13 Jan 2016
Written by lonely woof
I was left alone. Not that anyone else had been involved before, but for the first time, the fact that I might have to develop this videogame by myself really struck me and against all odds I found myself very excited by this! Of course I was far from imagining how huge and exhausting this would be.
It was spring 2013. I was starting to get seriously bored with my job, while my personal project was kinda put on hiatus, in spite of this target-render video which, once, gave me a lot of motivation.
At the time, I had real doubts about my job. During a lunch with my boss, I actually told him I felt like moving on, like working in the videogame industry. He (pretty much) responded by saying that it was understandable. As he was describing my personality, he defined me as a “lonely wolf”…
… At work, normally, I am NOT a lonely wolf. I am perfectly capable of working with a team. And I do enjoy that. But the truth is, at the time I was really depressed, depressed by my job. So I chose to be an “outsider”. The work atmosphere was terrible for various reasons and this was the only way I could cope. And good news for me: I consider myself being independent. Whilst I was used to work as part of a team, I also was handed project on my own. In the end, everybody was happy.
So…getting back on track with that lunch with my boss: “Lonely Wolf?“, I asked, surprised. But then, this label made me smile, and eventually haunted me until the night. Because, it was maybe true. Maybe, I didn’t realize it. And this name triggered something. That would soon be, thanks to my game: I was going to craft my game by myself, alone, in the darkness, lit by the moonlight. Or by my 24” LCD monitor. So that’s it : Pierre D., it’s thanks to you I chose this name.
That’s how that name, “Lonely Wolf”, stayed. Slightly modified because let’s face it : “Lonely Wolf” is way too serious.
I was going to need to code. Me, a graphic designer. An employee of several communication agencies. Who was used to sketch, to doodle, to color stuffs. Whose mathematics skills were limited to adding, maybe subtracting, numbers with the help of my smartphone.
I may be exaggerating: after all, I still had some basis with ActionScript. So I convinced myself it was doable. I started looking for a framework that would meet my requirements : an easy language, an engine that would allow me to play with physics, and more importantly that could build for iOS and Android.
Anyone else would have chosen Unity. Me too, especially given the fact I had several occasions to work with it (although not directly) … And I knew Unity Scripts was really close to ActionScript.
Some games made with Unity (“Monument Valley”, “Hitman GO”, “Format.8”) :
Unity, the perfect engine for indie devs : because of its growing community, its various library and APIs, its impressive showcase (“Hitman GO” or the wonderful “Monument Valley”). And although Unity was mainly for building 3D games, it was absolutely possible to make 2D games (even if it was officially supported with Unity 2D later).
But I chose Corona SDK. A video posted on YouTube convinced me : in less than ten minutes, a developer showed how to make a mobile game, with a few lines of code, looking like ActionScript. At the end of the video, he showed it running on a smartphone, ready to be played, ready to get released on the App Store. Magical.
Other games made with Corona SDK (“Gravity Maze”, “Dumb Ways To Die 2”, “Out There”):
After the order was done on Amazon, the book “Corona SDK Mobile Game Development” was finally shipped to my home (NB: this book is now obsolete on some points, but it is still enough to learn the basis). An easy-to-read book, with samples and exercises, that would allow me to “create monetized games for iOS and Android with minimum cost and code” (sic).
Within a few weeks, I should finally be able to make my childhood dream become real and craft my very own video game, by myself. Besides, within a few days, I already had a playable prototype.