One week of solo game development

Active Movements

On Monday morning, after brewing myself coffee in the coffee shop near my place, I decided to start the week with a new bunch of Spine-animations for the archer goblin. It was, after all, his turn. I got in touch with the animators, briefed them on what needed to be done, waited a bit, and here's the result. That’s some great job I did on the animation.

That’s Flashy

The next things on my agenda were VFX animations. I thought that the "Insubstantiality" buff should envelop the hero in a barely noticeable but truly ghostly aura. Another phone call to brief our animators, and here's what I came up with.
By the way, I also wanted Persival to make his knight vows in some spectacular manner—so that players would, right away, feel responsibility for any action or inaction. After all, being a knight is a very serious matter, and I want our players to understand that.

That’s why the effect below will appear when a player plays the Knight’s Promise card.

Firebrother Reformation

I started Tuesday with some artwork. It seemed that the Firebrothers’ idol didn’t visually fit the overall style or the Brotherhood itself. Yes, it had fire and other intimidating things, but something was still off. I decided to change the way the Brotherhood’s sacred place looked, but keep the overall atmosphere.

A call, preparation of the brief—and soon the artists sent me the background for the event. And I think it turned out great. So I was done with artwork for Tuesday.

Now I needed to return to animation to bring the drawings to life. Where are the contacts for the animators, again?

Fiddler Pig? Fifer Pig? Practical Pig?

No, this is Prince. It’s just I decided that he could…slightly transform after certain “manipulations”. Yes, these new features will be awaiting you in the game soon. So on Wednesday I had time to re-draw the boar, too. I still need to check what our animators sent since Tuesday, because I still haven’t finished Tuesday’s animation task.

For now, I'm still choosing which of the options below I like better, but I already really like the new look of our little boar.


Thursday. The “Arena” event was “idle” for a long time and didn't really move anywhere. Yes, the battle background had been animated before, but now I finally got down to animating the event itself. My animators are always on call, so I gave them the task and very soon I was finished with this animation, too.

In Summary

Well, Friday has finally come. It’s time to implement the artwork and the animations in the game engine, make posts in our social networks, write a diary entry for you, send out game keys. I'll leave bug fixing for the weekend. Time to write the diary of this week’s solo game development.

And Now, more seriously

Those of you who read this diary to the end deserve credit and are probably now in a state of slight shock. We’ve engaged in a little mischief, trolling, in light of the recent scandal involving the developers of Manor Lords. And it’s worth discussing.

For those who doesn’t know what the uproar’s about: in brief, the game developers of Manor Lords and Farthest Frontier had a conflict regarding how the contribution of developers to game creation should be evaluated. Manor Lords was created by Greg Styczeń, who claims the status of a "solo developer," even though the credits indicate that a whole team worked on the game.

CEO of Crate Entertainment Arthur Bruno argues that Manor Lords shouldn’t be considered a work of one person, as numerous external specialists took part in the development process. Indeed, more than 60 people were involved. Arthur jokingly remarked that he, too, is a "solo developer." He made the game himself, engaging a few of his employees.

We support Farthest Frontier's position. Almost every game of such caliber involves an entire team. But the idea of success at any cost sometimes harms the industry. Imagine how the expectations for real indies and solo developers have skyrocketed?

Now, every indie game can be measured against the unrealistic standard set by the "solo” development of Manor Lords.

Furthermore, we believe that the contribution of each team member to the game is important. A game is a living product, the synergy of the entire team's work. Calling oneself a solo developer is dishonest marketing which devalues the work of other talented team members who worked on Manor Lords (the game turned out excellent after all—150k online and 90% positive reviews at launch).

This week, I’d like to thank our animators Artyom and KODY! Thank you barizz for the boar artwork! I thank our developers nnton3 and Sibu for the new implementations and fixing bugs this whole week. And thank you to our community manager Marfonia for posting and keeping in touch with our players!

See you next Friday!