GameDev Protips: My Personal Take On How To Overcome The Odds And Succeed

If you have an amazing game that you’d like to make or something you want to work towards, it’s easy to have grandiose visions of your eventual success. Such self-confidence is a highly important part of the entire process of discovering your passions — working towards your goals and eventually achieving success. But self-confidence in the absence of other supporting traits is not enough to get ahead. In addition to passion, confidence and a strong sense of self-awareness, you need to learn how to plan and execute your ideas.

There are many hardworking, highly driven people who are strongly passionate about their ideas. However, once they set off on their journey, a lack of proper execution means that good ideas suddenly become bad ones, or factors beyond anyone’s control could derail their plans. For example, you are an exceptional game designer and create a game that could easily be game of the year. However, this critically acclaimed game is a financial failure and receives almost no attention. You think to yourself “Why did this happen? Did I just get unlucky?”

Despite your lofty goals, you might not sell as many copies as you had hoped. You start recalling your development cycle and realize that you didn’t make room anywhere in that cycle to advertise your game, and because of this, nobody knew the game existed despite its excellence. You think even harder and realize that finding team members to help develop the game was also difficult for the same reason… you were completely unknown. Turning your ideas into reality can be compared to creating a game. You might have a flawless outline but if you can’t find team members and consumers, it’s basically meaningless. Proper execution can be the difference between a dream and a career, or a hobby and a business. Without proper execution, it is difficult to get things done in an orderly manner, much less recover from mistakes or keep your options flexible. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to get things done and to do them right.

Remember to start with the end in mind. Think about your vision and plans for your future. What do they entail? Are you thinking about what will happen far into the future? Are your plans sweeping and grand? If not, then they should be. You should think big because doing otherwise is selling yourself short. You need to have some confidence in yourself that you can make all your dreams come true. Even if things don’t exactly go your way, you can at least do part of something grand. If you limit the scope of your vision, even if you get everything you want, you might not get as much as someone who had wilder dreams but fell just a bit short. You might not develop the next classic game or build the next Steam but you could still make a comfortable living through game sales.

When working, think small. It is important to consider every little detail when you work. I’m not saying that every little detail is necessarily important, but rather just that everything has to be considered. If not, then unexpected difficulties could occur. Additionally, you should break your work into small, manageable chunks. This way, you will make progress towards your goals slowly and steadily. If you only have large tasks, then your situation will seem insurmountable and giving up becomes more and more tempting.

If you wish to get things done efficiently and effectively, try to concentrate on only one goal at a time. If you feel that this is impossible, just try to keep your efforts as focused as possible. Not dividing your efforts doesn’t mean simply focusing when you work but also developing a strong core for your skillset or business before branching out. For example, while Facebook and Google are large companies which do business in numerous fields, they each have a core competency; Facebook specializes in connecting people with one another, while Google specializes in searching for information. Without these core competencies, companies would not be able to branch out in the ways that they do. So instead of trying to dabble in numerous areas at once, try to develop a strong core skillset. Otherwise, you have a bit of skill in numerous areas without having enough ability to be professionally competitive in any one of them.

When presented with an opportunity to expand your skillsets, business, or your personal brand, it is important that you seize them. You never know when something else might come up. A good example of what not to do would be what happened to Kodak. Despite inventing digital photography, Kodak did not see any value in the new technology and refused to invest in it or change its business model to accommodate it. Thus, more forward thinking competitors such as Canon and Nikon were able to take advantage of the market later on, forcing Kodak into bankruptcy. Because they didn’t seize the opportunity to further develop their technologies and innovate, other, potentially more agile competitors did.

If it doesn’t look like there are many opportunities out there, then create them for yourself. Try out new ideas that have never been done before (when it comes to games, try fusing genres that other developers may have overlooked). Try to work with different people, or work on your own for a period of time. Help and teach others if you can. You will inevitably discover new chances and new opportunities, but this will only happen if you constantly push beyond the limitations set by your environment and circumstances. By creating opportunities for yourself at every step, you will able to grow and develop as a person as well as a game developer.

