The life of an indie game developer is simple:learn game development while making games. Do you know that before Rovio became a successful company with angry birds, they made 51 unknown games?
What can we learn from this lesson? Simply never give up. Sooner or later you’ll make it. But it is really important to never lose your hope.
How to start?
As we said in a previous article “how to become a game developer” when you start to make games you have to focus on very small projects while slowly building your skills. That basically is the trick to get better and better project after project.
Do you want to know how network communications work and build your first multiplayer game?
Well, you can’t start by building a new MMO from scratch. Instead, why don’t you build a simple TicTacToe game with a multiplayer feature?
By doing so, you’re sure that your project will be easy enough to complete and eventually publish it into the stores. Plus, you’ve got the chance to learn the basic of the network communications.
Then for your next project, start with something a little bit difficult like a turn based card game with 10 players, just to increase the difficulty and learn new skills.
Learn game development from your mistakes:
The first things to do when you finish your project is to write down a list of what went wrong and what went right. All the things that went wrong, print it and be sure to go throw them before you start your next project. Do all that you can to avoid the mistakes that you’ve made and learn fast.
If for example, something went wrong in your marketing strategy, then study as much as you can to avoid the same mistakes for your next project. This is the only way to get better game after game.
Learn as much as you can:
The Internet is full of free resources for game developers. If you’re a good programmer for example without too much experience in game design, then start to study the basics of game design then apply what you’ve learned on your next game.
Usually, I’m studying also while making games, and I keep a checklist of what I learned that I want to add to the game that I’m developing or to my next game.
Read books, watch videos, read blogs and give at least one hour a day to study and learn new stuff that will help you to improve your skills.
Basically, ask yourself this question each time you’re reading/learning something new. How can I apply this to get my game better?
Go to events:
This is often underestimated, but events are one of the biggest ways to learn new stuff, do networking and show your game. If you think that tickets are expensive, you can take them as an investment for your future.
- Learn something new: Events are always full of workshops or keynotes where you can learn new skills.
- Build your connections: Events are one of the best ways to do networking. You can meet a lot of interesting people with a lot of good stories to share, plus you can find good contacts for future jobs/collaborations.
- Show your game: If you want to get your game in front of other developers or journalists, then events are on the best way to do so.