Archive for Indie Game Development

The Revolving Door!

Unfortunately when starting any big project with a team of people there will be people who are doer’s and…… let’s just say the other people. Never be afraid of these other people’s opinions and don’t worry wether they are interested in the project or not. Just let them go!!!! We like to call this “The Revolving Door”. The reality is, not everyone will be interested in your project. Actually there will be a lot of people who will hate it and will try to slow you down.

Word to the wise for any new developers, bring people on that want to be a part of your project and are willing to do anything to get it done. How do you determine who’s really in it to win it? Well if you email them and it takes more then a day or two to respond…. let’s just say chances are the project is not at the top of their priority list. Communication on any project is extremely important, especially in smaller teams that work remotely. If any individual cannot communicate their ideas or status on work then “Trust me!” they are not the one you want on your team.

In our experience there are plenty of talented people who are cool and easy to work with. So you should never waste your time on anyone who can’t get the job done. Now for the good part of the “Revolving Door”. Once all those people come in then walk right back out, you will find those few that are interested in what you are creating. For a any new developer this is a huge sigh of relief because you start to realize that your not alone.

Understand this is an extremely open minded industry and there are individuals who want to be part of something new. With that being said, there are different styles and views on games so keep a like minded team that wants to build entertaining games. Keep your eyes sharp, mind open, and you can build a productive team and create some amazing games. Remember its a vision only few will embrace, so grab those few and make that vision a reality. Until next time, keep on keeping on!

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Eggs in 1 basket – a warning!

Lesson one: a very important lesson – which should be avoided at ALL costs and can be summed up in one word – PROTOTYPE! Do it first and DONT do ANYTHING else!!!

When starting our first small game, we had a group of about 10 volunteers. With that many people, tasks start getting handed out quick so everyone is working on something. Stuff starts getting done. We moved quickly at first, although still behind our ‘perceived’ milestones, we were seeing results early.

The problem is by the time we had a playable prototype, 1/2 the art was already completed! Once we started playing we quickly realized that the game mechanic was not as great as we hoped, but with so many assets already completed or in production, we were locked into the game ‘as is’, because we didn’t want to waste all the energy we put into those assets.

Bottom line? – refine that game mechanic first! Play it, refine it, and do it again. Iteration at this phase is critical. Don’t start making ANY assets yet. I am not saying don’t think about art direction, tech issues, or marketing. Think about it, but not too much. Getting the base ‘play’ style down using primatives and basic shapes is key. If it’s fun while it’s ugly, you might have a winner.

To sum up, it’s really really hard to keep interest in a project if you think the outcome is going to be just so-so. It’s even more painful to finish a project if you have created almost all the assets only to see your once grand vision fade to something simply mediocre. Making it fun without any bells and whistles is key. Your team will thank you for it!

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Let’s start logging this journey!

Hi All,

Decided to start a blog to track our game dev journey! We have had so many stumbling blocks that I feel it is imperative to share this info with aspiring indie developers. Hopefully we can break ourselves away from the actual development once in a while to keep this thing updated, fingers crossed!

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