Becoming a gamedev is not walk in the park. If you wish to keep your sanity, you’d better put things in perspective. That’s what I’m inviting you to do with me on this post.
Before we start, I’ll just tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 16 year old game developer, and content creator on YouTube; working on 3 projects as well as juggling my education in college alongside them. One of these projects is a personal project, usually for a learning experience. The second; a gift for someone (usually keeps me motivated to make something in a quick time – whether that be for a birthday for example). The third; a bigger project that I work on within a team (the other members keep me motivated).
Is it for YOU?
Before you can develop even a single project, you have to judge the scope of it, ensuring that it won’t be too ambitious or too difficult to work on. It’s very similar to judging whether or not to create more projects. Originally, I worked on 2 at a time, this gave me a taster of how it would be with juggling multiple projects. Personally, I noticed that it actually made me more productive! Finally, assess your life’s activity. Do you have a full-time job? Are you at school every day of the week? If this is the case, please do be careful as you have a high chance of getting burnt out. This is obviously dependent on the intensiveness of the occupation at hand – if it’s not too hectic, then maybe you could try multiple project development?
Avoiding procrastination and burnout is key for becoming a gamedev
Since working on multiple projects, procrastination actually hasn’t been too much of an issue as I always have something to work on. If I’m not feeling one project, then I can work on the other project: but remember, you don’t have to work on each project equally. Burnout is another huge issue that you may be faced with during the development process: as stated before, make sure you aren’t overworking yourself. Put your health before your projects, take regular breaks, don’t feel obliged to work 24/7.
What to work on while becoming a gamedev
One of the things that you must do on your path to becoming a gamedev is to ensure that each of your projects ARE different to one another in a fairly significant way. As I described briefly in my introduction, I work on projects that have different aspects to them – even if they are quite small differences. Also, I didn’t schedule each of these projects: it sort of… just happened? I didn’t create each project at the exact same time, they all began development at different times. I recommend you do the same, go with the flow and go with what feels right to you: don’t force yourself to work on 4 projects out of the blue, for example.
Personal Experiences: how I juggle them with an education
As stated, I am a college student so I also have to dedicate some of my time to that. It is worth noting that I only go to college 3 days a week which is probably how I have so much time to work on it. Also, my course is a game development course so I am always in that game development mindset.
How do I cope with YouTube as well
My YouTube channel revolves around game development: again, that keeps me in the game dev mindset. Whilst working on my games, I can document my progress which in itself, makes for some QUALITY content to put on my channel.
Conclusion of my experiences
I have been managing 3 projects for a couple of months now, and it’s the most productive I have ever been. I think this is mainly because I always withstand a game development mindset: no matter the occasion. I might be lucky in this regard as some of you may not have the ability to retain that mindset all the time.
You can make your final decision based on what I’ve told you. I personally think it’s a great way of learning new things as well. All my projects have a different learning curve: 2 3D games (one alone and self-taught, one with a partner) and one big 2D game. I hope this helped in some way! If it did, please do check out my socials as I am trying to build up a big enough audience in time for my big game releasing next year some time!