Thank you for taking action on your journey. These are the best tips from my guests on how to become successful in the game industry.
Top 10 Tips for Success
- Network – join meetups, local communities, online forums, and go to game conferences like GDC and PAX. Talk with other game developers to learn how they talk with players, the way they set up their booth, and ask them questions. Make a meaningful relationship so that in the future you all will stay connected. Find mentors that teach you and hold you accountable for your actions.
- Research – Study the market to come up with a game idea. Ask your local community what type of game they would like to play or try out then make that game for them. Be ready for new technology as well. If there is a new software that can expedite your productivity, why not try it out.
- Start Small – do not think big for your first project like a multiplayer game. You will instantly get demotivated when you realize the vision you had was too much and quit. Your first project should be a small game. Try to imagine a mini-game you really love and recreate that as your first game. Plan your scope early.
- Invest in Yourself – it’s important to take the time to invest in things that will benefit you. Watch tutorials, take classes, invest in software, etc. To get extraordinary things done, you will have to take away time from other things as well. Take time away from going out with friends to brush up on programming. Stop eating out to save that money and invest in a new software you can utilize. Read a book. I recommend “The One Thing” By Gary Keller because it teaches you how to effectively time manage.
- Build a Community – start telling people about the game you are creating. Create a Facebook group with your friends, invite people to join, and talk about your game. By the time you release your game, you would have already build a community that’s been engaged in your game.
- Communication – it’s important for the team to understand the vision in the game. What is the mission statement? What is the game trying to accomplish? What mechanics need to be implemented. What are the responsibilities of each member of the team? The team needs to see the overall vision to get the job done. Also keeping your fans up to date on the game progress will get them more excited. Fans love to hear from the developers and so this is a great way to create loyal fans. Give them a sneak peak of your game.
- User Feedback – the sooner you get feedback, the faster you can make changes. Make mistakes often should be your motto. Keep getting user feedback on your game before developing on a core mechanic. You don’t want to release a full game before testing just because you thought the game core mechanic is awesome. Your ego will sometimes get in the way. Getting the user perspective will make you notice things that you never thought of before and then improve your game.
- Take Breaks – game development can be very long and difficult therefore it’s so important to take breaks. Do not burn yourself out. If you are sleepy, get headaches, haven’t eaten in awhile, or any other negative health issues, then take a break. A simple walk outside can do wonders. Breathing fresh air fill your mind and lungs with energy, you might even come back with new ideas. Make a schedule and choose specific times during the day to take breaks. Stick to that schedule.
- Persistence – this is one of the most important values of game development which is to keep pushing forward. Do not give up for whatever reasons. When you complete a game, whether it’s good or bad, that’s a ton of valuable skills learned. Mitigate negativity as much as possible by being organized, using effective tools, be around a positive environment, and ASK questions you need answers too.
- Taking Action – “Knowledge is ONLY potential power, Execution is the game.” I am happy to tell you all of this information but it would be useless if you don’t take action. We like to overthink things and procrastinate. Now is the time to take action. You are off to a great start by reading these tips. My guests simply say, “Just start.”
Steps You Can Take Right Now
- Figure out what you want to do: programming, art, etc. If you don’t know what you want to do, pick one and test it out, if you don’t like it, choose another one.
- Find local communities and join online forums. The important part is to engage and ask questions. Get the answers to questions that are holding you back.
- Research for a small game idea. For me, I recalled a mini-game that I was addicted to from Super Mario DS and recreated that.
- Whatever role you chose, invest in tutorials and online courses like Udemy. Save yourself time and energy. Work efficiently and effectively because it’s going to be a long process.
- Now it’s time to just start making a game. You picked a role, you have people you can ask questions to, and you have a game idea. Start making a game.