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Working solo.

A topic by LebbyFoxx created 49 days ago Views: 452 Replies: 29
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Hello all!

I have a few questions for all developers out there. 

What is your experience with solo development, if you have done it before? How much did scope affect you/your idea (and your creativity), and what did you learn from solo development? Also did/do you enjoy solo development?

Thank you for your time.

- Caleb (LebbyFoxx)


Howdydiddly Caleb!

In my experience so far, working solo can be both a blessing and a curse with regards to the creative process. If you are a determined person then it is within your grasp to do all of the elements in some way and can provide a grand oppertunity to learn new skills too! The problem side comes from being your own worse critic and possibly bogged down with tunnel vision :/


Obviously there are going to be up and down sides for working solo, as well as working with a team. I personally prefer working solo, but I also have the experience of working with other people. Here's a summary of the up and down sides for both choices (from my personal experience):

Woking Solo:

  • I can do whatever I want and go with whatever crazy ideas I have
  • I can choose to have my own pace and therefore everything would be less stressful
  • If I think something is not good enough (especially art-wise), I can simply go back and fix it myself without needing to worry that I'm going to hurt someone's feelings
  • Down side would be extremely heavy workload
  • And sometimes I don't realize the problems with my game because I'm too familiar with it. You would need to find people who are willing to play test your game and provide feedback
  • It also highly demands you to be good at a lot of things, unless you're ready to spend a lot of money commissioning people (I've only work with 2D games so far so I'm mostly talking about making the art yourself. For 3D games I assume you can just buy assets online)

Working with a Team:

  • More divided workload obviously
  • Better quality if you find the right person to do the right thing
  • Down side would be spending endless time discussing ideas with your team, and sometimes you might get people who think they know what they're talking about but they don't (I've had someone who's extremely aggressive and would get mad at anyone who disagrees with her, even though her ideas, in my opinion, was absolutely horrible)
  • Sometimes it takes forever for one person to do their part, and you have to wait till they finish their job before you can do yours (Even worse, sometimes they end up just not doing it at all but at the same time are too embarassed to let you know that they don't want to do it anymore)
  • Conflicts, conflicts, conflicts... (I've witnessed many group projects getting cancelled due to conflicts between team members)

As you can see, I personally had a horrible time working with a team, and that's why I enjoy working solo a lot more. But at the same time, that's just my personal experience and shouldn't be a representation of what working with a team is like as a whole. So my take is just, if you find the right people to work with, and are good at dealing with them, then working with a team could be a blast. But personally I'm not someone like that, so I'd rather work on everything myself.


Excluding Game Jams, I always work alone since game development is just a hobby for me and I have a lot of other work to do. So it's the best way for me!

The best part about working as solo is it gives you all the freedom with time restrictions, your projects design and development.
However, I think working alone works best for smaller projects, since it’s a quicker way to learn new game types, tools and hardware. It also familiarizes yourself how much workload you can handle for a single project.
Even if you are working alone, have other people around who are interested about your project to motivate yourself. Otherwise development can get lonely.


Aaah yes I can whole heartedly agree there, especially with that last point RE motivation from others. It helps a lot to let at least close friends know about a game that you are working on and then you can chat with them and get them excited about it, which in turn gets you even more excited about it! :D


I disagree. A friend is only for a ego boost. They will only tell you they like it .

I'm only in this to learn a new skill in what spare time I have while taking care of the household stuff for my father during his twilight years.  My main objective is to learn Python as it's an interesting language .  For my starting point I chose Ren'Py as it is open source and written with Python, it's also an easy introduction to the way Python works.

Although I'm still starting out, within 6 months I have managed to publish my first kinetic novel.  Although some, ok maybe most, may find it dicey, I did find an author that has allowed me to use a story he wrote for my project.

Working alone, I learned some basic coding skills, development skills, as well as some artistic skills.  Thankfully,  I did not have to learn how to write a story!

The author was impressed with my efforts  and is eagerly awaiting chapter 2 of his story.  As I learn new things, I incorporate them.  I've also learned through this site that a devlog is invaluable.  Not only to me but others that may view it.  OOPS... :off topic mode off:


To get a wide variety of reviews (and if you have the time) may be a good start.   If you post there you'll need to keep an eye on the reviews and respond when appropriate.

Just enjoy what you are doing is all I'm saying.

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I can agree. Making smaller games is fine for when you are working solo. Since the project isn't too big you hopefully won't get as stressed as you would making a big game by yourself! Although I would say making prototypes for larger game ideas can be good as it allows you to experiment with what you can do as a developer and learn a thing or two. My view on working solo is make a small game if you wish to release it and make a big game/prototype if you wish to experiment for yourself.


Working solo is great considering the fact that you dont have any restriction, whether it comes to ideas or any decisions. But the fact that you have to do all the work is the most tiring part.

If you are confident, then go ahead give it a try. And also i would definitely suggest fixing a deadline for tasks so that you dont overspend more time on one particular task.



I was using game maker 8, and with working solo its great because you have a lot of creative freedom, don't have to worry about disputes or coordinating a team of people to help you develop a game. Working solo ends up becoming hard with bigger games as you may need skills that you aren't to well versed in which can cause a decrease in quality or because you haven't got anyone to bounce ideas off of you aren't able to develop the plot and discuss mechanics. I would say the hardest part is if you lack a skill that would be pivotal in creating a well rounded game. but if using a simple to use engine and practicing your own skills on small games working solo is fine and really fun.


Only work with a team if you enjoy what you are putting into it.. And be specific with what you want to contribute, otherwise it will eventually fall apart.

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I wanted to try something new and different, so I downloaded a virtual novel from the play store that would run on an old nook I turned into a basic android tablet.  Since the best it will do is android 2.3.7, I opted for my laptop instead to study further.  I started reading up on the Ren'Py engine and downloaded it.  It looked simple 
enough and came preinstalled with it's own tutorial.  This in turned got me interested in the Python language.