Others may declare your dreams to be nonsense or tell you to simply accept your place in life — I personally have experienced a lot of this. Do not allow your dreams to die. Only by going against the grain can you truly achieve your dreams. At points, you may feel lonely and isolated, knowing that it can be difficult to get people to support you, but remember that only by going against the grain and doing something that nobody has done before can you achieve greatness. Despite the fact that nobody is entitled to anything, it’s highly possible to achieve personal success, should you choose to work for it. If you work harder and smarter than everyone else, you can defy the odds and succeed when everyone else expects you to fail. Especially in the world of indie game development.

Important Takeaways: While you might have groundbreaking ideas, these ideas will not matter if they are not executed properly. This doesn’t mean that your ideas should be small, however; actually, the opposite is true. Having grand plans but falling short is often more satisfying than just having small plans. Consider every little detail in your work so that unexpected, undetectable problems don’t arise later in your work; this can greatly relieve the potential stress of having to troubleshoot or proofread every little piece of your work and realizing that there’s a critical error that can only be fixed by starting over. Always break your work up into smaller pieces so that you aren’t tempted to give up from the sheer weight of a huge task. Focus on a core competency, not because you shouldn’t expand but rather so that you have the opportunity to expand in the future.

Always seize the aforementioned opportunities to expand whenever possible or you risk being outpaced by competition. If these aren’t available to you, then create them for yourself. Push beyond your limitations and you might just find something perfect for you that allows you to grow and develop. Don’t let others push your dreams around because you are capable of independent thought and know what is best for yourself. You can obtain anything that you wish, should you choose to work for it. If you’re working harder and smarter than everyone else, you’ll have a much greater chance to succeed even if everyone else expects you to fail.

GameDev Protips: How to Stay Consistently Motivated In Order To Finish Your Indie Game

Even the best and most seasoned indie developers will fail miserably if their motivation is lacking. A person’s motivation is one of the most important factors in their work quality and efficiency. Without motivation, ideas become generic and the game’s design may be just “acceptable” at best. A lack of motivation indicates a lack of care, which may directly lead to the catastrophic failure of the indie game. As should be obvious now, keeping this motivation up is important for your game’s success, and there are several ways to do so, which I’ll briefly go over below.

One of the easiest ways to make your game development workflow easier is to break your tasks up into smaller tasks. At least in my case, I’d definitely be intimidated by a worklist saying “create an epic game.” It just so happens that if you break that task down into creating game mechanics, art, music, or other parts of the creation process, then break those tasks down into even smaller tasks, the entire project looks much more manageable. You’ll never finish your game if you try to tackle the entire project at once, and finishing even one game will put you leagues ahead of other developers who may trip over the very first hurdle.

Another way to help keep your motivation up is to simply not be motivated. While this sounds oxymoronic, there is a good reason to say this; I mean that on some days you should purposefully avoid working on the project. Nothing will kill your motivation more quickly than repetitive, boring tasks and getting sick of your job. If you don’t break up your workload, you’ll lose the motivation to work on it before you’ve made any significant progress. Feel free to take a day off and relax so that your work doesn’t become a grind. Of course, make sure you have the discipline to come back to the project or your entire development time was a complete waste. Another potential solution to the repetitive tasks is to simply vary what you’re working on so that you can feel accomplishment that will motivate you. As long as you leave each section in a state in which you immediately know what needs to be done, you’ll be alright.

Some people take a bite-sized approach to this strategy and instead just assign specific time frames for their work. Instead of having multiple full days of work, some people prefer having a full week of half days of work, or some other time difference. This can help people who don’t have the discipline to return to their project after a break and can also make you feel like you’re doing more work than you actually are; taking days off can make you feel lazy and cause you to push yourself too hard when you return, reversing the benefits of the break. In addition to simply not working on the project, delegating specific tasks to certain days can help as well. If you have days where you would normally have a relatively large amount of free time, assigning yourself tasks that require lots of focus will help keep your workload bearable. If you keep having to deal with these incredibly intensive tasks on already busy days, you might quickly be exhausted and lose your motivation to work.

