The struggle of solo game design

NimNom1234

Member
I've put my time into the design and technical knowledge of game development, but the main problem for me is lack of assets.

People will tell me to "use open game art" or to just "buy assets". It's incredibly hard to find that many assets in the same style for a single game, and many hobby developers, like myself, have a budget of $0.

For me, asset creation seems to be the hardest part of game development, as I've just never been any good at art.

An example for me is this game I've been making for a little while now, and I've been using the assets by Calciumtrice on Open Game Art. These assets are great, but there aren't really enough to make an interesting game. Calciumtrice has been inactive for about 5 months, despite my attempts at contacting him/her.

I don't know what to do :/
 
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Guest User

Guest
for a hobbyist game developer who makes games for fun...perhaps find a hobbyist artist who makes game art for fun? don't know what sites they most congregate on, but beginner game artists need to start somewhere i'd imagine.
 

NimNom1234

Member
for a hobbyist game developer who makes games for fun...perhaps find a hobbyist artist who makes game art for fun? don't know what sites they most congregate on, but beginner game artists need to start somewhere i'd imagine.
I have tried this once before with another game maker community member who will not be named, but right before we were about to begin with the art, he stopped responding :/

However, if anyone else knows if there is such a website, it would be appreciated :)
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
Options are fairly limited when it comes to requiring something that involves someone else's manual labor and a budget of $0.

As stated above, you can try to find an artist that wants to make a game for fun. This is probably going to be a dead end street since you will also need to ensure that the game will either not be sold or if it may be sold you will need to arrange a profit share agreement. Without either guarantee the asset creator stands to get railroaded if you decide to sell it eventually.

There is another option, though. Tailor your game idea around your artistic capabilities. There are tons of games that were released with minimalistic art (Thomas Was Alone being one of the best examples I can think of. It was not my cup of tea, but it seems to have done very well). As your skill in asset creation improves you can increase the complexity.
 

FrostyCat

Member
Why don't you get a part-time job or do a few gigs for teams with a nonzero budget to raise funds?

I think that's the best way for you to learn how real paid teams function and how to work within one.
 
Why don't you get a part-time job or do a few gigs for teams with a nonzero budget to raise funds?

I think that's the best way for you to learn how real paid teams function and how to work within one.
This comes off elitist and not really related at all to what he's asking. He stated that he's a hobbyist. That being the case it would imply he doesn't pick up paid gigs in this type of work.

I'd just take the standard advice of "find someone else with the same interests". I've never partnered up without a product in mind but I've seen tons of teams that have. There is a massive GM community Discord group which has at least a few handfuls of mini-teams whether it be for jams or hobby projects.
 

NimNom1234

Member
Options are fairly limited when it comes to requiring something that involves someone else's manual labor and a budget of $0.

As stated above, you can try to find an artist that wants to make a game for fun. This is probably going to be a dead end street since you will also need to ensure that the game will either not be sold or if it may be sold you will need to arrange a profit share agreement. Without either guarantee the asset creator stands to get railroaded if you decide to sell it eventually.

There is another option, though. Tailor your game idea around your artistic capabilities. There are tons of games that were released with minimalistic art (Thomas Was Alone being one of the best examples I can think of. It was not my cup of tea, but it seems to have done very well). As your skill in asset creation improves you can increase the complexity.
This might be a good idea, but the games that I have in mind wouldn't really be well suited with simple graphics :/
The style I'm going for is a 16 bit style for a top down Souls-Like action rpg
 

NimNom1234

Member
Praise the Sun.

Or simply find a job that permits you to do that. I don't know if you can do art or what kind of art you wanted to implement, but:


Don't. "open game art" assets can be fine placeholders, not viable routes. Won't make your game unique enough.
WHATS UP MY SUN BRO
anyway

I've been trying my best to shy away, but I have no other options atm, thats why I'm posting
 

NimNom1234

Member
This comes off elitist and not really related at all to what he's asking. He stated that he's a hobbyist. That being the case it would imply he doesn't pick up paid gigs in this type of work.

I'd just take the standard advice of "find someone else with the same interests". I've never partnered up without a product in mind but I've seen tons of teams that have. There is a massive GM community Discord group which has at least a few handfuls of mini-teams whether it be for jams or hobby projects.
Cool, I might check it out :)
 

Kenshiro

Member
These assets are great, but there aren't really enough to make an interesting game. I don't know what to do :/
Can't you just mix assets from other people?
It's a hobby game. As long as it's not too distant (like mixing cartoon with realistic), it really isn't an issue.
 

