Examples of solo game developers


#1

Hello. One topic that interests me is solo game developers who create games on their own. Can you give examples of such developers? You ask, “Why are you interested in this topic?”. I will answer you: in fact, I am going to create games. Although they are ordinary in mechanics, some will be unusual due to the graphics or plot.

I ask you not to laugh, but I came up with a name for the solo team - “Shooting Star Games”

P.S: I know about Toby Fox and Stephen “Strife” DiDuro from “GalaxyTrail”


#2

Some others off the top of my head:

  • The developer of Stardew Valley, known as ConcernedApe, made Stardew Valley almost exclusively themselves. The art, music, code, and design was all done by them.
  • Nina Freeman is another solo game developer (although she has worked for places like Fullbright games in the past) and has released a TOOOON of games. You can see them here: http://ninasays.so/games/
  • Scott Cawthon is the solo creator of the Five Nights at Freddy series, and he made all of them mostly solo until the VR game came out.

#3

Tonguç Bodur is a solo developer who made several first-person exploration games, some call them “walking simulators”, which I kinda like. Impressive work for one dude alone.

You can get all his games in a bundle for about 30 euro here:

https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/535/Games_by_Tongu_Bodur/


#4

Firedance Games which is a 1 man studio was working on Salvation Prophecy using the Ogre game engine.

Starwraith which is a 1 man studio developing the Evochron series using it own custom game engine originally based on DarkBasic Pro.
https://www.starwraith.com


#5

Excuse me for… stupid question, but… how do I better name the solo team? The name “Shooting Star Games” sounds… ironic. You will say: “The normal name. What is bad in it?”. For me, this name is ironic, because a shooting “star” is like a symbol of a good game. And the adverb “shooting” symbolizes failure. As you know, meteor fall to the ground and burn. If you compare shooting stars with my games, they would be a failure, and eventually completely forgotten. As they say in Russia: “As you name the ship, so it will sail”


#6

I think you shouldn’t think about it that much. There is always something non-optimal with names, and even if you find a perfect one people will still call it pretentious or something. Just take the one you originally thought about as it describes yourself and is the one made for you :slight_smile:


#7

Thank you very much for the advice, @arthuro555


#8

Well, Titanic means “extremely powerful” according to the Oxford dictionary, yet the ship called the same did break in half. Now that is ironic.
I understand your concerns but I don’t personally believe it is important by end of the day people going to play your games and not even for moment going to care about the name of the studio making the game. Just make sure it is not something stupid or morbid that publishers and stores would have problem with displaying publicly and it fit the mentality of you and your company.

Shooting Star indeed means a piece of rock that fall from the sky and burn and leave nothing behind, but really big rocks do survive sometime and on impact they change the landscape forever.
Some may say it is deadly and do nothing but destroy everything which is not much better but if we can believe to scientists and archaeologists, it is very possible such rocks helped our planet to be able to support life and it is the very reason our species was able to evolve and become the primate species called “Homosapiens”. I would not call this a fail :+1:


#9

Thank you very much for your advice, @ddabrahim. I’ll probably leave this beautiful name


#10

One more dev did come to my mind.
Cyril Megem he was developing Warshift I believe in CryEngine.
http://warshift.com/

He for example did not start a company, he is running under his civil name, made this game in 5 years and published it.

There is also a fail story.
Limit Theory by Josh Parnell:
http://ltheory.com/

The guy was developing this game and the entire engine, tools from scratch on his own he was even developed his own scripting language for his own engine, it was really ambitious project both the game and the engine to power it. Toward the end he suffered a mental break down because he was pushing him self too hard and he had to seek medical help. After he decided to hire a programmer to help him but eventually they did run out of money and the programmer he hired left the project and the development stopped and the game never got finished and never released. People on the forum still discussing why he failed but it was nothing to do with the name.

The developer was a perfectionist, he did not accept anything less than 100% and simply trying to achieve something this big on his own that was too much for 1 person and he did not managed his time and money well. He was going for months with no break and when he realised his engine is not performing well he decided to start from scratch (because the result was not 100% and he did not want to make compromises) he was pushing him self even harder to catch up to meet the deadline, failing the deadline was not acceptable and that’s it. It was too much for 1 person but it was amazing what he have actually achieved. You can watch his vlogs on youtube from before the breakdown, if he was lower the bar and accept he won’t be able to simulate thousands of AI instances but only 50 or 20 it could have been a pretty amazing space sim game imo.

So the lesson to learn from this case is to know your limits and never put the bar too high and learn to make compromises when you do.