Sometimes us developers have a problem with burning ourselves out, but sometimes the opposite is true; sometimes developers have the most trouble actually beginning their day. We already mentioned breaking tasks up, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. My favorite way of dealing with this is purposefully leaving a task unfinished. Since the task is unfinished, you can immediately start back up on it tomorrow instead of coming to work with no idea what needs to be done. This helps ensure that your work is proceeding at a consistent rate.

If you’re just feeling lost in general, go back to your “why” to put you back on track. Ensure you know exactly what you’re doing, and what your goals are. When it comes to code, make sure that you completely decode your design then refine that design or accompanying models to make your guide easier to understand in the future; failure to do so will just lead to more confusion later on that will be even more frustrating. Any frustration that comes from a lack of understanding is simply a disconnect between what your code is supposed to do and what it actually does, so visiting references to verify your existing code can help solve this problem. Remember to keep your code as maintainable as possible — the more bloated your code gets, the harder it is to stay motivated further down the line, as the smallest changes can force a mountain of work upon you.

The games that I personally make are labors of love. The goal isn’t primarily for economic gain, but rather emotional gain and personal satisfaction. I made my games solely because I wanted them to exist. If this does happen to be your primary motivation for making your game, staying motivated will be significantly easier. Throughout development you will receive support from various members of the community and you will push yourself harder to not let them down by not releasing the game, further motivating yourself to cross the finish line.

Important Takeaways: A lack of motivation leads to a lack of work, so it’s important to keep that motivation high. Making your task less daunting by breaking each big task into several small ones will help you push through until the end without feeling an overwhelming urge to give up after trying to tackle too much at once. Breaks, be it full days or sections of every day, will break up the monotony of some tasks in game development and replenish lost motivation that would otherwise come as a result. This can also be done through varying your task selection on a regular basis. If your main trouble is just beginning your day’s work, try leaving tasks purposefully unfinished so that you can immediately pick up where you left off on the next day and not have to think about what’s left.

If you’re being frustrated and losing motivation because of it, make sure you understand exactly what you’re doing, and if you don’t you should take the time to clarify that. Fixing your own references by refining them will make this method easier and easier as time goes on. Finally, the strongest motivator is also the one that cannot be utilized willingly: genuine passion for the game. If your primary focus is the quality of the game rather than the potential economic benefits it brings, you will be much more likely to push through hard times and make that indie game development dream come true.

GameDev Thoughts: Is Making Indie Games Really Worth It?

Making a successful indie game may sound like the easiest thing in the world from an outsider’s perspective, but is probably just as hard as rocket science. Okay, so maybe not that hard, but difficult enough that the overwhelming majority of indie game developers can’t make it anywhere close to a sustainable career. The barrier to entry is low, but the overall cost is pretty darn high since you’re either spending a ton of time or a ton of money during the development process. If you self-publish your game, you and your team will ultimately foot the bill. Weigh the odds and consider the production cost of each idea. Crowdfunding can help turn your game into a reality, but you will still be responsible for any unforeseen costs. What about website production, paid advertising, and playtesting? These are all things your supporters might not be willing to pay for. There is always the option of finding an outside publisher for your game. AAA publishers have plenty of funds and almost any need you have as a designer will be taken care of. Smaller publishers have less money, but they generally tend to provide greater creative freedom. Which publisher you choose depends on your monetary needs as a developer and their specific terms. Ask yourself how much support you actually need, and how much freedom you’re willing to give up for it.

Playtesting is another factor to consider when selecting the right project to work on, and whether that project is worth it. If you have a completely new or complicated idea, you need to do much more playtesting in order to make sure that the game is balanced. Also, games introducing novel ideas must be well balanced and free of bugs lest you create a bad first impression that ruins future sales. Quality assurance testing should be very thorough and exacting, in order to create the best product possible. This product isn’t just for fun; it has to pay itself back! Sometimes framing game development in a business sense may be a bit off-putting, since indie game development is largely all about the passion — but the goal should be to make a game that’ll allow you to continue to make more games.

