Joe Michael McDonald

I make games

Dungeon Crawl

Dungeon Crawl is a turn-based multiplayer adventure game that hearkens back to nineties fantasy board games. Take control of four heroes and adventure deep into the dungeons of the Demon King! Use exciting abilities to defeat enemies and collect new items and weapons to improve your heroes. Invite your friends over for local multiplayer fun; explore dungeons and fight monsters together!

Play Press Kit

Two Skeletons in a library.
A Wizard launching a fireball.
A Goblin standing next to some lava.

Swords & Shadows

Swords & Shadows is a top down hack 'n' slash inspired by Zelda and Diablo. Adventure through endless dungeons, find treasure and defeat monsters! The dungeons are procedurally generated in a cute low-poly style and the gameplay has a challenging but fun feel to match. The current build is pre-alpha and demonstrates combat and terrain generation. Jump in and fight some Skeletons and Bats!


Three Bats chasing the player.
An exploding chest with gems inside.
A scary looking structure in a cave.


8‑Bit Ape


Game Developer

  • 8‑Bit Ape are a collection of awesome people who make small-scale indie games.

  • I have a range of responsibilities from gameplay programming to project management.

  • Games created using Unity, Blender and C# .NET.


NOV 2011 - FEB 2018

Software Test Engineer

  • Documation are a software company that create automated invoice management solutions.

  • Developed web applications using Javascript, Knockout and C# .NET.

  • Created an automated test framework using Selenium and NUnit.


Solent University

SEP 2007 - JUL 2011

BSc Sound for Film, Television and Computer Games

  • First-Class with Honours.

  • Won the Campus IT award for 3D binaural audio game.

  • Programming units included C++ and C#.

About me

I love making games and founded 8‑Bit Ape in 2013, not long after graduating from University. I began making small game projects with some friends, initially working part-time from a shared office close to my day job where I worked as a C# .NET developer. In 2017 we released a prototype of Swords & Shadows which created a lot of interest and eventually led to a publisher offering to fund our next game Dungeon Crawl. This enabled me to start my dream job of working full-time making games!

I talk a lot about video games, but I also love playing board games with my close group of friends. Some of our favourites include One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Saboteur. I’m a big fan of the Star Wars TV series Clone Wars and Rebels, which I watched whilst trying to keep fit on the exercise bike, and I'm looking forward to Resistance. I tend to do a lot of cooking at home, which I find really enjoyable, but not so much the tidying up afterwards…