star Kenny Omega narrates the video which begins by showing video game artwork of Allin before cutting to in-ring gameplay scenes with Darby wrestling a fictional character.

The developer of the game, Yuke’s, has experience in the wrestling genre as it was previously involved in WWE games.

No release date has been set.

GLIMPSE OF MADDEN 22

EA sports has released a trailer of the upcoming Madden 22 game, which shows some features gamers can expect in this years release.

“This is Madden like you’ve never seen it ... It’s a whole new vibe with ALL-NEW Dynamic Gameday,” says a message on the Madden NFL 22 Twitter account.

The trailer prominently features Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, which is no surprise since they are the cover athletes.

It also shows screen shots and clips indicating there will be upgrades to game presentation, more eye-popping moves, emotional reactions to big plays and improvements to franchise mode.

It looks like Madden 22 will also include co-ordinators and player staff.

“Whether installing a weekly gameplan in Franchise or going head-to-head in Play Now, games in Madden NFL 22 will feel fresh with a deeper level of strategy and storytelling in each match-up and in each stadium,” Electronic Arts said in a press release.

Brandon Gaudin is back in the booth for commentary for the fifth straight year.

The world wide release date is Aug. 20, with pre-order options to begin play early on Aug. 17.