NimNom1234

Member
To anyone curious, I've been choosing people for a potential dream team on the Discord People and Jobs doc, and I've found some that are willing to go unpaid :)
 

NimNom1234

Member
Why is that a problem? You're not going to make more or less money because of it.
Do you see it as a hobby, or do you want to go pro? These 2 approaches are very different from each other.
I'd love to go pro, but right now I would just like some additional income to throw at stuff like nice dinners and video games. As of right now I'm hobbyist, but I dream of starting a large development business
 

Lazzeking

Member
I'd love to go pro, but right now I would just like some additional income to throw at stuff like nice dinners and video games. As of right now I'm hobbyist, but I dream of starting a large development business
Then i'd suggest you start to find yourself a team for a game jam , that's the easiest (not really) thing to do. With that, you could have a grasp at how working in a team is like, and maybe after that you and your team would maybe like to make that idea into a fully fledged game.

The worst advice that i could give you is to do it all yourself: Coding, Art , Game design, Sfx, Ux etc.. , that's the most stressfull thing to do even though there are a lot of people out there who managed to get ahead of dealing with all these things.
As an example I like to bring up my recent experience:
I was working on a project of mine with a friend and didn't really feel like continuing the project as I was alone and felt overencumbered with all the work that had to be done just for a free game (and with that I learned to appreciate the work that goes behind making every kind of game, even if that's bad). After that I stumbled upon a guy on the forums who was searching for a programmer to do a game toghether just as an experience, and then we started chatting...one thing led to another and then here we are , after almost a month and to be honest Im feeling as the first day we came up with the game idea, and it is just amazing how well we solve problems and just discussing on petty things how are we doing in our day just makes me feel like we could go everywhere with what are we doing. Are we professional? I don't know. Do we plan to sell our game and make millions? Probably not, we're just two guys who want to have fun and make other people have a fun time playing our game.

So in the end, just having someone to help you out or just to talk to is the best thing you could ask for in a game-dev environment.
Hope all of this makes sense as I've written it while I'm probably going to get some sleep as I'm really tired.

EDIT: Just remembered you did found a team, then skip this...as I said, i'm tired.
 

NimNom1234

Member
Then i'd suggest you start to find yourself a team for a game jam , that's the easiest (not really) thing to do. With that, you could have a grasp at how working in a team is like, and maybe after that you and your team would maybe like to make that idea into a fully fledged game.

The worst advice that i could give you is to do it all yourself: Coding, Art , Game design, Sfx, Ux etc.. , that's the most stressfull thing to do even though there are a lot of people out there who managed to get ahead of dealing with all these things.
As an example I like to bring up my recent experience:
I was working on a project of mine with a friend and didn't really feel like continuing the project as I was alone and felt overencumbered with all the work that had to be done just for a free game (and with that I learned to appreciate the work that goes behind making every kind of game, even if that's bad). After that I stumbled upon a guy on the forums who was searching for a programmer to do a game toghether just as an experience, and then we started chatting...one thing led to another and then here we are , after almost a month and to be honest Im feeling as the first day we came up with the game idea, and it is just amazing how well we solve problems and just discussing on petty things how are we doing in our day just makes me feel like we could go everywhere with what are we doing. Are we professional? I don't know. Do we plan to sell our game and make millions? Probably not, we're just two guys who want to have fun and make other people have a fun time playing our game.

So in the end, just having someone to help you out or just to talk to is the best thing you could ask for in a game-dev environment.
Hope all of this makes sense as I've written it while I'm probably going to get some sleep as I'm really tired.

EDIT: Just remembered you did found a team, then skip this...as I said, i'm tired.
Its cool man, thank you :)
 

NimNom1234

Member
It only comes off as cheap when your art is non-consistant.. A good looking game doesn't mean it has to be ultra detailed.

Look up "mini metro" or "Thomas was alone"
I get where you guys are coming from, but the genre of game I'm trying to create would not be well represented by squares, its a souls-like rpg
 

Lazzeking

Member
its a souls-like rpg
Oh well, is it the new dark souls? Don't get it the wrong way, but as I dont really know if you had any kind of previously let's say "released" games, making your first project a game of this scale (souls-like tend to be huge) seems kind of a mistake to me.
 
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Alessio

Guest
its a souls-like rpg
More like 1 or 2? Dark Souls 2 was too frustrating, i really hope i don't have to beat Fume Knight ever again.

Look up "mini metro" or "Thomas was alone"
May be a matter of tastes but i feel games like Thomas are a little overrated, they sound like the typical... "hipster games"?. Also, what worked for one game doens't work for another, otherwise the indie scene would be flooded with games with squares. Thankfully, it's not.
 

Niels

Member
I get where you guys are coming from, but the genre of game I'm trying to create would not be well represented by squares, its a souls-like rpg
Hollow knight is beautifull (and it has a souls-vibe) but if you look at the actual character sprites, they are pretty simple designs
 

NimNom1234

Member
Oh well, is it the new dark souls? Don't get it the wrong way, but as I dont really know if you had any kind of previously let's say "released" games, making your first project a game of this scale (souls-like tend to be huge) seems kind of a mistake to me.
This conversation is pointless, I've already found some potential sprite artists
 
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