Being a hobbyist Game Developer

While browsing some Youtube Videos about game development with Unity3D, I noticed several recommendations titled “how to make a game in 48 hours” or “how to get your first game to market” or “how to become an indie developer”. But I started with “Basic Principles of Game Design”. In a couple of minutes, the speaker brought up some important things to keep in mind when developing a game – all which I can fully agree with. What annoyed me was the fact that most of the shown examples were taken from Triple-A titles such as Skyrim, The Witcher, Counterstrike or Half-Life. What effect did this have on me? On the one side, I nodded my head in full understanding of the described principles. On the other side, I shook my head when trying to imagine how much work had been put into the shown games. Which led me to recognize one of the causes of depression nowadays.

Media is driven by statements such as “You can get it if you really want”, totally denying reality and the personal skills of any human.

A better statement would be “If you have fun doing something, don’t stop doing it and you will become better at it. And if your goal is to reach a certain level of expertise in it – you might reach it as long as you’re having fun working towards it.”

The driving force behind Silversword and Lootbox RPG is/was my desire to play such a game. If I had found a game like Silversword (or Lootbox) on the App Store(s) at any time during their development, I would have stopped immediately and cancelled the whole project. “Luckily” I hadn’t and had to do all the work by myself. I like playing around with Unity3d and I like creating game mechanics to a certain extent. But it is nothing compared to the fun I have when actually playing games 😉

I don’t find satisfaction in creating a good piece of code or making a cool graphic asset or composing a nice melody or sound. Because most of the time I am aware that there are thousands of people who can make it better – and if I really wanted to, i could just send them a message and order some of their work. In fact, as a game developer you have to do that from time to time. Most of the sound effects and music tracks I use in my games are bought. Graphics in Silversword were bought from a professional artist or were a donation from friends. The Lootbox Tileset is an Open Source Project. I am not left handed at all when it comes to painting but after trying to create my first portrait of an angry looking orc, I decided that it wasn’t worth the time. Yes, if I would have really wanted… 

So some things you can create by yourself. Others you might… but it would kill the fun in doing so – or it just would take too long because you’re not skilled enough to do it efficiently. So you buy them. This rule can be applied everywhere. In game design as well. And that is the main reason why you will NOT create the next Triple-A title by yourself, even if you really want to.

You just don’t have the resources.

It was – and still is – very hard for me to live with this knowledge. I started many projects with a vision of what the game should become – but soon realized that I couldn’t invest the time and the money that was needed to achieve this goal. The point is: I’m creating the games for myself. I don’t get paid for it. I do it in my spare time. Money wasn’t a driving force at any time. I had an idea what I’d like to see in the games – and I implemented it. When players submitted their feedback, I thought about it and only implemented their wishes if they covered my own taste.

I digressed.

Conclusion: don’t be disheartened when you realize that you surprisingly can NOT do whatever you want to. Stick to smaller goals – especially when creating a game. Make your game playable as soon as possible so that you can reward yourself for the work spent by just playing a bit. This worked out for me: I spent far too much time playing my own games 🙂

Update Notes 1.95.216/217

  • Added hint for creating Rotten Meat to ration description
  • Fix for rate box not working
  • Fix for player not being able to hit/be hit (mostly due to old save games)
  • Fix for consumables not being usable after exchanging with a storage chest
  • Fix for random dungeon creation where some objects were not reachable
  • Added level 20 to the Tunnels
  • Some more bugfixes

The work continues… as always, thank you very much for your feedback 🙂


  • Dad will now give a hint where to look for a present
  • The novice runeboard will now be added to the inventory upon loading a game, when you already defeated the gravelord but got no runeboard
  • The path to the pirate’s cove is now wider so that you won’t be trapped by any creature outside (if you happen to get stuck because you have more than one enemy on your heels, you’re out of luck – sorry!)


Rejoice! More fixes are here 🙂

  • The Novice Runeboard will now be dropped by the Gravelord. If you have already defeated him and got no Runeboard, your dad will give it to you as long as you don’t have completed the tunnels yet.
  • Splitting items will no longer make them unusable.
  • Some bugs in the quest sequence were fixed.