Even if you have chosen the right idea, you need to ask yourself if you’re actually willing to commit to it. This new project could easily burn up the next couple years of your life, take priority over your relationships, consume your disposable income and otherwise occupy your life. Your dream of seeing this game come to fruition has to has to take precedence over almost every part of your life. Also, consider whether or not you’d be willing to commit to the development process on a full-time basis. It might be risky, but you might never finish your game if it’s made on a part-time basis. Your bills will still come barrelling towards you regardless of whether you’re actually working on the game or not, so the more time you can dedicate every day the better your chances of surviving. The reality is, you might go broke. You always must consider the possibility when you’re going to make a game. Sure you might have savings, but what if those become depleted because of one personal emergency or another. What if a business partner of yours decided to secretly spend the majority of your Kickstarter money on liquor and strippers? What if you realize deep into a project that it’s simply not going to work out in all practicality? Game development is financially risky, so make sure that you have contingency plans before you start making a game in order to accommodate any unexpected situations.

Important Takeaways: Becoming an indie game developer is a risky endeavor. Before deciding that indie development is for you, consider how much in the way of time and money it will take for you to produce and how much you’d be willing to commit yourself to creating and publishing the game. If you don’t have the resources to finish your game on your own, then you might consider enlisting the help of a third party publisher. Your choice of a publisher will rely on your financial needs and your desire for creativity, meaning looser terms. There are pros and cons for both the larger publishers and the smaller ones, so consider them carefully. You might go broke during the process of making an indie game, so make sure you have your finances in order and a good buffer zone. Even if you have a perfectly sound development plan, unexpected scenarios can throw a monkey wrench into things. Indie game development may or may not be worth it, depending on your tolerance for risk, and your level of passion.

GameDev Protips: How To Reach The Finish Line And Ship A Successful Indie Game

In the tough world of indie game development, your level of success and self-worth is only as good as the games that you finish and release (or so it seems, anyway). In many people’s eyes, success is largely predicated on the quality of your shipped products. This isn’t completely true, but we’ll roll with it for now. So, in order to be truly “successful”, you need to first learn how to take care of yourself. While this is a somewhat broad and abstract concept, it is highly important that you really do take care of yourself. Many people pursuing their dreams just want to throw themselves into their work without considering the consequences for their physical and mental well-being. While enthusiasm is a commendable trait, the problem is that an initial burst of enthusiasm and success can give way to stress and ennui once adversity sets in. People who don’t take care of themselves make themselves more vulnerable to the hardships they will inevitably encounter on their personal journey. When you’re consumed entirely by work, it’s easy just to give in to exhaustion, boredom, and stress. Burning out well before you can achieve your goals can definitely be detrimental, not only to your work but to your dreams as a whole.

Another obstacle that might stand in your way is anxiety. This can be very difficult to deal with and can present a major problem to pursuing your true passions. It can be a lonely and difficult road as an indie game developer and your situation can alternatively be discouraging and frightening. One of the biggest problems for many people is that anxiety can make decisions very difficult. If you are suffering from anxiety, every decision you make now comes with paralyzing fear and lengthy amounts of time spent obsessing over every detail before you are able to commit to anything.

While a little bit of anxiety can be helpful in preventing impulsive decision making, too much of it is obviously a bad thing. It’s important to remember that while you are paralyzed by indecision, the rest of the world is moving past you. You may miss certain opportunities simply because you were unable to act in a timely manner. Dealing with anxiety is a complicated matter, but the best way to overcome anxiety is simply to act. If you find yourself constantly obsessing over a decision, it’s best to pick one choice and stick with it. Even if you make a poor decision, you can always recover from it later, however, not making any choices means that you will not move towards your goals and the rest of the world will move on without you.

You only get one body, so it’s important to take care of it as best you can. Make sure to take care of your body by getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough exercise. Having to take care of your body should not be seen as an extraneous chore, but rather a vital part of pursuing your goals. Being healthy means that you can get more work done in the long run, because you’ll lose less time to preventable illness, and because you’ll be far more productive as a result.

