No More Fathers

A solo developer flight

If you like me have a strong attraction for all those titles with a “cartoonish” look and feel but that are also characterized by a minimal and polished art style, you are in the right place! today we have interviewed Isaiah Toth, the solo developer (designer and even composer, together with Benjamin Squires) behind No More Fathers!

No More Fathers Links

Could you describe No More Fathers in a few words? how this project took shape in your head?

No More Fathers is an adventure about growing up, exploring, flying, a little puzzle solving, stealth, and forming bonds and relationships along the way.

One day I was at the gym and I started getting these ideas for this game, like a rushing river in my mind. I started to write it all down. For about 40 minutes I stood in the corner of the gym just typing on my phone. I went home and told my wife and I was just overwhelmed, having never made a real video game before, but I felt that it was the medium to use. 

This has been a hard question for me to answer shortly, but in less words, it’s a letter to a younger me, and to many like me. To be a guide, to remind those that their hardest struggles have not been for nothing and that even when you feel small or alone, you’re not really alone. 

This story and world comes from passion and pain, but also the adventure and love you find when you’re 12 years old and realize that the world is huge and that destiny is your own to find, in whatever way you find it.

How did you jump into game development?

I guess just like anyone else, I tried putting one foot in and I slipped and fell in haha. I had played with Unity3D a little when I was about 14 years old, it’s what actually got me excited about programming. 

But I haven’t since then and I definitely have struggled with the learning curve of 3D modeling, animating, optimizing, etc. Sooo many elements.

 Is there any particular “twist” or any aspect that you think makes your game unique? 

 I wouldn’t say “unique” but I believe the boy’s ability to fly is a mechanic that really draws people to the game, even though it isn’t exactly original. But it’s a great medium to express his growth and freedom.

Is there any particular “twist” or any aspect that you Did you get inspired by other titles? Tell us which one and why

Oh man, so many. The first that come to mind are Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy, that inspired my protagonist’s adventurous and courageous heart.

 Is there any technical aspect that you want to share with our readers?

I wish I was more technically savvy, but I’m quite new to the field. I am proud of the effort I put in to get the flight mechanics and where they are now. It’s really just a rigidbody controller using a coded state machine to transition the animations.

Tell us more about your pipeline, how are you developing this game?

Unity3D is so well documented and the community is huge so I love using it as my engine of choice. I am not a game dev by trade, so I definitely needed the support. There are also great assets on the store as well as plenty of tutorials for Unity.

 How are you organizing your activities on the project ?

Since I am a solo dev, there are some pros (as well as cons) in organization, such as not needing to organize time to work or meet together, but also not needing some big software to help manage. Instead I can use things like Trello to track my tickets, progress, and backlog. It hasn’t been the best, but it’s enough for me. I try to split work up between creative thinking and hands-on, iterating task types between days, since I want to stay fresh and not burn out. I also wake up at 5am to work on weekdays before my day job.

The “flying character” feature is definitely intriguing and the way you realized it is astonishing! Is this aspect adding any complexity to the game design of your levels? Or on the contrary, do you feel that it’s giving you more freedom?

So the answer is yes and no haha, but to start, yes it can be extremely challenging due to every game needs of boundaries, but with flying, it’s hard to set something like “no, you are not allowed to climb that cliff”…there’s nothing stopping the player from flying over and dropping onto the cliff top.

So it’s not much of a platforming game, but the freedom comes more in how the flight handles and interacts with the world. This is where the fun begins, like sky battles with flocks of evil birds, and having an eagle eye view, or traversing dangerous areas of the sky, and asking a flying sky whale for directions to a hidden castle… So needless to say, there is a lot that remains not yet shown but also a lot that is still in my head that is being currently organized onto paper 🙂

Any advice for the solo game developers out there?

The first bit of advice would be to write everything out. You have to get the ideas out of your head and onto paper, then you can look at it from the outside, or else everything in your head is going to sound like a good idea.

The Second bit of advice is to start growing an audience and community NOW. I only really use twitter right now, but that’s because I’ve tried reddit and some other socials and found that twitter is my favorite but also most effective for me. I possibly do want to start something like a discord but that’s also a great outlet I’ve heard.

Thirdly, get your steam page up once you know that you are willing to dedicate yourself to the game. And if you don’t have the answer to “if I’m ready”, share the idea a little more with some of your most trusted friends, then take it outside of your friends and discuss it with strangers who would be interested. This will help you gauge the difference between feasible and one-off ideas.

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