It took 20 years for Children of the Sun to become an overnight success
8 mins read

It took 20 years for Children of the Sun to become an overnight success

sun son Burst onto the indie scene like a muzzle flash on a dark night. Publisher Devolver Digital released the game's first trailer on February 1, showcasing frenetic sniper shots and a radioactive art style. A Steam demo highlighting its first seven stages went live the same day and became a breakout hit during February's Steam Next Fest. Two months later it received complete and widespread praise. This explosive reveal and rapid release timeline mirrors the game itself – chaotic but contained, sharp and direct, sharp and bright.

Although it seems sun son Coming into existence in a span of two months, it took single developer René Rother more than 20 years to get here.

sun son

rené rother

As a child in Berlin in the early 2000s, Rother was fascinated by the rapidly growing mod community. He spent his time messing around for free counter attack mapping tools and Earthquake III The mod from the demo disc was hidden in their PC magazines. Rother had daydreamed of getting a job in game development, but it never felt like an attainable goal.

“Making a game didn't seem possible,” he told Engadget. “It's like it was a huge black box.”

Rother did not see an easy entry point until the 2010s, when mesh libraries and tools like GameMaker and Unity became more accessible. He discovered a passion for creating 3D interactive art. But apart from a few free online JavaScript courses, he didn't know how to program anything, so his output was limited.

“I tried my hand at it for a bit, but then was thrown out. Again, Rother said. “It was just like the whole barrier to entry was so big.”

René Rother, developer of Children of the Sun.René Rother, developer of Children of the Sun.

rené rother

Rother studied graphic design at university and found the first two years gratifying, focusing on classical art training. However, by the end of his schooling, lessons included practical applications such as working with clients, and Rother's vision of a graphic design career turned into reality.

“That was an eye-opening moment when I realized this wasn't for me,” Rother said.

In between classes, Rother was still making games For himself and for jams like Ludum Dare, he is constantly building his skills and cementing his reputation in these venues as a master of mood.

“Atmospheric type pieces, walking simulators,” Rother said, recalling his early projects. “It was very interesting for me to explore the environment. But I never thought it was actually something that could change in the game. I never thought it would become something that could be sold as if it were a real product.”

sun sonsun son

rené rother

By the end of 2010 Rother decided he was officially done with graphic design and was ready to pursue a job in game development. He applied to several studios and, in the meantime, worked odd jobs in a supermarket and setting up electronics as a stagehand. He eventually got a job as a 3D artist in a small studio in Berlin. Meanwhile, his pile of game jam projects and unfinished prototypes continued to grow.

“In that time frame, son of sun It happened,” Rother said.

In sun son, players are The Girl, a woman who escaped the cult that raised her and is now wreaking sniper-based revenge on all of her cells, one bullet at a time. In each round, players line up their shots and then control a single bullet as it ricochets through individual cult members. The challenge is to find the fastest, efficient and stylish way to death, earning a place at the top of the leaderboard.

“It was just a random prototype that I started working on,” Rother said. “And one Saturday morning I was thinking, 'I don't know what I'm doing with my life.'” With an atmospheric prototype and a mind full of excitement, Rother approached Devolver Digital about possible publication that same day. Emailed to. sun son,

“The reaction was basically, 'The pitch was bad but the game felt good,'” Rother said. “And then it became a thing.”

sun sonsun son

rené rother

visually, sun son It is dazzling. It features a sketchy 3D art style covered in dark gray with dark tree lines, glowing yellow enemies, and layers of textures. Every scene feels as if the girl has just had a jolt of adrenaline and her senses are on high alert, giving the entire experience a hectic feeling of hyper-vigilance. This is a game based on common sense.

“I didn't make any mood boards,” Rother said. “I didn't prepare for this. It was just like, oh, let's make it in this color. Ah, let's make it in this color… This is something that can be very easy to get lost in. I spent a lot of time adjusting the color of the grass so it would work well with purples and things like that. I spent too much time on colors.

sun son Rother went through several visual iterations where Rother played with contrast, depth, density of fog, and the traditional FPS color palette, before landing on the game's dreamy and neon-drenched final look. Remnants of this trial and error are still visible below sun sonK frames, and that's exactly what Rother likes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.