Traveling the world with the Asset Store
Terry Drever is traveling the world, and he funds his here-today-gone-in-a-few-months lifestyle exclusively by selling a portfolio of assets on the Asset Store. It gives him the freedom to work from anywhere with an Internet connection, to make enough money to cover his living costs and travel expenses, and the time to work on game ideas.
When I called Terry to interview him, the first thing he did was fetch a jumper. It was snowing outside, and this was a problem, because Terry had planned and packed for South-East-Asian sunshine. The trip to Sapporo, Japan, where he’s staying in an apartment he found through Air BnB, was something of an impulse decision.
His three month stop off in Japan is part of a tour around Asia that’s already taken in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Thailand. When his visa runs out, he’ll move on. Next stop Korea, and after that… wherever the fancy takes him. Terry, who originally comes from a remote Scottish island, isn’t planning to go home anytime soon.
Terry’s been working in the game industry for seven years, and he has a strong background in and passion for game programming. Two years ago, he started making tools and publishing them on the Asset Store.
“I had a large amount of experience at that point, and I knew what games companies wanted and what they needed.”
What Terry does is fill gaps. He’s always prototyping and trying out game ideas, and he uses Asset Store tools to build them. When the tools available on the Asset Store don’t deliver the functionality he needs to make a game, he makes a tool himself and publishes it as an extension on the Asset Store.
Over the course of the interview, it becomes apparent that Terry is a bit of a perfectionist. He’s worked on a number of game prototypes but hasn’t published them because they’re just not quite good enough.
Often, it’s the artwork that’s a problem. Though he has a stable prototype with game mechanics he’s happy with, the look and feel of the game often don’t meet his expectations.
Currently, Terry is talking to a number of Asset Store publishers to source artwork for his online multiplayer deathmatch game. It’s a game he’s always wanted to make, and one that will generate another Asset Store extension which he’s planning to publish in a couple of months.
His popular uSequencer cutscene tool resulted from work he did on another as yet unpublished title: A rhythm game for mobile inspired by Japanese games he used to play, in which the player’s action and resultant reward are tied to a sequence of game events. uSequencer more or less provides the game’s core architecture.
In the coming weeks, Terry will be visiting a game studio in Tokyo to see how they use uSequencer. He finds it fascinating discovering how the tools he’s made are used in practice, and all those insights are useful when it comes to maintaining and developing his tools.
Indeed, a new version of uSequencer is in the works. Terry’s considering a name change and is working to present his asset more professionally on the Asset Store using services from fiverr.com, because, yet again… he’s not satisfied with the visuals.
Terry’s recipe for publisher success:
- Tie asset development to game development
- Develop to fill a need, and find gaps in the market
- Think carefully about how you name your product
- Make sure your asset is presented in a professional manner
Best of luck Terry!