Lootbox Update

After some months of development, the eagerly awaited big update is finally coming live!


This might be frustrating for some of you, but it was necessary due to the many changes that needed to be made. I am very sorry for this.

With the next version of Lootbox RPG, the self-called “satisfying” Dungeon Crawler, quite a bunch of new features will be introduced:

  • a stationary treasure chest the player can access from different places
  • a trade-skilling system with which the player can craft items from various resources
  • the missing part of the main quest (why is dad so grumpy?)
  • the ability to send your (magically enhanced) pet to the next merchant to sell your goods
  • Zombie Mode – for automatic dungeon grinding
  • the new power rune III – which will introduce some new spells that last indefinitely
  • a spell for opening chests 😉
  • several recipes for new cool equipment
  • a spell to call a merchant by your side in times of need
  • a mining skill that enables you to harvest resources
  • better handling of save games – protection for overwriting save games with further progression than your actual game
  • more UI sounds
  • many bug fixes and enhancements to the game mechanics

Because of the many changes in almost every aspect of the game, it is strongly recommended that you start a new game with a fresh character. Old save games might become corrupt and you probably won’t be able to continue in your quest(s). I am sorry for this, but I am sure that you will have fun exploring the new game mechanics from the ground up.

As always – if you encounter any problems with the game, drop me a note at or take a look at the official forums located here:

Kind regards,

Road to release…

For those of you who wonder why I don’t release the many improvements you’ve wished for immediately, here is the explanation.

With the next update I want to provide more content. More content means more dungeons and more locations you can visit. More dungeons mean more creatures, more items… and probably more spells, traps, magic effects and the like. This takes time. To prepare for the new content and for the ideas I want to implement, I have to test the game mechanisms over and over (hey, want to test the game before others do?) and fix several bugs that are reported via mail or on the forums.

For sure, the following things will change with the next update (no liability for completeness):

  • Attack/Defense penalty when being in a lit area without a light effect active will be fixed
  • You will get a fixed treasure chest in your room (the starting room) where you can drop items securely and access them later (even in dungeons via a special spell)
  • Items can be combined to create something new
  • Recipes can be found or learned by trying things out
  • Zombie Mode (automatic dungeon crawling)
  • Open Chest spell
  • Endless magic light that detects nearby traps automatically
  • Merchant spell to call a merchant by your side in dungeons
  • Pet enchanting spell that will teach your pet how to sell the items it carries and return with the gold
  • Better error handling during creation of dungeon levels
  • Items will now be traded/dropped/picked up as a whole stack
  • You can split an item stack in your inventory
  • New skill “Mining” that enables you to mine for ore (used for creating things) in real-time (you have to wait real-time to receive ore) – and NO! this can’t be sped up by spending money / IAP / virtual gold whatever
  • More UI sounds
  • Better display of ranged attacks
  • Portrait mode only (Landscape mode will be disabled, I think that’s ok)
  • Better Load/Save handling (fix for save slots being messed up, prevention of accidentally overwriting savegames where you have made further progress than in the actual game)
  • Magic spells / Firebolt spells will be mitigated by Willpower, not by AC
  • Saving will be disabled in certain dungeons
  • Much more… 🙂

Hello to pocketgamer!

Look what I’ve found:

Thank you very much!

New forum online

The old wpForo forum was put down due to massive spam attacks and no reasonable way of controlling it. Now a new phpBB forum has been set up for your talking pleasure. Enjoy!

Free Dungeon Crawling!

Lootbox RPG will be free to download from September 1st until September 8th. Enjoy free dungeon crawling for the next days. Hint: the duck pet can be found in the Goblin Tunnels.

Bugfixes incoming

With the next update, the bug when trading a stackable item with your pet will be fixed. Sorry for that. In addition, some enhancements for moving whole items stacks are in planning. Hopefully I will get it to work as intended. As for the crafting… it looks very promising, right now I am betatesting the mechanics. Stay tuned and thanks for playing!

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.