The 8 Best Solo-Developed Games In Development [2020] Jassi Maur



The 8 Best Solo-Developed Games In Development [2020] Jassi Maur
You may have seen our previous videos discussing the top solo developed titles. This time around we are focusing on inspiring single-developer games that are still in development! We thought it would be great to share these titles now, so that you can follow the devs while they make their games. We’ll make sure to put links to each game in the description. Hopefully these inspiring solo developers can help motivate your own gamedev journey We are Ask Gamedev and these are 8 Solo-Developed Games In Development in 2020! Welcome back! We make videos on how to elevate your game development and inspire others. 

If after watching this video you want to continue the gamedev conversation, check the video description for a link to our Discord server. First on our list is a game that we discovered on Reddit - Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale by GrimWare Games. Ghost Knight: A Dark Tale is a 2 and a half D action platformer, set in a cartoon dark fantasy world. You play as Ghost Knight, a spirit bound to a suit of armour, and must traverse an epic land of undead, demons, witches, and beasts to stop the Mad King. When we first saw the trailer, we couldn’t believe it was done by one single developer! Ghost Knight is a beautiful looking platformer with art that reminds us of the Rayman Legends series and has gameplay elements that bring us back to classic platformers like Mega Man, Ghouls n’ Ghosts, and Ducktales. 

Grimware Games, the dev behind the title, did everything himself, including the music! After working at AAA studios like Sledgehammer Games, Suckerpunch, and Microsoft, he decided to go full indie, and has been working on Ghost Knight full time since 2018. The title is being developed in Unreal Engine 4. The game is gorgeous, the animation is smooth, the music is awesome, and the weapons look like a lot of fun to play with. We can’t wait until it’s out! Keep an eye out on the game at GhostKnightGame.com. Next up on the list is a game that Eurogamer called “a game that feels like it’s made of things you love, whipped together by a master” - Omno by Germany-based solo dev Jonas Manke. Omno is a beautiful 3D puzzle adventure. The title tells the tale of a journey of discovery through an ancient world of wonders. 

Your hero is equipped with a magical staff that can power forgotten relics, and will allow you to air-dash, glide, and sail through the clouds. Jonas started working on the title in 2016, while working as a freelance animator in games and movies. Just looking at the hero in Onmo, you can tell that Jonas put his animation background to great use. The main character just oozes charm and life with every movement. In November of 2018 Jonas decided to go full indie and launched a Kickstarter campaign to support development. It was a huge success making over 3 times it’s original goal, and earning €97,769 from 3471 backers. You can keep up to date with Omno’s development on the title’s Kickstarter updates page. Developed out of Stockholm, Sweden, number 3 on our list is Hokko Life by Wonderscope - aka Robert Tatnell. Hokko Life is a community-life sim, similar to Animal Crossing, but unlike the Nintendo-exclusive, it’s coming to Steam! Robert whose credits include working on the Fable franchise, has been working on Hokko Life as a solo developer for over 3 years! Hokko Life originally started out as a transportation tycoon, with the objective of transporting townsfolk across the city. As Robert continued to develop the game, he became more and more interested in the townspeople. 

Where were they going and why? 
What stories must they have? And so, Hokko Life as we know it, was born. The game promises to have more of a focus on crafting and customization than other titles in the genre, and from what we’ve seen we agree! We can’t wait to get into the Hokko Life workshop and start building some unique clothing and furniture of our own! There’s no solid release date for the title yet, but keep an eye out on Hokko Life’s Steam page for future updates. Next up, one of the most stunning titles on the list, Bright Memory: Infinite by FYQD-Studio aka Zeng Xiancheng. Bright Memory: Infinite is an action FPS that takes place in a futuristic metropolis in the year 2036. Similar to Bioshock, the game employs an arsenal of abilities and weapons that you can combine on the fly for some devastating results. Zeng developed the title in Unreal Engine, during his spare time, eventually earning an Unreal Dev Grant. In 2019, Bright Memory was even showcased by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang at GTC China 2019. So how did Zeng develop such a beautiful game as a solo developer? Well aside from his raw talent, Zeng was also very resourceful, using a suite of apps aimed at saving time. He used a number of apps from Reallusion: With iClone and iPhone Facial Motion Capture Zeng was able to create facial animations in real time using his iPhone He also used Character Creator and Headshot to create characters. He estimates that these tools saved him 10 working days per character. Using real-time animation software, he was able to cut the time required for character design and animation down to two months. Bright Memory: Infinite is scheduled to launch in Q4/2020. You can check it out on Steam. At number 5 we’ve got An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs by Strange Scaffold. An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs is an open-world comedy adventure game where you talk to dogs (or stock photos of dogs, that is) and solve their problems. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you were trapped in an episode of Rick & Morty, this is it. The solo dev behind Strange Scaffold is Xalavier Nelson Jr., who you might know from Hypnospace Outlaw, SkateBIRD, Can Androids Pray, and more. If the game is anything like his previous efforts, you know you’ll be in for a good time. Already dubbed by Looper as one of the most bizarre games coming out in 2020, we just can’t wait to play! You can wishlist this Dog Airport Game on Steam. You can also support the title and follow Strange Scaffold on Patreon. 

