When it comes to “game development”, we inadvertently combine the word with “team”.
A game development team with a clear division of labor and complete talent is almost a standard condition for developing games. It is like forming a team before playing a copy. A reasonable division of labor can effectively defeat the BOSS. But there are also such lone players who, for various reasons, chose to devote themselves to the design and development of the game, fighting with the complex content of the game with only one person.
In the middle of last year, I found a video titled “In order to make games, I spent 10 years self-learning programming, art, music, and planning” on station B. The developer A from AliveGameStudio talked about his independent design. The story about game development has aroused great attention from users at station B. So far, the video has been played at 2.34 million, ranking fifth on the site. Related game development videos also have a good attention at station B.
Unexpectedly, this finished game developed by old A successfully caught up with the end of 2020. After logging in to Steam at the end of 2020, “Raw Stone Project” was soon launched on Android platforms such as TapTap and Haoyoukuaibang. Try it out.
Since the game was ported from the PC to the mobile game platform on December 25, the “Raw Stone Project” has maintained a high score of 9.2 on TapTap, with more than 150,000 followers, and the Haoyoukuaibang score is similar, reaching 8.9. As a game developed by one person, this product obviously has a considerable degree of reputation and attention in the early days.
Playing a game alone is certainly not an easy task. This means that it is very possible to hit a wall in planning, programming, art, and music and sound effects. The content to be learned is like a bottomless pit, and the hardship is so great that it is unimaginable. Old A also said, “The biggest difficulty is that when a skill is half-learned and learning is vigorous, suddenly interrupting and learning another skill will cause a strong sense of pain.”
Perhaps because of the determination and obsession over the past ten years, he overcame these pains and realized the process of “Rough Stone Project” from the roughest lines and code to a nearly perfect game. An excellent independent game seems to have forming.
1. “Ten years of merit” support “one minute”
Before understanding the development story of “Raw Stone Project”, we may have to clarify a realistic question. Why was this game completed by one person in the end? Right, it doesn’t have to be done by one person.
“I have tried to find a partner, but the biggest difficulty is that I can’t find a suitable partner.” Old A explained that most partners are more inclined to start a new project to make themselves more involved. This is understandable. “But if you start a new project, it will definitely be unfriendly to players who like the game “Raw Stone Project”.”
This is why this game is finally completed in a personal form, not that I don’t want to find it, but under various conditions, ordinary independent developers can only take this path of self-development. So old A can only learn all the skills by himself, and then he can finish the game by himself.
The development of “Raw Stone Project”, a sci-fi theme game, finally took shape after a bumpy decade of learning.
First of all, in terms of art, the original painting, illustration and art promotion of the game were all contracted by the old A, which proved the hardship of the whole process. Beginning in 2010, from paper hand-painting to computer painting, from basic to beginner, through various painting exercises to master the knowledge and experience of human body structure, light and shadow composition, etc., and gradually move towards the road of original painting.
The improvement of the painter has allowed him to make some original painting settings, posters and illustrations for the “Raw Stone Project”.
Since the game map adopts the form of 3D modeling, it can be seen that the developers have also made great efforts in this aspect. However, at the beginning, the game was originally planned to be made with a 3D project of the type TPS, but due to workload reasons, it was eventually replaced with a 2D project, using a 3D scene + 2D character expression form as a whole.
Although 2D is not as rich in details as 3D, in fact, the organic combination of 3D and 2D presented by the game still maintains a beautiful balance. With the simple UI design, the overall look and feel is small and exquisite.
Then there is the important program aspect. Originally, Old A used the Unity engine, but due to worrying technical ability, he encountered many problems. With the advancement of technology, he began to learn the C# language and Shader’s writing, and the functions that can be realized began to become more. Until now, he has been able to create a programming language.
The process of program learning seems to be smooth, but in fact it is not the case. In the memories of old A, it was mentioned: “Sometimes I really want to focus on learning art. It may be good to be an painter… There are also times when I insist on not When I live, I also want to give up going to work…” The difficulties and vacillations faced during the development period at that time may be far more complicated and sad than this passage.
Finally, there is the music aspect. At first, I just simply played the instrument, understood music theory, and tried to use the electric guitar to learn rock music after I found some ways. But because “Project Rough” is a sci-fi game, rock music is obviously not very good, so the old A later learned electronic music and came into contact with a variety of electronic styles of music. Qu laid a solid foundation.
It is hard to imagine that after the tempering of art, modeling, programming and music, these various technical requirements were finally implemented, and the “Raw Stone Project” was finally successfully developed at the end of last year.
2. “Raw Stone Project” under the integration of rich gameplay
Returning to the game itself, “The Original Stone Project” is a game that has been carefully played. As old A’s thinking in development: “Compared to the graphics, the gameplay of the indie game is the most important. Only when the creative gameplay or plot is good enough can this game stand out.”
