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Thoughts on Single Dev Games

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

(a)DDL_008_What I think so far, working on Dimday Red for about six months

 

Daily Activities

Doing the one-man band act always felt exciting, if somewhat stressful. I have had an open admiration for Robert Rodriguez’s “doing everything by myself” approach in the first Desperado movie.


I have been doing solo projects all my professional life, with varying success, but I always got the satisfaction of achievement.


Dimday Red is by far the most demanding of those projects and probably the most ambitious. It requires a group of skills that although I possess, they are quite difficult to orchestrate together, without losing focus.


I believe the most laborious task a single dev faces is where they should allocate their limited time. Should it be art, or story? Technical development or marketing?


And although you would guess that one should put more weight on what they know best (i.e. in my case artwork) you quickly realize that this is not always the best idea. Because what good is art if the gameplay sucks? Or how cool are your game mechanics if you don’t get enough people to play them?


 

Intended Results

To make an amazing game and tell an extraordinary story.

 

Actual Results

Slowly getting there, finding that it is much more demanding than originally thought.

 

Time Spent

Five and a half months (as of end of August)

 

Tips

  • Single dev games require us to find the right balance. It is not the same for every project, because as for everything else in this life, there are no silver bullets in game design.

  • I find that instead of making a logical timeline, i.e. first Ideation, second Game Art, third Game Development etc. it works better for me to jump around subjects. The reason is that not having created this kind of project before, I don’t have either an existing workflow, or the experience to make one. And by looking around, at least at the first stages of the project, I may find something like a tool or a platform that can help me take things further.


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