Sprout's Tale is the story of a mysterious character's journey through a beautiful and dangerous world. As the player, your job will be to lead the hatted hero through a series of obstacles that range from the mundane to the deadly. With a bit of magic, your only tool against the looming darkness will be Life itself. Plant trees, grass, flowers, and more to keep the end at bay.

As you progress, you will find friends with unique abilities to help you along the way.

  • Control the world around you by planting seeds to solve puzzles and defeat enemies
  • Learn to distinguish good from evil in an ambiguous world
  • Defeat enemies, living shadows of violent deeds
  • Discover the hidden meanings behind the world you inhabit
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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: The 5 Most Important Lessons I've Learned from Game Development

5 comments by Decade_Design on Jan 12th, 2015

It's been a long road and I've had to deal with a fair share of ups and downs along the way. But as with any difficult thing, its been an incredible learning experience. I've decided to share some of the the biggest, most life-changing lessons that I've gotten during my brief time as a developer.

Warning: Corny caption ahead


As he grows, so do we

1. Everything takes way longer than you think it's going to.

This one will be obvious to anyone who has been watching our game develop. In the Odyssey, Odysseus had to sail from Troy on the east side of the Aegean Sea to Ithica on the west coast of Greece. A voyage that should have lasted a number of days, or weeks at the worst, ended up taking ten years. Maybe that's the point of the whole story. Be prepared for any endeavor to become an odyssey.

What I'm about to show you is embarrassing. It's a screenshot of an old milestones scheduling doc I had drafted to lay out the plans for when the game would be finished. I can actually feel my stomach knot when I look at the year attached to the end of those dates.

sprouts tale has taken a long time to develop
Ugh.

What I've learned across my several jobs and projects over the past few years has been that, whatever your best estimate is for how long something will take, you need to at least double it and probably triple it. This seems to be true at big companies as well as small ones.

2. Reign in Your Optimism

Even when disguised as pessimism, or realism, I've learned it's probably good to be even more pessimistic. I got this one from a book. Basically, when trying to get an estimate on number of sales in a period of time, or estimated future reach with each post, or follower growth, or any of that stuff, it helps to assume far beyond what you think the worst will be. Basically, the book suggested taking your best conservative estimates and dividing them by three. If you can't make it work with those numbers, you need to rethink your plan completely. If you do better than that, then great. What's nice is that I've actually found this has gotten me much more accurate results about how many new followers/Likes/RTs to expect in a period of time. This translates to me being far less depressed when I come up short.

3. Don't Let the Down Days Collect

Taking a day off here and there is fine, but its important to analyze why you are doing it. I've learned that if it feels like I am making up and excuse not to work, I probably am. After two days off of working on the project, the guilt of having not worked starts to have an effect. I'm suddenly feeling too guilty to open or look at the project. Too guilty and ashamed to right my wrongs. It starts to snowball.


The lesson here was that I shouldn't take off two days in a row, and if I absolutely have to, I have to force myself back into things as soon as possible. Luckily, this situation hasn't happened in a long time, and I think I have this lesson to thank for that.

4. Not All Ideas Are Amazing

Sometimes I'll have incredibly ideas to improve the game. New ideas usually come in the form of impossibly unnecessary features that will only clutter up the game, but as soon as I have them, my reaction is something like, "Yes, this is absolutely the most necessary thing the game could ever need. We must do it now!"I think I have Mihai and AJ at Forte Sounds to thank for tempering this wildly unreasonable side of me. Luckily, it's getting better.

5. The World is Full of Amazing People

Seriously. It's mind boggling all the things people are working on out there. Spend ten minutes browsing a Twitter feed and look at all the people doing incredible things for fun. Doing soul-crushing, time-devouring work every weeknight and weekend for fun. The vast majority of us aren't getting paid, and a majority of those probably never will be. And yet we slog on. But just look at the stuff that's being made.

See for yourself. Do a quick search for #gamedev on Twitter and look at some of those incredibly progress pictures people are posting. Lots of hearts and souls out there...

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 31)
Guest
Guest Nov 1 2013, 12:01pm says:

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ja.star
ja.star Nov 1 2013, 11:35am says:

It is awesome!!!!
I've seen all the progress. Good luck!

+4 votes     reply to comment
deadmanjay
deadmanjay Oct 3 2013, 9:18am says:

looks amazing :D i cant wait to see this come out, you should try and get this into steam greenlight cause it is damn as hell worthy :D

i think there should be more movement animations though, like when you jump or start fall. never the less a amazing game and i cant wait to see it come out ;] tracking and good luck!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Decade_Design Creator
Decade_Design Oct 10 2013, 1:46pm replied:

Thank you so much for this comment! Feels so good to know people like what we're doing :D

As for animations- It's on the list of things to be fixed! The 3D has come a long way but we have a long way to go. If you happen to know any 3D artists/animators, send them our way!

+2 votes   reply to comment
s_d
s_d Aug 11 2013, 8:14pm says:

Hey, wow! Sprout (or whatever you end up having to call it for legal reasons) is really looking great! I see you're using Unity3D... if you're driving for a desktop PC release, please also make a Linux version (and perhaps an OS X version for the Mac people, as well). Good luck!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Decade_Design Creator
Decade_Design Aug 13 2013, 8:41am replied:

We'll certainly, our aim is to eventually port it to every platform possible

+4 votes   reply to comment
s_d
s_d Nov 10 2013, 7:26am replied:

Great!! That's good news. Thanks, Decade_Design :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Jun 20 2013, 11:27am says:

This seems like a great design so far. My only complaint would be the soundtrack being a tad repetitive. This is meant to be constructive please don't take it as hate.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Decade_Design Creator
Decade_Design Jun 20 2013, 11:32am replied:

Thanks for the feedback! We have a couple other tracks that are supposed to alternate and we'll certainly have all that worked out by the final version.

Thanks again for the interest :)

+4 votes   reply to comment
*Flame*
*Flame* Jun 19 2013, 5:38pm says:

I loving the look n concept of this n_n tracking

+6 votes     reply to comment
Decade_Design Creator
Decade_Design Jun 20 2013, 10:13am replied:

Thank you so much!

+3 votes   reply to comment
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Sprout's Tale
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