Recently we could only guess what Lucas Pope, the creator of the acclaimed Papers, Please, is doing. And this Monday he announced the release of his next game Returne of the Opra Dinn, where we will have to investigate a ship that has been considered missing for several years. The project is completely one-bit, but it still looks attractive.
Let's give Lucas and many other similar people their due - they create cult things without having a large team of developers, directors, screenwriters, directors, designers, artists, huge funding, relying only on crowdfunding or on themselves. It is extremely difficult, but once every few years the game world is exploded by some indie game that remains in the hearts of millions. It is about these games made by one person that we will talk about.
1. Jonathan Blow and Braid
Let's start with the messiah of the indie industry, as they call him. Jonathan Blow developed Braid practically himself. He owns the authorship of the code, as well as the puzzles in the game. It took a year to develop, and since Blow was more of a programmer, he acted wisely and hired artist David Halman. He sketched the scenery on top of the existing levels, which also took a year. He did the same with the music, simply by buying a ready-made musical accompaniment.
So why is she worthy of attention? Braid can be considered the pioneer of the genre, because it was during its release that indies were something incomprehensible and new, so the game made a splash. Seriously, positive reviews rained down on Blow's head and the Times ranked the game 37th on the list of the most significant games of all time.
2. Toby Fox and Undertale
Unlike Blow, who entrusted the visual and musical design to others, Toby Fox can be called a talented person in everything. His Undertale won hearts. The game can be best described as a relaxed adventure that ends up with a storytelling depth that takes your breath away in the best Adventure time tradition. This game is a prime example of how gamers themselves pay for a great thing. All Toby did was create the first level with love, wrote his own music and uploaded the demo to Kiсkstarter.
Intending to raise 5 thousand dollars, he raised 10 times more. In the end, what Mr. Fox did in the first level - he repeated several more times. And we got one of the finest indie games with a charming author's soundtrack, memorable characters, cool twist and, of course, Flower ...
3. Markus Persson and Minecraft
2009. Markus Pearson founds Mojang Studio. And he did this so that she would support his simple but brilliant Minecraft in revision and display at exhibitions. Should I even say anything about her? Probably the fact that when Persson came to Valve with the game, he was turned around and kicked in the ass. I wonder what would have happened if in the kingdom of Uncle Gabe made a different decision ....
However, two years later the game was "released" and the world went crazy. Yes, after it entered the beta stage in 2010, he began to expand the staff of the company, and other people worked on it, but it was he who made the original first version of the game. And it was he who gave her that unique isometric design. It is ironic that this style was chosen for one reason - Marcus admitted that he simply did not know how to draw, and wanted to facilitate visualization.
Today Marcus is resting lying on the two billion dollars for which he sold the studio and all the intellectual property on Minecraft to Microsoft.
4. Davy Ryden and The Stanley Parable
Divi Ryden is one of those people who at one point thought about the meaning of voiceover in games and films, and elevated it to absolute. More seriously, The Stanley Parable is one big allegory for choice. It is about the fact that the concept of storytelling can be much more than we can imagine.
This person made a game really different from what we've seen before. Do you do everything as the narrator tells you or do what you want? Or maybe you don't decide anything at all? All of these questions can be found in The Stanley Parable.
5. Lucas Pope and Papers, Pleas
Having told about the new game, it would be rude not to mention Lucas's previous project. The game designer used to work at Naughty Dog and made Uncharted, but then left.
The game was inspired by frequent flights (he is an American who lives in Japan), from country to country. He showed the public the first developments, and then polished them for 9 months. As a result, we got an unusual game about the everyday life of a controller at the border, which critics called the real art from the world of video games.
A short film was even shot on it. It is not surprising, because the game was able to do what many AAA projects sometimes fail - it hit it hard.
In the future we will tell you about a few more solo games .
The Topic of Article: Indie games made by one person. Part one.