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Pixeljunk Eden – Highwire Games
Pixeljunk Eden (2008)
If you were a PlayStation 3 owner in 2008, chances are that you were familiar with Pixeljunk Eden. It was a game about a world of plants and animals that you could interact with. The game was created by a single person, Dylan Cuthbert. That’s right: one man made this amazing game all by himself! He also released Planet Minigolf and Flock! during the same year.
You may not have heard of him before, but now that you know his name and what he’s done, I guarantee it will stick in your head for days to come!
Shovel Knight – Yacht Club Games
Shovel Knight was a runaway success. It sold over 3 million copies and has been ported to the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. The game’s popularity also lead to two sequels, Specter of Torment and Treasure Trove, as well as a spinoff called Shovel Knight: King of Cards.
In addition to its many ports, Yacht Club Games has also been able to make multiple games as a two-person team!
A Dark Room – Amir Rajan
This text-based adventure game is a must-play. It’s an excellent example of how low-tech graphics can be used to create a compelling story. A Dark Room was developed by Amir Rajan and released in 2014, with an iOS version following two years later.
The game is based on George Orwell’s novel 1984, where all the action takes place in one room, with the protagonist Winston Smith being tortured by Big Brother and his minions. The player has to hide from them and stay alive for as long as possible by connecting power cables together using interactive wires that connect different parts of your home base together; if you’re caught then you lose all your progress so it’s important not to get careless!
Stardew Valley – ConcernedApe (Eric Barone)
To some people, Stardew Valley is a game about farming and raising animals. But Eric Barone sees it in a different way. To him, it’s “a story about the things we do for our loved ones”.
For example: at one point in his life, Barone worked as an IT guy in Washington state. The job paid well but he hated it and wanted to find something else to do with his life (and money). That’s when he decided that he might try making video games instead of just playing them like most of us do. So he started working on Stardew Valley—a game that would eventually be released on Steam three years later—and wrote all the code by himself.
Golf Story – Sidebar Games
Golf Story was created by Sidebar Games, a team of only two people. The game was released in 2017 and was nominated for the Best Sports Game award at the Game Developers Choice Awards in 2018. It earned an 80 on Metacritic.
Undertale – Toby Fox
You’ve probably played Undertale, but do you know the story behind it? While most games have multiple developers and writers, Toby Fox is the sole developer of Undertale.
Undertale is a role-playing game where you play as a human child who falls into the underground world of monsters. The game offers alternative endings depending on your decisions; if you make certain choices throughout the game that support nonviolence, then there will be another ending where everyone lives happily ever after. If not…well…we won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t played yet!
Toby Fox has been an active member in other video game communities such as Let’s Players (content creators who record themselves playing games). He was also responsible for creating music for Homestuck: comic series which ran from 2009 to 2016 (it was rebooted in 2017).
Kerbal Space Program – Squad
Squad is the team behind Kerbal Space Program, a space flight simulator that lets players build spacecraft and launch them into orbit.
Kerbal Space Program was created by Felipe Falanghe, Adrian Mariano, and Jose Ochoa—and they did it all by themselves. The trio were students at the University of Guadalajara when they came up with the idea for their game: a rocket simulation where players could craft their own designs and see how they performed in real-world conditions. Today, Squad has over 40 employees working on games like Kerbal Space Program and adaptations of other popular franchises like XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Kentucky Route Zero – Cardboard Computer (Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy, and Ben Babbitt)
Kentucky Route Zero is a point and click adventure game where you play as Conway, a driver who is trying to get his dog back from a dognapper. The game takes place in an alternate version of Kentucky, which features many historical landmarks like John James Audubon’s home or Mammoth Cave National Park.
The company that created Kentucky Route Zero is called Cardboard Computer, founded by Jake Elliott, Tamas Kemenczy and Ben Babbitt. All three are based out of Chicago and work together on their projects under the umbrella of Cardboard Computer LLC.
Cardboard Computer has been around since 2012 when they released their first game on Steam Greenlight called Gato Roboto (which was also made by just two people). Since then they’ve been working hard to make more games with unique stories while maintaining unique gameplay styles that set them apart from other indie developers in the industry today!
Thomas Was Alone – Mike Bithell
Thomas Was Alone is a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer video game developed by Mike Bithell for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, and Xbox Live Arcade. The player controls a rectangle named Thomas who has to rescue other rectangles of different colors that are stuck in dangerous situations. The levels consist of platforms floating in water or air which you can jump on or fall through. The game features no text or dialogue at all and instead the story is told through the narrated thoughts of characters as they interact with each other
The main character is Thomas, who is represented as a rectangle with red eyes and mouth. He has been sent out into this world by his creator (a large red rectangle) because he believes that there might be somebody else like him out there somewhere who needs help getting back to their friends where they belong back on earth.”
Braid – Jonathan Blow
Braid is a puzzle-platformer developed by Jonathan Blow, who also created the game. It was released in 2008, and became a critical success. The game won several awards, including several Indie Game of the Year awards, and was nominated for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at that year’s Independent Games Festival (IGF).
Braid was recognized as one of the best games of 2009 by numerous publications, including IGN and GameSpot. In 2010 it won an award for Best Downloadable Game at Spike TV Video Game Awards, while its soundtrack won Best Song/Composition from Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
No single person can do it all!
Game development is a team effort. Most times, you can’t do it all yourself! You need to rely on other people and their strengths in order to make your game successful.
The most important thing you can do as a game developer is find good people to work with. Whether this means hiring employees or finding friends who you trust enough to work with them remotely, it’s crucial that your team has the right chemistry and skillset for the job. If you have one person who excels at programming but isn’t so great at art, hire someone else to take care of those things instead of getting stuck doing everything yourself!
It’s also important that everyone communicates well with each other; if everyone knows what needs to happen next (and when), there will be less backtracking later on down the road when deadlines start looming overhead like storm clouds coming closer every hour until…BOOM! There’s nothing left for anyone except maybe some tattered clothes hanging off branches after being blown around by high winds all night long…
There are tons of games out there that we didn’t mention, but these 10 should give you an idea of what it takes to create a game on your own. And if you’re inspired by any one of them, remember that you too can learn how to code and bring your ideas to life!