How To Get Your Feet Wet With Game Development
Game Dev Series #1
We believe that the best thing our society can work on: change education to pioneer training, and connect it to the market.
That’s why we started to contact Indie Developers and write together a series about Game Dev that is going to be useful for everyone that want’s to learn more about this topic.
Our plan is to release something fresh couple of times and based on the feedback we will adjust our topics and frequency. Granted we will take enough time to research and write a good article.
Let’s get started with our first Article in the Series written together with Darian Doan about ” How to get your feet wet with Game Development. It seemed logical we collaborate with one of the most active Indie Developers we know to write an article about how to get into the industry. Or as Daniel puts it “Get your Feet Wet With Game Development”.
1. Be Proactive
I can’t stress this enough.
This is the reason why many people aren’t successful yet; they’re either frozen by the size of their idea, or they throw in the towel altogether. Most small developers are either too lazy, have no confidence in their abilities, defocused by distractions or simply waiting for a miracle to happen.
Just talking about it and not lifting a finger doesn’t bring any value to the project. Rather than daydream about it, start mapping out a plan and strategizing a course of actions. Everyone can have great ideas. Unfortunately, ideas on their own hold no value if they’re not combined with grit to make it profitable and sustainable.
2. Start Small
It’s pretty common for new game developers to have absolutely no idea where to start with their game ideas.
This is a common hurdle in the gaming industry. That’s why, keep in mind that even the largest games started out very small, slowly growing into what they are today. It can still be very intimidating to actually sit down and try to program everything. This is the phase in which even simple task can create blockages, which could highly increase the chance of giving up.
There’s a solution for this though – don’t try to do everything at one.
Instead, start small and gradually go from there. All game start with very basic features and placeholders in order to test the game as soon as possible. After you have the foundation, you can add pieces to it like a Lego tower.
It’s extremely important to take things one step at a time so that you can avoid the inevitable frustration that comes with overwhelming yourself.
3. What do you want from your game?
The step-by-step process will also help you shape the game, and find out what you truly want it to become.
As you break the project into small pieces, you’ll have a more in-depth analysis of the ideas behind each one. Don’t be afraid to leave some room for change. Setting your ideas in stone is good only if you aim for something generic.
If you become flexible with your ideas, you’ll soon start producing new mechanics which will fit. Why is that? Well, each time you analyze a piece of the game, you’re actively brainstorming ideas to add over the existing features. As such, the end result will be something that you’ve never aimed for through the straight line dev path – and it’s awesome.
4. Clear vision.
Once you know how your game will be – create clear tasks.
It’s really easy to lose your motivation when you see no progress for days. That’s why It’s highly important to break the tasks into blocks based on your current skill. Tasks that you can tackle right away. This way you can easily see your progress. Feels darn good to know you did accomplish everything you set for the day. Ok. But don’t overdo it, use S.M.A.R.T tasks.
What does S.M.A.R.T. stand? It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related. For example, you may have a list item that says “Finish creating and implementing the weapon shot sound effect before noon.”
5. Keep doing it.
If things go south just take a break, but never don’t stop.
The most important thing about making a game is to keep making the game. No matter how small the progress, it will be a step towards release. You might have to go through difficult times but don’t abandon your game. At the end of the day if your game doesn’t see the light of the release you will never know if it would have been great. All that work would have been in vain.
Also, don’t forget that if things get out of hand you can simply stop working and come back later. After all, you shouldn’t be trying to make a game on a deadline for your very first game dev experience. That’s just a recipe for failure. It includes mixing deadline-induced stress with inexperience.
Take a break if really needed, but don’t abandon the game.NEVER. Build it, test it, launch it, and repeat! √
“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”
Many new developers don’t have a clue as to how to start working on their first game. The key is to simply start with extremely small, basic tasks and build on top of that. This method of development will not only end up giving you more unique and refined mechanics but will also save you lots of stress and ensure that you actually make progress. Trying to tackle everything at once will just leave you frustrated with nothing to show, and can incite giving up.
Break the work up into blocks of tasks where you can easily track the progress you’re making; working without any indication of progress will result in lost motivation. In the end, making your first game is all about actually working on it. Simply keep making progress, no matter how little, and eventually, that dream game will be finished and released for others to enjoy. And don’t stop at your first game if it doesn’t end up as you expected. Instead, learn and improve based on your experience.
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