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 RimWorld  dev explores the benefits of learning things the hard way

RimWorld dev explores the benefits of learning things the hard way

April 6, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

"I knew I'd get it wrong multiple times, which is what allowed me to throw things out that weren't working and try new things until I got to RimWorld."

- Tynan Sylvester details how failure can be an important step in the creative process.

In a recent interview with Glixel, RimWorld creator Tynan Sylvester traced his game development roots back to his childhood, chronicling the lessons and decisions that put him on the path to create the personality-driven simulation game he’s best known for today. 

The interview is scattered with stories from both the early and recent days of Sylvester’s experiences in game development, and some of the anecdotes shared offer a look at what it takes to power a one-man development effort and how embracing failure can sometimes be the best thing for the game development process.

As a middle schooler, Sylvester tried his hand at creating levels for Unreal Tournament using the Unreal Editor and worked with the toolset for years before completing a level that would eventually take first prize in a design contest. 

Countless developers have wet their feet by first becoming modders, and Sylvester says his time doing just that taught him something valuable about his creation process: “I work steadily, I work without encouragement, and I work well alone.”

With this in mind, Sylvester started creating game prototypes after leaving Irrational Games in 2012 but he did so knowing that he’d likely trash the bulk of those early games. Rather than let the failures of a prototype weigh him down, he instead learned to embrace failure and see it as an informative part of the game making process, something that would be instrumental to both the creation and ongoing development of RimWorld.

For more from Sylvester, including comments on how RimWorld came to be and his future plans for the early access game, be sure to head over to Glixel to read the full story.

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