With time and practice, almost anyone can become reasonably skilled at anything. However, time is valuable. Because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, everyone learns new skills at differing rates. It’s best to learn things related primarily to your personal goals while delegating or outsourcing less related skills to other specialists. This is because we only can do so much on our own, and the best results usually come as a result of teamwork. For example, in an indie game company, you’re better off sticking to your own expertise rather than trying to learn how to do everything. A programmer doesn’t need to be designing art assets; you should just recruit someone else for that. Not only will splitting your core competencies result in shoddy work, but it’s terrible for your mental health as well. This isn’t to say that you should be completely clueless as to how to perform tasks you might need in the future, but in terms of what is best for spending your time, it’s better to not learn the fundamentals of art design while your artist is trying to type out a “Hello world!” program.

Life is not a video game and there is no way to truly win. Nor is there a high score, leaderboard, or any other truly quantifiable method of success. Many otherwise successful people never stop chasing fame and fortune; despite their success, they tend to become bitter and disillusioned, since there’s always more to do and more to see. If they stopped to consider all they have achieved in their lives, then they would feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Instead, they are angry with the world, simply because they let their view of other people decide their personal happiness. Always remember that you don’t have to actually ship a commercially successful game to feel successful — it is important to define what success means to you. Success can mean shipping a billion copies of your game and buying a beachfront house, but it could also mean comfort, self-understanding, or just pride in having created something all your own. It is also up to you to determine what sort of lessons you’ll learn during the course of your personal journey. Learn from others, but don’t spend too much time comparing yourself to them. Above all, take it easy on yourself. As long as you try your best and better yourself in the process, then everything will be worth it in the end once you ship your game… unless you completely fail at marketing, but that’s a different challenge to tackle.

Important Takeaways: Being incredibly efficient with your work and making games that you’re truly passionate about will mean nothing if you keel over halfway through. The initial burst of enthusiasm from finding the perfect job can make yourself more vulnerable to hardships in the future if you let it control you, and can cause your dream as a whole to sputter out. If you’re struggling with anxiety, simply act; every second wasted could be a missed opportunity, and if you just stick with a choice from a difficult decision, it can be recovered from later if it’s the wrong one. It’s important to remember the physical and mental aspects of your body as well; being healthy will mean more productivity in the end due to less sick days and less obsessing over aches and pains.

Despite your enthusiasm for making games, don’t try to do everything by yourself; hiring people who specialize in other areas allows you to dedicate yourself to your own area and create a better project overall. This doesn’t mean that you should completely ignore other potentially important skills, but there’s very little point in learning something completely new that will only be situationally useful and can be accounted for with additional staff when you’re already proficient with something else that’s always going to be useful. Don’t let a false image of “success” or the lack thereof ruin your life. Define what success is to you on a personal level instead of what the rest of society thinks, and also determine what you’re going to be learning on that path to success. Even if you don’t necessarily succeed by your definition, as long as you’re trying your best and improving yourself in the process, you’ll always be heading towards success.

GameDev Protips: Three Quick Useful Tips For New Game Designers

Do everything in your power to make a good first impression. Everyone likes a good movie, but if they get bored several minutes in, there’s a good chance that they won’t stick around for the ending. The same holds true for a game. Don’t think of your introduction as a necessary evil to get to the good parts of your game or the ending, but rather as a way to showcase the type of game-designer you are and what makes your game interesting. People are playing your game because they want to be entertained, and attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. If you don’t hook them right away, they might miss out on the best parts of your game. Make the beginning memorable and exciting.

Keep your game’s play sessions relatively short. Your game should be accessible in small chunks. While the amount of time allocated for each play session can vary depending on genre, player skill, and player demographics, players should be able to go through your game’s core loop in a fairly short amount of time. Time is a commodity and attention spans are short; this means that your players will want to fit in play sessions into whatever spare time they might have. When you force long play sessions onto players, you risk alienating a lot of your player base. Allow for sufficient lulls in the game’s pacing. Even games with long sessions will actually have meta-goals in order to allow for breaks.

