Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone took to Reddit yesterday for an "Ask Me Anything" session, and shared a few tidbits about what drove him during the four and a half years it took to create the acclaimed farming RPG.
The lone wolf developer was quizzed by fans from around the world, and one asked what it was like going from someone who didn't know much about making games to putting the finishing touches on Stardew Valley.
Evidently, the process didn't happen overnight, but after failing to finish a number of smaller projects, Barone decided the remedy was to take on a huge challenge and refuse to give up until he'd seen it through.
"I did make a few minor projects prior to Stardew Valley (mostly unfinished), but I always worked alone and tried to figure things out from scratch," he wrote. "I never really participated in any game jams or anything, I just set a huge goal and then adopting a mindset of never giving up until it's created."
Barone managed to stay to course during the lengthy dev cycle by repeatedly asking the question: 'why not me?' A healthy dose of optimism, tempered with knowledge that there would be challenges and tests along the way, prepared him for the difficult task ahead.
"I told myself 'Why not me?' I adopted a mindset of tenacity and optimism," he continued. "And when it came to pixel art or other things that I had little experience in, I just dove in and did my best. As time went on I started to get better at these things through hundreds of hours of practice.
"I would've felt ashamed if I had gotten so far and then quit. I wanted to see my idea become reality. I've always been obsessed with creating things and seeing them through to completion, and I also really wanted to become successful on my own terms."
The full Reddit thread is chock full of interesting morsels, and is well worth checking out if you're a budding game dev searching for pointers and inspiration.