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Bio: Early 2014 I had separated from a long term relationship which led to me being homeless. I always was interested in game development but had never released anything commercially. Around that time I decided to focus on game development full time and started Thrive island. After 6 months of development I released it on Android as early access. Since then I have been surprised to reach over 5 million downloads and the game has come a long way. I still feel like there is a long way to go but the support and feedback has been very positive.
I get lots of emails and questions about game development and how to get started so figured I would start an AMA. Feel free to ask me anything.
> Since losing a testicle in the well-publicized golfing accident, have you had to come up with a new nickname for your twig and berries?
Pretty sure anyway
When you say homeless, do you mean "living on the streets or in shelters" kind of homeless, or "in-between places and staying with friend and family" kind of homeless?
Family and friends kind of homeless
What engine do you use to create your game? Unity, GameMaker, ETC.
does downloads equate to actuall dollars? ie are you a millionaire?
Downloads don't equate to dollars. It's generated enough revenue to focus full time on the game.
What's your education background? Do you think person like me without any college degree can start a career in game development and became successful?
I've always been interested in programming and games but never had the patience for college or uni. I learned the basics of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint at school, everything else I learned from the internet.
Yes, a person like you can do it as long as you're dedicated enough to teach yourself online.
Do you have a release date for Steam version? And what will be the price?
Don't have a specific date yet, most likely in the next few months. It has been greenlit but no price decided yet, that will be worked out with steam
Is the game developer illuminati real?
Sausage and egg
What did you find most helpful when you were first getting started with Unity?
I like Unity because there is a huge amount of resources and documentation.
When I first started I used YouTube for alot of tutorials. Also played around with some complete projects on the asset store.
How much did you get from this project? Also what did you learn from this and what is the suggestion you might want to share with us all?
Fortunately this project has been supported well enough to survive. I've learned many things but my suggestion would be to start small and work from there. When I released the game there was only 2 craftable items and very limited content although players saw enough potential to support it.
How is it different from minecraft ?
It's not blocky
Congrats on your recent success!
I'm a student of Computer Science. I have no intention to develop games, but i would definitely like some advice about your work ethic.
How do you put so much time into a project that you have no idea will succeed or not?
Any additional advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
At the time I started this project, there was no mobile survival games. The PC market was saturated so I was confident enough to follow my gut and just go for it.
It was definitely a risk starting out, but I just figured I would focus 100% on it just once to see how it goes. It could've gone either way starting out but consistent updates has helped the most over the longer term.
Just doloaded the trial, will probally buy the full version next week if I'm still playing it.
How much money do you make per download?
How much money do you make from ads on the trial version?
Apart from no ads, what else does the full version offer?
Why do ads always pop up when I'm pressing buttons?
Income varies alot. Full version is $3. The full version has no ads, extra islands, more items, animals and content
How do you earn money by doing this?
Ads and sales
Whats the best way for someone who knows nothing about game development to get started learning about game development?
Choose a popular game engine like gamemaker or unity3d, and do some tutorials on YouTube. Start small and make small games that you can finish and go from there.
Wow, that game looks truely terrible. 5 Million downloads? What is wrong with children these days.
Like I said, I still feel there's a long way to go but it has already come a long way and the foundations are in place to make it even greater. There is alot planned and I'm confident it will as great as some of the top pc titles soon.