Make efforts to effectively appeal to your game’s target audience. Carefully research your game’s target demographic to make sure they’ll enjoy what you have to offer. Before you start working on your game, you want to know which demographic to target and how to target them. This includes knowing which devices your target audience uses and where their interests lie. A game that has no particular target audience will most oftentimes fail to capture anyone’s interest. Having a solid audience is also crucial for product development, playtesting, and marketing.

If you’re not sure of who you might want to target, you’re probably making a game that you’d like to play personally. Knowing this, identify what groups you identify with, and seek them out. If you’re a male in your mid-twenties who loves action RPGs and is currently making a game in a similar genre, there’s a lot of others similar to yourself — actively seek them out and see if they might be interested in testing your game. Ideally, your audience will be present at every stage of your development process to make sure that all the kinks are worked out and that it’s a game they’ll want to return to. Choosing the wrong audience can be disastrous for your game’s long-term appeal. If you want your game to be as successful as possible, do yourself a favor and place as much emphasis as you can on market research.

Important Takeaways: The most important ways to improve player retention are to make a good first impression, keep play sessions short, and make sure that your game is being marketed to the right audience. Players are busy and if you can’t make a positive impression in a short period of time, then they won’t bother with your game. Furthermore, many people don’t have the time to sit down and spend long, uninterrupted periods of time playing a game, so make sure that you can break your game up into short sessions. Lastly, make sure that you’re marketing your game to the right people, since the people that you’re trying to sell your game to might just be uninterested in your game from the outset.

GameDev Protips: How To Be A Billion Times More Productive

Despite having lofty goals and dreams of fame and fortune in the realm of indie game development, there is so much to do and so little time to do it. Unfortunately, most of us lack superhuman powers, meaning that our physical and psychological capabilities are limited. Having limitations can be quite discouraging and if you find yourself constantly running into them, you might want to give up on your dreams. However, there are ways to overcome your flaws and limits in order to unlock your true potential. Now, if you do happen to have superhuman abilities, please feel free to skip to stop reading right here.

Okay, so one of the most important keys to reaching your potential is to keep focused. Without focus, it is impossible to get much done, as you will be distracted and unable to focus your full attention on any given task. “But I can multitask!”, you might exclaim indignantly. “I multitask every day!” However, humans without superpowers are not capable of multitasking well. What is actually happening is that you are constantly shifting attention between various tasks. Doing so causes stress and exhaustion and will prevent your brain from working at maximum efficiency.

The human inability to multitask is best illustrated by attempting to perform two activities which require a large amount of cognitive resources. It is impossible to check Facebook and get your work done at the same time, or talk on the phone while attempting to code some kind of complex algorithm. I mean, let’s take for example, your phone. This device is available to most people and can be a huge distraction. How many times have you stopped working to check what notification made a sound on your phone? However, smartphones and other electronic devices can definitely help your productivity as well by providing reminders and allowing you to save things you would otherwise not remember. What defines whether electronics will help or hinder you lies entirely within your mindset. In order to focus, you must fully commit yourself to any given task.

“But I’m super busy. I have tons of things to do. I’d never get anything done without multitasking!” The key is not to pay attention to only one thing but to pay attention to one thing at a time. Before allowing yourself to check your texts, or browsing facebook for a bit, assign yourself a task and tell yourself that you have to finish it before doing anything else. It doesn’t have to be a major project; it can be a small task, so long as it has a clearly defined goal. Don’t allow anything to distract you as long as that task is left unfinished. By doing this, you can provide your full attention to whatever it is that you’re doing. When you’re finished the task you’ve assigned for yourself, you can go do something minor, like check your emails. Once you’ve done that and you’re ready to get back to work, assign yourself another task and only do something else when you’ve finished.