Long story short, I "borrowed" a short story from an author on the web and because I have no drawing skills, I resorted to downloading free pictures from places like unsplash.  Within a couple of weeks, I had a working kinetic novel.   I sent an email to the author of that story and got no response, However I was so inspred with my accomplishment I started learning about different tools and other assets I could use.

I found another story, read the first few chapters, emailed the author with my idea, and to my surprise was as interested in it's development as I was!
Six months later, I released my first kinetic novel here. It's only been out for a week, but has 183 downloads so far.  The author loved it, and pretty much has given me free reign with his story.  Out of respect to him, the story was cut and pasted into the KN.  The only edits were misspellings and in a couple of places I had to rearrange a sentence or two.

Currently, I'm working on chapter 2 which will have more game like elements as I learn them.


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Congrats! You came in here having no clue, called it a virtual novel, and still did better than most of us! You're the reason why people like me give up. No offense, good stuff.

edit: Hang on, I just read that back. I should be inspired by your accomplishment!

Well, Thank you!  Why don't you join my discord server?  Since my initial post, I missnamed  it as a virtual novel, it should have been kinetic novel.  Chapter two will have more features and some choices.

I'm discovering all of this basically from scratch and am thrilled others are enjoying my work with a simple story.  Even the author and his editor applaud my efforts.

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As a pixel artist, I originally wanted to make games solo. It took me so many years just to find the spark to make my first game. The crazy thing was that the game only took me 1 week to create but like 4 years just to get the kick to create it. As soon as I joined a jam team for the first time, game development was much more fun and we ended up making several little games nonstop. I'd say that if you want to go solo, you should still experience working in teams for a while so that you are more familiar with the game dev process and learn with each other as you go since your teammates have different strengths. Even if you are going solo, it's better to ask your fellow game devs for feedback anyway.


Currently going through solo dev at the moment. I have a full time job and a family so finding time is hard - I make time though, around 20-30 minutes a day, even if out of that 20-30 minutes I get 5 mins done it still feels like some progress. I really enjoy the process of learning and creating - I am not a programmer so learning along the way is challenging and rewarding. I do all my own pixel art and design, 


I work alone on my own projects and usually decline offers to collaborate. This is largely out of personal preference, and I think some people prefer to work alone and some enjoy working on a team more, but there are also  practical considerations: as a programmer I don't want to end up just providing free programming for someone else's creative vision, it's hard to avoid differences in opinion on direction and features (unless you're totally in sync like the Cohen brothers), if no one else is getting paid then contribution and commitment will vary, and if the project is successful, you may find people have different expectations on how rewards and IP ownership. Working on my own forces me to keep my ambitions pragmatic, learn about areas outside my core expertise from art to marketing to web design to legal stuff  (even if I'm not proficient at them and have to contract out), work at a comfortable and enjoyable pace,  and I own what I create. I have to work on teams anyway whenever I have contract or salaried work, so working on my own projects is a nice break from that!


I've done it a few times. It can be an enjoyable experience, and I've been wanting to get back into it. On the other hand, I'm not likely to quit my day job anytime soon, which happens to be a computer desk job. Going from computer to computer isn't ideal for my wrists.

I do think sometimes that getting in a group would be nice. You've got yourself a brain trust, the quality of the product may be better, and I don't know any truly great games that were the work of just one person. But I've been in on a couple of game jams, and I got the very strong impression that sleep was generally something that one could do once the game jam was over. To me, that's total nonsense. Unless it's a weekend, I'm probably only giving you a couple hours of my time at most, and I'm getting some sleep at the end of the day. So I feel like I'd be asking for too much flexibility to really excel in a group.


Halo bro, I'm a solo 2D Game Developer. If you are alone developing games, so there are some problem you will face. Such as - publishing problem, alonely marketing the game, not much supports that I feeled. I'm just 15, so publishing game is not allowed with me. But also there are some things you can enjoy when you develop alone. Such as no one can disturb you, you can develop your games like you want, you don't need to develop like others wants.



Are you a member of discord?  If not, google it and install it.  There are lots of servers that offer all kinds of help.  Lemma Soft forums and even reddit.

I'm in my 50's and published my first game here about 3 weeks ago.  It's had over 350 downloads so far.  I don't consider that a bad start for starting with nothing and being published in a 6 month time frame.  I am doing it because I wanted to learn Python and found I actually enjoy it.

Stick with it bro and you'll discover things you never knew existed.  That's a promise and good luck with your project.

By the way, I'm using Ren'Py for the engine, what are you using?

I'm interested to tell it I'm ussing GameMaker Studio, I just decided to download Ren'Py and you commented here! But GameMaker Studio is my favourite.

What discord is great? You have over 350 downloads! Amazing! From what age you're developing games? No one will know I'm developing games from when I was 13 years old. I never made any complete game that time. But now I'm 15, I have maded a 3 months taking complete game project. Oh, I'm very poor and have only two downloads!

Call me Uutsob.

Discord is a server based community, kind of like a community bulletin board.

Would you believe me if I told you 6 months ago I started with nothing except an idea?  The only cost for me create something was electricity and time.  Everything I used is open source, creative commons, or created by me using open source software.

There was only 1 time I wanted to quit, but I persisted in asking questions and finally figured it out.

I don't understand how to sign in or log in discord. Please tell me how to do that with a gmail account.

Oh, also with a twitter or a facebook account.

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By the way, Read this thread:

Give me your four digit code. We would friend on discord.

Myne is #5918!

Robitron #9682

Play my sololy developed game 'Hot Space Gun', bellow here (PC "Windows")

Comment how you feel that game.