Creating a video game sounds like a difficult task, right? Well, it really is. But how much more challenging can it be when a single person undertakes it? Definitely a lot, since the requirements of a game are great, since it demands knowledge in plenty of different fields. However, with passion, dedication and hard work nothing is impossible and this is proved by the following titles, which although are one-man-jobs, managed to become legends.
So, let’s take a closer look!
Dust: An Elysian Tail
The dazzling Dust: An Elysian Tail, is a creation of Dean Dodrill. Released in 2012, it takes place in the fantastic world of Falana, with the player controlling one of the anthropomorphic creatures living there, trying to prevent the dominance of evil. Such a beautiful story with dreamy backgrounds, convenient controls and well-crafted cutscenes, make it hard to believe that this is a one-man-job videogame. Dean Dodrill intended to use Elysian Tail’s screenplay for an animated film, until he decided it could work better as a video game. So, he committed himself to the design and planning and it took him about four years to complete it. Then, he got help for the soundtrack and voice acting parts and his game was released and loved by a large portion of people, both for its action, as well as for its amazing artwork!
Braid, the puzzle-adventure videogame of 2008 that made history, is the creation of a man: the genius Jonathan Blow. Blow, who is also behind the great puzzle game called The Witness, decided to create Braid in order to challenge players, bringing them face to face with demanding puzzles, which are reminiscent of older generation games. The player, controlling Tim, tries to find his kidnapped princess. Braid’s riddles often tend to be so difficult that Microsoft has repeatedly asked Jonathan Blow to include some hints -but, much of Braid’s magic lies in his difficulty. The beautiful backgrounds which remind of a drawing, the demanding puzzles, and the relaxing piano melodies, also have a dynamic presence, making this masterpiece even better. Also, Super Mario fans will notice that Braid has clear influences from the beloved retro title, especially in terms of gameplay. Finally, it is worth mentioning that it laid the foundations for a new era in indie gaming, giving impetus to many independent creators to pursue their dream. So, it looks like there are MANY reasons to love Braid!
Minecraft was created by Markus ‘Notch’ Persson. It was first released in 2009 and it is a sandbox / RPG / open world game, which emphasizes on exploration and creativity. The player is called upon to survive in a square world, while building shelters, farms and delving into mines. The possibilities it offers are innumerable and it practically never ends. Markus Persson, influenced by Infiniminer, but incorporating more fantastic elements and a first-person perspective, created Minecraft. He undertook the programming and designing, however, he took seriously the opinion and feedback from the players and the community, so he kept on constantly improving it. And, long story short, Minecraft has now conquered the gaming world – and rightly so, since it is the best-selling game of all time!
Available on: Windows, OS X, Linux
Tetris is a classic and favorite game that holds a sales record. Its purpose is quite simple and it lies in placing shapes, one on top of the other, in a suitable way to form vertical and / or horizontal lines, without gaps between them. Although it has been remade by many companies from time to time, the original game was created by a single man: the Russian Alexey Pajitnov. He created it to test the artificial intelligence of computers at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1984. Since then, Tetris has become a legend and it is difficult to find anyone who has not played it – at least once!
Since Tetris is available in almost EVERY existing platform, as well in their clones, and the list containing them will be bigger than the article itself, I will provide you with this helpful link instead!
Stardew Valley is the creation of Eric Barone. Released in 2016, the player controls a character who decided to leave the stressful city life, taking over his grandfather’s farm in Stardew Valley. Barone started planning the game in 2011, wanting to increase his chances of finding work in his field. So, being a fan of Harvest Moon, he wanted to make something similar, while correcting and improving what he did not like in his favorite game. At the same time, he drew inspiration from Minecraft and Terraria, especially in terms of construction and quests. It took him five years to complete it – as it was the first video game he ever made, and the result vindicated him. Stardew Valley is known for its warmth and optimism, and the social skills and creativity it requires make it even better. Barone completed a hard task, but the freedom of expression he had, as well as his impressive skills, guaranteed a good result and justified his effort. And, as simple as that, Stardew Valley conquered the title of one of the most popular indie, one-man-job videogames!