Anchorpoint for indie game development - Nightmare Studios

How Nightmare Studios uses Unreal Engine 5 and clever marketing tricks to build and release their first indie game.

Matthäus Niedoba
November 3, 2023
min read

Nightmare Studios was founded by Patrick Næve when he decided to take his passion for game development seriously. In July they released their first horror game called "Surrounded" and the team grew from a single founder to a team of 12 people working on the game.

Patrick, could you tell us more about yourself

I'm a developer from Norway who has always had a passion for creating things. Ever since I was young, I've tried to invent or create anything I could, preferably on an electronic device. I remember creating a Flappy Bird clone on my mom's old computer when I was 12 years old. It took me about 4-5 weeks to get it working properly and I was very proud.

At the age of 13, I got into making Minecraft Java plugins and quickly improved my programming skills. In June 2020, I made the bold decision to move into actual game development, and a year later I officially founded the company "Nightmare Studios". I am completely self-taught with no formal degree in game development or similar.

Tell us about your project called Surrounded

Surrounded was my first serious project. My plans were massive, maybe even too ambitious at the time, but we should aim for the stars, and that's exactly what I did. Originally, the game was going to be a linear single-player experience. However, in January 2021, I decided to make a significant change and turn it into an open-world multiplayer experience for up to six players. The story delves into the dark backstory of the RDUM labs.

For marketing, I use TikTok with over 1.6 million views. Thousands of people have joined my Discord server in anticipation of the game.

After three years, we now have a team of two developers and over ten people working on the game, and we finally released it this July.

sourrounded gameplay
Gameplay Screenshots
sourrounded gameplay
Gameplay Screenshots
sourrounded gameplay
Gameplay Screenshots

Where can we find it?

Surrounded is currently available on Steam as a PC exclusive.

Can you tell us about the technical side of things? What tools are you using?

When we first started development, Surrounded was built in Unity with the idea of a linear single player experience in mind, and it worked quite well. However, due to the change in story, gameplay loop and plot, we quickly reached the limits of Unity and moved to Unreal Engine 5, where we had to rebuild the entire game.

As of today, we are using Unreal Engine 5 as our game engine and Anchorpoint as our version control system.

When did you start using Anchorpoint?

We started using Anchorpoint in early June after a long search for software. We had looked at options like GitHub, GitLFS, Perforce, and basically every other option on the market.

Was it easy to get started?

We knew NOTHING about version control. We didn't realize how important it was for maintaining stability, preventing bugs, creating backups, and getting others on board with the project. Anchorpoint made it easy for us, especially with the helpful tutorial videos available on their YouTube channel that walked us through setting up certain aspects and integrating with Unreal Engine. In our opinion, using Anchorpoint is as easy as getting dressed, especially compared to the other software options we explored.

What problems does Anchorpoint solve for you?

Anchorpoint solved a variety of problems, but the main issue with source control was the sheer size of our project, which was over 200 gigabytes. Traditional applications like GitHub Desktop would crash after trying to upload as little as 10-12 gigabytes. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we successfully pushed the entire 200 gigabyte source folder through Anchorpoint in a single push. It was also faster than we expected, taking about 2 hours. Since then, we haven't had any push or conflict issues.

Anchorpoint's conflict resolution tool has been incredibly useful, allowing us to easily select the files we want. Anchorpoint has been instrumental in documenting changes within the project, helping us manage our tasks, keeping track of what's left to do, and providing essential backup storage. We've needed these backup capabilities on numerous occasions.

anchorpoint in game development
How Anchorpoint was used for Version Control

Why is it a good choice for version control?

Anchorpoint was not only a good choice, it was the perfect fit for us. It's undoubtedly the easiest option when working on a project with Unreal Engine 5. The modern interface makes it easy to navigate, and one of the most amazing aspects is the incredible support. Despite some minor issues, the team has been exceptionally helpful. They responded to me on Discord within minutes and even jumped on a call to help us within 10 minutes of being notified. Anchorpoint is definitely the place to go.

Thank you so much, Patrick for taking the time. Visit Surrounded on Steam.

Version control for indie development

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