Next up is the Miyazaki-inspired, Way to the Woods, a third person adventure by Anthony Tan. We’ve been following this title since it’s first trailer dropped, and it just looks better and better every time we get to see it. In Way to the Woods you play as a Deer and fawn as you embark on a journey through an abandoned world of the unknown to get home. The title also features music from Aivi & Surasshu, who you may also know as the composers for Steven Universe. When Anthony first posted concepts of the title on Reddit in 2015, he gained the attention of many, including Team 17. Soon after, they signed him to a publishing deal, noting that they would have signed a deal based on “the concept, Anthony and his end vision" alone. 

Here’s the kicker: Anthony was 16 at the time! He’s probably one of the youngest solo devs, if not the youngest, in history to get signed by a label. 5 years since the initial Reddit post, the title is still in development but is set to launch this year. Way to the Woods is being developed in Unreal Engine 4. For art, Anthony used Maya, Zbrush, and Photoshop. For updates, go to waytothewoodsgame.com or follow Anthony on Twitter The penultimate entry on our list is Dead Static Drive by Team Fanclub aka Mike Blackney. Dead Static Drive is a horror survival adventure set on the road. In Dead Static Drive, you hit the road in your car while the world falls apart around you. The world is ending and as the end draws closer you start to encounter eldritch horrors. Can you stop the apocalypse? We love the game’s cosmic horror premise, it’s art direction, and it’s haunting atmosphere. You could say Mike’s indie dev itch started, after meeting Alex Bruce - the dev of Antichamber, in university. He helped Alex on the title for about 8 weeks, and during this time he witnessed first-hand what it meant to be an indie. Alex would go to conventions, play his game with attendees, and get great feedback. Mike took note, making sure that if he ever made a game, he’d develop his game openly and prioritize player feedback when making design decisions. Later on in life Mike would take on teaching at a University in Melbourne. He taught C++ and game design, which only inspired him more and more to create his own title. In 2014 he started working on Dead Static Drive during his spare time. 6 months into development, Mike received an Unreal Dev Grant. Later on, he also received some funding from the Australian government, allowing him to go into indie dev full time and work on the title full-time. Fast forward to 2020 and Dead Static Drive is looking more beautiful than ever. 

There’s no set release date yet, but for updates on the title check it out on Steam, or follow Dead Static Drive on Twitter Before we get to the final game on the list, let’s take a look at this week’s Ask Gamedev Community Member Game of the Week. This week we are looking at Rogue Depths by Glitched Studios - a procedurally generated dungeon crawler available on Google Play. The solo dev behind the title, Nick, was inspired by Path of Exile. He wanted to make a less hardcore, easy to pick up mobile adaptation to play on the go. Inspired by the awesome feeling that he felt from seeing the attacks and effects in Path of Exile, he wanted to recreate a similar experience but in pixel art - and so his gamedev journey began. He kept his full-time job, and worked on the title during his spare time. The game took 1 year, from writing design docs all the way to release. In terms of tools, Nick used Game Maker Studio 2 as his engine. For art, he used Gimp and game maker studio's built in sprite editor. Make sure to check it out! We’ll leave a link to Rogue Depths in the description. The final title on our list of solo developed games in development comes from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s Tunic, a top-down isometric adventure by Andrew Shouldice. We’ve been fans of this title for a number of years now, and still remember when it was called Secret Legend. Every screenshot or gif that we’ve seen from the game looks like a standalone piece of art, and Andrew has cultivated a cute world that we really want to explore. 

Andrew started working on Tunic in 2015, after being inspired by participating in a game jam. He wondered what he could do if he spent all his all of his time working on a game, rather than just a weekend. Once he figured it was “now or never” to go full indie, he decided to make the leap. He quit his job, started a new project in Unity, and has been working on Tunic since. In 2017 he signed with Finji, joining a talented team and adding to their roster of amazing indie titles. This was also when the rebrand from Secret Legend to Tunic happened. The title’s release date is still to be determined, but for now you can follow TunicGame on Twitter Thanks for watching Ask Gamedev! For more great games by solo developers check out this video, or this playlist. 

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