On some mad coincidence which I will never understand my game Pinstripe (I work on it nearly 4 years) was shown at a ceremony of Game Awards 2015. It was extremely strange to observe how Mark Hamill and Kiefer Sutherland discuss games while my person is shown close up on all projectors. I am very happy, do not misunderstand, but I also want to be frank: it became real confirmation of the fact that yes, work on the project alone was worth it, the first for four years. Except feeling of happiness and an opportunity to tell the story of "a lonely wolf" to thousands of people in Los Angeles, there are some more benefits of work alone.
A few years ago, having come to college, I created game under the name "Coma". It were the last days of glory of development of flash games; as a result I appeared in the light of searchlights, smiling for photographers on GDC 2010 in Austin (Texas). I felt excellently, but began to ask a question soon whether it was just accidental good luck. The feeling of a realizovannost began to die away after days, weeks and years of late work on my present advenchury Pinstripe at night. Today I am complete of hopes that I do everything correctly: year after year I follow the passion. However all rest of the time seems to me that was a big error to undertake the project alone. At such moments it is easy to remember the last several years and to ask a question: "Why I just did not form small design team? Could stamp couple more of games and to become the millionaire". (Sarcasm).
The answer for me consists in one word: integrity. I mean effective interaction of all art elements by integrity. Outstanding games usually have complete music, style, a gameplay and history. Finally, these elements are together used for creation of the fascinating atmosphere. It is a little similar to how a voice, the bearing, manners, clothes and color of eyes play an important role in creation of the unique personality. I think that games are felt too in this way therefore it is necessary to use this principle in development.
Of course, all this is fine in the theory, but at me the temptation was frequent to finish this way of life of "a lonely wolf". I have a folder complete of undispatched e-mails to people who could become my artists, musicians, etc., but eventually the possibility of complete expression of my vision remained the most important for me. In my case it is the simplest it was possible to reach it, having clenched teeth and having made everything alone. For example, I am inclined to consider that music is a power source of game. If music does not correspond to art style and mood of game, feelings from it will confuse. Illustrations in Pinstripe have identity and to explain how music has to correspond to this style, it would be very difficult for me. It is not impossible — transfer of ideas and is a problem of the industry of video games — but it is difficult, in particular for me. My requirements to the budget and time, and also my choosy nature said that it will be better to give it few months and to write music independently. I understand, from outside it looks egocentric, however the complete game having communication with the player at the emotional level was an ultimate goal always.
As a striking example of such process it is possible to take "The wood on the edge of" (Edge Wood) (the note of the translator — game did not come out yet so it is only possible to guess a correct translation of the name, I selected such). "The wood on the edge" is the first Pinstripe level, cozy and snow-covered, however located in the middle of Hell. I am not quite sure that such surroundings "will hook" on players, but I want to think that with the necessary music, art style and the atmosphere even the most mad plot can work. After record of four absolutely different musical compositions for "The wood on the edge", three art styles and the changing sets of characters which I as a result refused I felt that "The wood on the edge" reached a point of an emotional response. It was long process, but the result was worth it, and I am happy with made. I represent how expensive would be such movement without a certain direction when using hired specialists; much it would cost during the work with close friends dearer. It is sure that it is one of basic reasons on which commands of indi-developers collapse — one starving artist tries to change the world the game, but cannot decide what will be the first level. Without command, despite high loading, the burden is often easy, and leaves the place for creativity and identity.
When there are only I, a cup of coffee and couple of ideas early in the morning before a campaign for work, personal game like Pinstripe has an opportunity to become something big, than her author. Creation of my game which can be passed in a couple of hours took nearly three years, but I hope that sometime players will thank me for it. Style, music and a plot of Pinstripe were born from my heart. Game has own rhythm which as I consider, has a high probability to touch players at the emotional level than if it was created with assistance. If the statistics is right, I am doomed to earn in Steam of dollars five, but after all my game already there. My small fragile heart will be provided by the small picture on Steam show-window soon, and it seems to me that it is healthy.
If you want to talk about the project, or just to contact me, do not hesitate, write on atmosgames[at]gmail.com.
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