Becoming a successful game designer and developer :notes

There is so much information out here, and so many talks done at game conventions is on youtube, it is mindblowing. A lot of this information, though given out freely, is extremely relevant, not just to this industry but any extremely competitive industry.

Just like in the game dev community , though it is so saturated and highly competitive, the people come together to aid, train, assist, and teach just as much as other communities that are just if not more competitive. Like day traders. An absolute zero-sum game, yet they are always trying to help one another.

My point is, it is important to keep these little tips in mind at all times.

” Do your research and get prepared “

This piece of information is priceless, and I know it before I have ever developed my first game, because it is absolutely true in any industry. The bottom line is still do what you want and be creative, but before you start, do your research and get properly prepared. Doing research prevents the possible waste of time working on a game idea that has already been done, and being prepared helps promote longevity in the project and to see it to the end.

” Start Marketing Now “

This one, I really have no freaking clue. I mean, I guess I am trying to market myself right here, but c’mon, how many people actually come here? I need to think about this and start the ball rolling. I don’t intend to be making any money off my first games, but I should be getting into the habit of it sooner than later. I just need to first figure out how I am going to do that.

I found a talk where the guy was the lead developer for a game that didn’t do as well as they were hoping, which got him into analyzing the available data to see where there product lacked. A lot of the data I believed was actually trend data, and though it was what it was, it will change, and has changed. The important thing here is, be connected. Knowing what is being released, playing these games, and being part of a community.

” Game Design “

When I was younger, there wasn’t as many designers and developers and therefor the market was lean and mean. There were many types of games never even thought of before, and that innovation gave plenty of room for new ideas. A design of a game and its mechanics should be organic, copying a game is not only shallow, but could be a major risk. Most clones do not make it, and therefor , the real challenge is coming up with a new idea.

As far as “new idea” , you probably won’t be as lucky to design a completely new sub-genre , but the way sub-genres were discovered was by just doing it. How WarCraft became the first ARPG and Wolfenstien was “3d” and Doom had less straight edges in it is an idea of great lengths. It can be a lot simpler as well, like machinegun toting heavy metal pigs, or a 2d character in a 3d world….. A simple mechanic is nothing without a good story and design.

So , this can be worrisome to anyone developing a game, because what if it isn’t that interesting, and how do you know. I think a big part of this is going to be solved by proper research, quick prototyping, asking friends and family, and then a group online that you can trust.

” Lean on your strengths “

This , I believe , is huge. I know that my strengths in order is Music and storytelling. I am not a very graphic person, and what I really mean is I can’t draw human faces or hands. So what, right? If my strengths were art and storytelling, would I not make a game because I can’t make music? The point here is, do what needs to be done, and figure the rest out. Since I know I can’t draw humans and humanoids, and I don’t have a budget to hire as of yet, design a game with no humanoids ….

” Become a prototype ninja “

The first order of business after the story is made, the mechanics are decided, and the research is done, make the prototype, and make it well. The prototype is litterally the foundation to the whole game, and this is where I will spend the most time on game play and feel, and mechanics. Since I am only focused on that, I can then write the code in the most cleanest way possible, allowing for expansion.

” finish the game “

This is obvious, but with anything, you have to finish it. This is great, because there is plenty in my life I haven’t finished, and I often think about how I will finish, but you have to finish.

This also requires that the scope of the project is something that is tangible and small. Creating a game that is unlike any other, or is a lot like all kinds of games would make the scope huge, and therefore, you would be working on the game forever.

Finishing the game requires a lot of planning, but it is also important to do a game you want to do, versus something you do not want to do. Being prepared and loving the idea of the game you are developing will better increase your odds of actually finishing ( so I hear ).


So obviously, there is a crap lot more info out there, but these are the few I am finding to be super important, not just for game development, but in life ( hence why I wanted to write about it ).

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