Hello there, let me begin this by thanking you for your time to read this! I’m not here to brag nor seek pity. I am here to write about the difficulties new developers may face when starting out since let’s face it, most are just here to self-promote and such. With that said, please allow me to walk you through this journey.
So… just got a great idea for a game, or have been messing around with game engines and decided you finally want a piece of the action for yourself? Fantastic! However, there are things you must understand before diving headfirst as I did into this. Let’s start off by pointing out the most obvious fact: Game Development is not cheap by far. Consider planning out how you will tackle the costs and risks of making a game either with friends if by yourself, or your team if you have one. Next, is how are you going to get your idea out there? Planning a marketing campaign in advance is highly advised so that when the time comes for either Kickstarter, Early Release, Steam Greenlight, Etc, you are ready to grab the attention of your intended audience. I can’t stress those 2 points enough as they have been the main obstacles in my own journey.
Getting Set Up
Weighed out the costs/risks/rewards? Got your plans together? Awesome, just hang in there and remember: patience is your number one friend in this business. Stuff will go wrong, as does most things in life so be prepared at all times for the worst, but do not let it weigh you down or distract you. If you keep your head held high and your ego deflated, you’ll go far. Now that you got the foundation made for your project, consider what game engine you want to build your project on if you do not have or have made your own. (I personally went with Unreal Engine 4). Research is key in choosing what coding your game will operate on.
- Q: “Damn, idk any coding…am I screwed?”
- A: “No, no you are not. There are many things one can do, such as pay others for plugins for certain engines. One of the main reasons I chose Unreal Engine 4 is that you can make entire projects without knowing a drop of coding (even though it’s the same thing, just drawn instead of written).
The Long Haul
Now that everything is in motion, get ready for a long grind. Do not expect this to be easy, fun, or quick. We’re building fantasies, but we ourselves must not forget reality. Work is hard. If it’s not, you’re not working hard enough. Working too hard and feel like you want to give up? Go sit and watch a show, go for a walk, read a book, etc. Lost time is better any day than a lost project. Dealing with trolls? Don’t feed them. They are there to test your patience and make you break under pressure. Take all criticism humbly with a grain of salt and grow/develop your project to show them otherwise. Keep your mind on your project and promote it when possible/presentable on social media sites to build excitement towards your game, but do NOT promise what you will NOT deliver. As a game developer, you WILL be bound by your word. Everything you say will be remembered/held against you in the event it is found to be a lie. Honesty is a virtue and a requirement in this field.
Let’s recap, shall we? The main 3 traits of a Game Developer: Humble, Patient, Honest. Follow those 3 and entire worlds will open up for you. I am not saying it will be anywhere close to easy. In fact, it’s likely not to be. Don’t give up on your dreams though. With effort and time you can forge them into being! Thanks again for taking the time to read this, I hope it helps if you are just starting out or considering to!
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