When making something from scratch, every piece is a problem to be solved. With Thousand Threads, there were a game-full of design decisions to make. And as the sole creator, the pressure was all on me.
My role: design, art, animation, code, audio, writing
Early in user testing, many people were getting lost in the world, unsure of what direction to head next. To solve this problem, I designed a compass with markers that would help point users toward their goals.
My favorite part of the [UI] was the compass that told you how close you were to the different NPCs or markers. Though small and subtle, it played a huge part in me navigating the terrain.
At any moment in Thousand Threads, you might have a handful of letters to deliver, a dozen jobs to complete, and an active robbery happening to your right. With all that going on, you need to know who each character is, what they’re up to, and why they might be currently relevant to you.
In Thousand Threads, you have access to a handful of items you can use over the course of your adventure, such as a such as a stick, a slingshot, and a pickaxe. Only one can be held at a time, so you need a quick and easy way to swap between them.
In Thousand Threads, you deliver mail across six distinct regions, take on jobs to help dozens of characters, and gather hundreds of resources for crafting and artifacts to sell. How do you track and organize all of that?
Thousand Threads was a significant solo journey of learning new skills (3D art, animation, programming…), designing and redesigning, scrapping features, having a kiddo and finding time to work during her naps, writing, composing music, making sound effects, and of course, marketing. It took longer than I hoped, but the result is something substantial and, I think, beautiful.
For me, it is rare to play something that has such a well developed sense of tone.