How to make games with a full time job

Make Games with a full time job

Making games with a full-time job is an incredibly difficult challenge. he fact is that we all dream of becoming a full-time indie developer. But same as the majority of the people in our business, we must start with side projects while doing a full-time job. In this article, I want to give you what I usually do to complete my project while working as a full-time software developer.

 

The challenge

In the last two months, I’ve created a simple and minimal mobile game (Color Slide). It has been a difficult challenge because I had to manage my time very well. What I can say is that the most difficult things to do to develop a game with a full-time job are the following:

  1. Stay focus
  2. Optimize your time (Don’t waste your time)
  3. Kis (Keep it simple)
  4. Plan

Let’s see how to overcome each one of these fields:

Stay focus

 When developing a game with a full-time job, it’s really easy to get distracted due to lack of time and forgetting about the project for months. My simple trick to overcome this problem is to force yourself to work on the project every day.

What I mean with this is that you should spend at least 10 minutes on your project even when you’re very busy with your life/work. It is important to open and work on the project every day until it’s done. If you have a task list, leave the most simple tasks for the more busy days. By doing so, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and progression, plus you’ll avoid the risk of “forgetting” about the game for a long period of time.

If you have a task list, leave the most simple tasks for the more busy days. By doing so, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and progression, plus you’ll avoid the risk of “forgetting” about the game for a long period of time.

If you have a task list, leave the most simple tasks for the more busy days. By doing so, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and progression, plus you’ll avoid the risk of “forgetting” about the game for a long period of time.

Optimize your time

 Do you spend one hour or more to go to work? Well at least make sure that your travel time is well spent. For example, you can use it to test your game, watch tutorials, study, etc.

Try to use the “dead time” to do something helpful for your game. Plus, you should use some basic technique to optimize your time and be productive as much as you can.

If you only have one or two hours a day to dedicate to the development of your game, at least make sure to get the most out of what you can from those hours. On that topic, we wrote a blog post about how to be productive in game dev.

If you can, use instruments like unity cloud build to save an incredible amount of time. If there is something that you can automate and in a short amount of time, then do it.

Kis: Keep it simple

 Know your skills and be sure not to start with over complicated projects. Developing a game with a full-time job is already a challenge in itself.

If you add a very complicated project on top of that, the risk of failing is really high. So be sure to have the minimum skills required to complete your project within a reasonable amount of time. If you realise in the middle of the development that you aimed for an over-complicated project, then it’s time to cut some features or start looking for help.

Plan

Plan in advance. Before starting to make your game, you should make a plan with a timeline that explains how much time you’re going to dedicate for your project on a daily basis.

This is an important point because it’ll give you the overall vision of the time investment needed to complete your game.

If from the plan, you see that the overall investment is too big, then it’s time to reduce the scope of your project.

It is important to consider this before to starting to make the game.

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