Therefore, the game has put a lot of effort on creative gameplay and plot, and the gameplay is rich in content, combining four major elements of war chess, card, roguelike and DBG.
The game uses a gameplay similar to that of CCG cards from the main gameplay. The design of hand cards, card piles, and card discarding areas are very familiar. Players can attack monsters by using the cards in their hands, and the attack methods are also varied. Not only bullets have different types and functions, but also boxing and combination punches.
In addition, players can also use cards to restore their health or physical strength, eliminate unfavorable Buffs, and use some prop cards to combine several attack cards into a more powerful attack card.
But this does not mean that cards can be collected excessively. Each character’s backpack has a certain upper limit, and it will be punished if it exceeds this upper limit. This takes into account the problem of combination. In the process of selecting cards and forming a deck, players need to determine the positioning of each character and make a reasonable combination.
In order to improve the choice space and richness of game cards, the DBG library construction also provides players with more possibilities. There are multiple genres in the game, such as burning flow, freezing flow, electric shock flow, craftsman flow, transportation flow, etc. Each single genre has a certain gameplay strategy and intensity, but they are not a single existence. If you combine cards of different genres In combination, new genres can also be produced.
It is worth mentioning that while the game carries a rich card system, it also adds elements such as props and equipment to further enhance the strategy of the game and increase the fun of playing.
On the other hand, the form of roguelike is used outside the game to increase the randomness of the level. There will be a variety of destructible items in the random field, such as burning barrels that can cause damage to the surroundings, and boxes that may get props… Of course, not only these, but more importantly, she also added the most representative roguelike The one-life clearance mechanism has increased the operational demand and excitement for players.
Under these rich gameplay content, it is foreseeable that this game has a certain degree of difficulty, but it does not prevent players from experiencing the fun of the game. The games that have been independently produced by a single player have been more or less simplified in terms of the value and content of the gameplay. They are very simple and emphasize the playability, but the “Raw Stone Project” is different, and its gameplay has a unique fusion And innovation, even numerically, there is a relatively complex design, although the sparrow is small, it has all the internal organs.
3. What does one person rely on to attract players to play a game?
Last year, many products developed independently by individuals appeared in China, such as “Maruba Warriors” and “The Great Thousand World”, etc., and a bit further, there are surprising games such as “Bright Memory”; we have expanded the scope to the world, “Candlelight Dungeon 2”, developed by a Polish independent developer, has recently been on sale.
It can be said that the personally developed games have shown a certain turning point. In recent years, the works have better ideas and a higher degree of completion, and they are no longer just “play and play first”. Based on this trend and its own gimmicks, players’ attention to these games has also increased. For stalking games like “Big Thousand World”, the attention of TapTap has reached 330,000.
With increasing attention, a question is naturally inevitable-why these games can attract players? After all, in terms of content and production level, they are obviously hard to match the commercial products developed by the team, and there is a certain gap in quality.
I think the most central point is the connection, which is the connection between the developer and the game and the connection between the developer and the player.
Since personal development is to complete all the content alone, it is obvious that the developer can most intuitively show the effect he wants, avoiding communication barriers, and connecting the developer to the game; and this connection is also reflected in the player’s suggestions. It can be directly communicated to the developer and promote communication, which means that the feedback of the problem is direct and effective, and it is conducive to the backward iteration of the developer.
Of course, putting aside these, the performance of the game itself is also very important. Taking “Raw Stone Project” as an example, I think the biggest highlight of this game is divided into two aspects.
On the one hand, the plot of the game is extremely sad, and players need to continue to endure tragedies to reach the correct ending. In the game, we need to save a girl named Cynthia. In the initial conditions and the player is not familiar with the game, this girl will always become a piece of meat because of “alienation”, and the player needs to be in constant reincarnation. Find a way to escape the laboratory with Cynthia, find a way to save her, and lead to the best ending.
On the other hand, the game also supports creative workshops, which expands the playability of the game. In order to make it easier for players to create MOD, the developer created a programming language that allows players to use tables to create the cards and characters they want through simple naming and assignment methods. Through this format, “Raw Stone Project” has a variety of mods, and some even look like a brand new game.
These bold but very down-to-earth content attempts are seldom tried by general commercial products, and they are naturally the highlights.
But there is no doubt that these “one-person games” have become a brand new force in China, and they are using their own attempts to tell us the possibility of this path. Perhaps in the future, more and more convenient development methods can enter the field of vision of domestic developers, so that more independent people who want to make games have more opportunities.
We encourage the birth of a dream-seeking game like the “Raw Stone Project”. As the old game developer A said: “When I want to give up, I always think, why did I enter the game industry in the first place? The game of my dreams. So, I stuck with it.”
Perhaps it’s the original intention that one person can develop his ideal game, right?
Source: Something about mobile games