Creating a video game isn’t easy, if games such as developer Rockstar Games cowboy epic Red Dead Redemption 2 is anything to go by. That game, famed for its ludicrously gritty details, took seven years to make with a team of 3,000 people, many of whom experienced burnout. But sometimes you don’t need thousands of people and a bounty of tech to create a game . Sometimes, all it takes is one person – that, and a lot of determination. Singaporean game developer Choo Bin Yong recently released his first game on the dominant PC gaming platform, Steam. He might be better known as Koex Studio – of which he is the only staff member. Yes, he created the game entirely on his own. There Is No Tomorrow is a horror game with a simple elevator pitch: think The Last of Us meets Metal Gear Solid , with a side helping of inter-dimensional beings and Lovecraftian horror. “It’s a complicated project,” says Choo, who previously worked as a 3D animator before becoming an indie game developer. “Around 30 to 40 per cent of my time is spent fixing bugs. It seems that whenever I fix something, a new bug appears,” he adds, laughing. Why did he decide to strike out all on his own? Since TINT was his first big 3D game, he wanted to give himself the requisite experience in video game development – and what better way to do so than by creating the whole thing by himself? In TINT , the player takes on the character of Leon, a student who finds himself catapulted into an apocalyptic future where humans are on the brink of extinction, thanks to fleshy, otherworldly beings called the Ra. Since you’re a regular high schooler, you can’t possibly expect to fight every monster that wants to eviscerate you, so you’ll have to duck and dodge your way through the hordes and pick your battles carefully. Crawl through foliage and use your senses to detect the monsters before they find you, toss rocks and other objects to distract them for a moment, or, if it comes down to it, make sure you have a steady aim – because if you’re not going to make that head shot, you’ve wasted your already scarce supply of ammo for nothing. You have the choice of sneaking through levels without stirring a single monster, or blaze through with whatever ramshackle weapons Leon can find. It’s part of Choo’s ethos for the game. “I wanted to add both stealth and action gameplay elements to allow the player to choose their own approach,” he says. But you’re not alone. As you traipse through bloodied warehouses and dungeons, you’re accompanied by a talking doll that’s perched on your shoulder. Apart from providing you with the occasional hint (and some much needed company in a dismal world), this companion grants Leon the ability to enter its body for a time, enabling him to squeeze through hidden passages and briefly avoid detection by the monsters. The game looks good. Each level is atmospheric and has a distinctly different look, from the empty corridors of Leon’s wrecked school in the late afternoon sun, to the slimy, foreboding tunnels made by the Ra. All of this goes to underscore the herculean task that Choo took on in the three years it took to develop the game. Passion projects aren’t rare in the game industry, but those that actually come to fruition are rare: for Choo, it’s proof that his careful planning has paid off. Choo says the game has proved to be as demanding as a full-time job, and sometimes more. “I worked full-time on the game for five days a week, and half days for weekends,” he recalls. So far, TINT has been featured on gaming sites such as IGN Southeast Asia, and has been nominated for an award in the 2020 Indie Prize Singapore – an international competition for up-and-coming indie game developers. Choo hopes to release more original games through Koex Studio – he wants to be known for good stories that complement gameplay – but for his next project, he might not fly solo. “I’m thinking of finding someone to work together with for future projects,” he laughs.