Sally Face: My Journey as a Solo Game Developer

Once the dream of becoming a game developer took shape in my head, I didn’t let it go until I achieved it. The path that leads to sally face It was long and challenging, but it changed my life forever. This is a personal story of how I got to where I am today.

Origin and inspirations

I grew up loving metal, video games, and 90s cartoons. These things were huge artistic influences for me. I started drawing at a young age, with a keen interest in characters and storytelling. I also learned to play guitar when I was 16 years old. Living in a haunted house was another big element that shaped me. Plagued by horrific night terrors and strange encounters throughout my youth, I have always been drawn to darker, more paranormal themes.

I didn’t really know what to do with all these interests of mine and it wasn’t until after high school that game development came up as an option. It was almost an immediate spark – making games was perfect for me. It involved everything I love: storytelling, art, music, creativity, interactive worlds…

Around 2007, during my college years, a strange dream inspired a creepy sketch. This drawing was the origin of sally face. Soon after, I had several sketches and ideas for a caricature around this character. I tried to get some friends together to cheer him up, but that quickly fell apart. So the concept stayed in my head for the next few years.

first sketches

After college I formed a small independent team with some friends called Wither Studios. We worked on projects in our spare time, after work hours. A couple of years after releasing our first game and still struggling to make money, the team hit a rough patch. Arguing caused two of our members to leave. With an uncertain fate, I decided to start my own side project. I already had enough experience and needed the creative outlet.

In 2015, the concept of sally face came back to me and I thought it would work well as an adventure game instead of a cartoon. Keeping the game simple was also important because I’m not a programmer. I needed to learn some new tools because of this. And that was the starting point for my solo effort as Portable Moose.

Sally Face, Episode One: Weird Neighbors I was almost done, but the next year or two would be the hardest of my life. Suddenly I got fired from my day job and had a hard time finding a good job. Then began a separation with my ex-wife that led to back and forth and finally to divorce. In the midst of this, a loved one made multiple suicide attempts, which was traumatizing. I fell into a deep depression and could not leave my apartment or get out of bed. This stopped production of the game for a couple of months. Although finally getting back to work on the game really helped me out of the dark hole I was living in. It gave me something to turn to. It gave me something to hope for.

achieving the dream

Sally face characters

I originally released the game episodically on PC while making them. episode one it came out in 2016 and people liked it. The game was now generating enough income for me to continue working on it full time. sally face It continually grew a large cult following and continues to grow strong. The fifth and final episode was released in late 2019 and then I started working on console ports. I ended up hiring outside help for the ports; that apart from the translations, it was the first time that other people worked on the game besides me. I created the story, the design, the characters, the art, the music, everything. This made it even more rewarding as the fan base grew and the amount of admiration they showed for my creation.

collage image

Keep fighting the dark

Dive into the offbeat mystery today with sally face on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S!

xbox live

sally face

portable moose

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A DARK MYSTERY IS UNFOLDING… Embark on a haunting adventure following a boy with a facial prosthesis as he uses his portable video game system to talk to the dead and learn their stories. After a series of mysterious murders, Sal and his three friends discover something truly sinister that casts a shadow over his small town.