Even though I don’t deem myself a guru game developer, some people think otherwise. Several of them already contacted me to get a few tips on how to become a successful developer. It took me a while to come up with a list and I tried to make it as readable as possible. So I hope it helps some of you get a good start.
Game development sounds fun and exciting but many people don’t realize that it involves two major factors. Do you want to deal with the insides or design the outside? Some developers manage to do both, but in reality, you can be really good in just one of these things. Guts or design? Which one is your forte?
In your dreams, you see yourself creating something like Darkest Dungeon or Fallout. In reality, copying something as simple as Pong can have you screaming with frustration. Test your skills to see what you can and can’t do. Try to make the game more complex than it already is by implementing new things that may seem unique to you. Once you manage to duplicate a simple game, you can assess your abilities and make changes to your “I’ll become a great developer in a month” plan.
Gamasutra is a great place to enjoy game developer blogs. Take advantage of other resources, such as Game Development and GameDev forum. Forums are useful for asking silly questions, which none of the veteran game developers can do without. My advice is to read the topics extensively before asking a question. Most likely your question has been answered at least a couple of times in the past. Oh, and don’t forget good old Google. You’ll be surprised how many answers it has to offer.
If you’ve never designed a game in your life and have no idea where to start, find a tutorial. Here are a few good ones you can take advantage of:
Start with the free ones. However, you might soon need a few paid ones as well, so be ready to spend some money.
Once you get the hang of cloning the simple games and making a few of your own, you can take advantage of several tricks used by more experienced game developers
You must know how popular live streaming is becoming nowadays. Get on the bandwagon (did I just use this terribly outdated phrase?)! Broadcast your game development process to the world. At the very least, it may help other developers learn from your mistake. In the best case, you can start earning some serious dough.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish”, said Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and, in my humble opinion, he was right. Artists hate planning and every game developer is partially an artist. However, planning the game is vital to good results. I’m not saying you should be printing out a 100-page plan, but you could at least scribble some notes that you can follow.