Manor Lords creator agrees he’s not exactly a solo game developer, but he deserves the title because “if I quit, the game’s over”

Manor Lords creator agrees he's not exactly a solo game developer, but he deserves the title because "if I quit, the game's over"

Manor Lords developer Greg Styczen says he’s thinking about a new term to replace “solo developer” when referring to himself, following comments from another city planner’s developer .

Ever since the medieval city-building simulator was released late last month, it has been said that it was developed by one person. It all started with the marketing of the game itself – the official website said that it was “created by hand by a single developer.” However, some are now debating whether Stychen deserves to be called that, since he is technically not the only person working on the game.

In particular, Crate Entertainment studio head Arthur Bruno, who released city-building simulator Farthest Frontier into early access in August 2022, said it was “infuriating” that Manor Lords was considered the work of one person, while his game was not.

It’s no secret that Stychen, under the pseudonym of the Slavic Magic studio, received some help in creating Manor Lords thanks to Patreon and a solid grant from Epic Games a couple of years ago. However, Stychen has not stopped using the term “indie developer” because he remains the main creative force behind the project, as well as the only developer actively working on the main part of the game.

I want to address some of the developers who are angry that I call myself a solo developer when there are so many people in the credits. I agree! Sort of. I’m under a lot of pressure to grow and hire, and it’s slowly happening. But also take a look at the “motion capture department” – actually my best friends at the children’s photography studio.

In reality, if you look at the credits of many solo developers, you can find a lot of references to other people hired for outsourcing – from illustrations to music, animation, programming and more. In the case of Manor Lords, Stychen says he hired several additional programmers to solve problems with the build and because he and publisher Hooded Horse wanted to “reduce risk.” And while he says he’ll come up with a new term for himself in the future, he claims he’s “earned the title of solo developer” because Manor Lords would collapse if he just stood up and stopped working on it.

Let’s hope the developer gets more people to help with Manor Lords to more effectively polish on multiple fronts at once.