Based in DC Metro Area, USA
August 23, 2019
Sleeping soundly on a train, Mia and her sister Nia, are literally blown into a wild adventure they will never forget. Armed with a Miracle tennis racket made by their eldest sister, Lia and with the help from a cat and sentient Qube, Mia and Nia must deflect and parry their way through a horde of interdimensional destroyers known as the Geos! With their eldest sister, Lia captured by The Void, and being pursued by a mysterious Woman in Red, Mia must find the other Miracle Rackets her sister made and team up with her cousin, Coco and her Maidens to fend off the Geos and save her sister from The Void!
Miracle Mia’s origins are tied to the 2015 FEMICOM Game Jam #2. The theme was “Dress up.” I was a sophomore in the Interactive Arts department at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) trying to come up with a project to make a complete game within the semester that I could later work on long-term to turn into a fully realized commercial product.
Jumping off themes from game jam sites, I was trying to prototype new mechanics and learn new skills for a game that I could devote to. One theme from the FEMICOM game jam that really resonated with me was "Dress Up." It gave me the idea of powers being bestowed on the player from new dresses that the main heroine would earn throughout the game. The art, characters, and enemies came quickly to me, but I was having a hard time finding a central mechanic that the game would revolve around as its core loop. After listening to a "Steven Universe" podcast where the episode referenced the final boss fight in "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time", I came up with the main mechanic of deflecting attacks shot by the enemy and repelling those shots right back at them. The podcasters joked that it was a bit like a tennis match and I thought it was a great idea for the central mechanic which the other elements of the game would eventually revolve around, that is, the dresses you collect would augment your tennis abilities to help you do better against new, tougher enemies and bosses the longer you played the game.
After finishing the game, I was proud of what I accomplished, but it didn’t receive the notoriety I was hoping for. The project sat for a while until the Spring of 2016 where I reconsidered Miracle Mia as a potential path for my first commercial game.
Some of the professors noticed several games I made and suggested I show them in my own gallery. Out of all the games shown, Miracle Mia was the best received by my peers. They were impressed with the content that I made, the novelty of the concept, and the variety of enemies. That would lead to a summer of overhauling the game completely to a more streamlined and deeper game than the original game jam’s incarnation. Wanting to see what the larger public would think of the game, on a whim I submitted it to a Japanese culture convention - Otakon’s Indie Game Hall. Miracle Mia was heavily inspired by anime, Asian culture, and famous Japanese video games and I felt it was a good fit for Otakon. And thankfully, my hunch was right. The feedback was mostly positive and I was able to learn how to engage the public in showcasing my games. All of this would eventually help build my confidence in the project.
In 2017 I decided to integrate Miracle Mia into my college work as a means to kickstart this project into a full game. I enrolled in a project studio class where we had to plan a project and produce a piece of artwork over the whole semester. At that time, I came up with the second level of the game and refined the game mechanics even further. The game was play-tested and workshopped by my classmates where they gave invaluable feedback and criticism that I would take to heart to improve the players’ experience with the game. The structure of the game began to take shape and the dress powers became more defined in how they would help the player in the game as well as presenting the end-game winning scenarios. At this point, I believed that I had the structure and the plan needed to make this game a commercial project - make 10 levels based off the work done in the project studio class, introduce the dress powers, and weave a narrative that combined gameplay and story together along with the ideals that I value and uphold.
After graduating from MICA in the Spring of 2017, I proposed to my parents that I take a year to see if I can make a go at being an independent game developer. With a one-year deadline, I began working on the first real levels of Miracle Mia. The process was difficult. I was trying to get a footing in my life and that bled into the development process. A year deadline passed and I had vastly underestimated the length of time I needed to make a full commercial product of value that would stand apart from the rest of the indie games in the market. There were changes; mechanics were overhauled to make gameplay better, the story was re-written, and I had to come up with new mechanics to help diversify the game-feel and remove repetition.
During this time, I went to many conventions and Miracle Mia garnered a small following. Many players saw the potential of Miracle Mia and response went from tepid to very positive and supportive. This helped me continue to work on the game building my confidence and faith in the project. However, two things were lacking in the game. Music and sound effects. Locally sourced assets did not bring the richness I felt the game needed. In the winter of 2017, I met synthwave musician Ashley Lynn Watts whose musical aesthetics most closely matched what I envisioned for the game and with whom I could collaborate to bring the game together. It was Ashley who created Miracle Mia's beautiful, original soundtrack.
This has been a long journey and there have been many hurtles and challenges. I am grateful to my friends and family for believing in me and supporting me on this adventure. I’m all the more happier doing this, for I have made a game, that to me, I wouldn’t miss out for the world.
- A tennis-based combat system that can withstand anything fired at Mia.
- A sister who is more than just a companion, Nia hold the most powerful ability Mia can use.
- Twenty-four chapters of an adventure to save Mia and Nia’s sister and stop The Void
- Journey through ten unique, geometrical environments that are being deteriorated by the Geo’s presence
- Obtain several new skills that Mia and Nia will learn to combat against the Geo horde
- Fend off against a vast number of diverse Geo foes and powerful heavy hitters that will stand in the sisters’ way
- And ally with Mia’s family and friends who will help in the fight against the Geos
- One Maiden can not confront The Void and its Geos alone.
Miracle Mia - An Introduction YouTube
Miracle Mia Trailer YouTube
Miracle Mia Preview of New Levels YouTube
There are far more images available for Shademare, but these are the ones we felt would be most useful to you. If you have specific requests, please do contact us!
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Awards & Recognition
- "Super Smash Con" - 2019
- "Gamescape People's Choice" - 2019
- "Otakon Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2019
- "TooManyGames Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2019
- "Playthrough Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2019
- "AwesomeCon Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2019
- "MAGFest Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2019
- "Otakon Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2018
- "MAGFest Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2018
- "Otakon Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2017
- "MAGFest Indie Videogame Showcase" - 2017
Request Press CopyPlease send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as a press copy is available for you.
Selected Articles & Quotes
- "An Interview with Donald Boose, developer of Miracle Mia"
- Greg Livingston, Youtube
- "Incubating Indies - The Magic Hour Show 120 - "
- GamerParent, Magic Hour Show
- "Miracle Mia from Shademare was a little hard to follow graphically at times, but it’s damn good at storytelling and you won’t find a more aggressive hybrid of 2D platformer/action/tennis game. Yes, tennis."
- SomecallmeJohnny, @Someallmejon
Miracle Mia Credits
Donald W. Boose IV
Ashley Lynn Watts (SonikBuster)
Diwa de Leon