Also, it’s important remember to give yourself breaks from time to time. You have a finite reserve of willpower and you won’t be able to work as effectively if you deplete it. Staying focused can be very difficult and if you don’t give yourself enough breaks from whatever it is that you’re doing and you run the risk of burning out entirely. As noted above, the amount of willpower you have is finite. You only have so many psychological resources that you can dedicate to any given task. If you spend too much time forcing yourself to get things done, you will have less energy for other tasks later. For example, if you want to actually finish your indie game, you can consciously force yourself to work extensively on it every single day. However, after a certain period of time, your self-discipline will give way, or you will grow weary of that game’s development, and you will subsequently stop.

A good way to maintain certain behaviors is to develop habits. For example, brushing your teeth in the morning is a habit (or at least it’s a habit you should have). You don’t force yourself to brush your teeth every morning, or exert any willpower in doing so; you simply do so out of habit. For a new activity, such as forcing yourself to work on your game project, instead of telling yourself or forcing yourself to develop it, tie it to an activity you already do, such as brushing your teeth. If you put your development sessions after waking up and brushing your teeth, after a while, your brain picks up on the cue of seeing your toothbrush and you’ll start developing your game afterwards without thinking too much about it. By turning your work into routine habit, you will be able to find the strength to stick with your goals.

Many people believe that hard work will guarantee them success. But we’re not meant to be successful at everything. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or disheartened when we encounter setbacks or failure. Frequently, failure can come as a surprise, especially if you have not accepted your flaws and limitations. To better understand yourself and your capabilities, you need to know what makes you great. Make a list of things you’re good at and then make a list of things you’d like to become better at. Consider what steps you need to take in order to develop these skills and abilities. Also, consider whether or not these skills will contribute towards your long term goals. While doing this takes time and a significant amount of insight into your own strengths and weaknesses, it will also help you invest your time wisely. It’s important that you invest your time wisely because we only have so much of it. You should be directing your efforts at things which really matter to you. “But how do I know what interests me? How do I know what I’m really good at? What kind of indie game should I make?” you might ask. These are great questions to ask, and should be considered carefully. In this case, it can be helpful to get some input from others as well. Ask people such as your friends, colleagues, teachers, and career counselors about where your strengths and weaknesses lie. They can provide valuable insight if you’re having trouble figuring things out.

While none of us are the best at everything, it is important to try as hard as you can. If you aim to be the best at every single thing you do, you’ll inevitably be rewarded for your efforts. While it can be difficult to get recognition for your work at times, sooner or later someone will notice and they’ll admire your diligence.Having a daring and industrious mindset is a major key to success. History is replete with examples of people becoming highly successful despite starting out in very modest surroundings. Google is a very good example of a company which has become successful despite its humble origins. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had the fortitude and commitment to break away from academia and the corporate ladder and founded a company on their own. This can happen only when you bypass the regular system and begin to work towards goals that you have set for yourself. Although it can be risky and difficult, it can also be highly rewarding, not just because you might become rich or famous, but because you did so through your own merits and hard work.

We spend most of our lives on a path constrained mostly by societal pressure. Most of our effort is wasted on tasks others expect us to do. However, it is important to learn how reject these societal pressures and learn how to follow your dreams if you intend to truly thrive. You need to be firm, ignore potential distractions, and just focus on doing the work that matters. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old; all that matters is that you are passionate and able to commit your time, skills, and experience towards what you love to do. Ignoring society’s expectations can be difficult and it does require a lot of courage to stand up and defend your dreams. What’s most important is to spend time on the right things. Don’t wait for permission, and know when you have to say ‘no’ to outside pressures. You will be amazed at what you can achieve. Who knows, you might actually end up creating the next big indie game hit.

Important Takeaways: We have a limited amount of time and resources to work on what we want to achieve. It is important for us to learn to overcome any flaws or limitations in our lives so that we can spend as much of our time and resources as possible doing things that actually matter to us… such as creating a truly good indie game that sells enough copies for us to continue developing games. Perhaps one of the most important steps to this is staying focused on work and eliminating distractions, as anything that is splitting our attention is also splitting our work efficiency. You can always check those distractions after you have completed some significant task, and this way you’re not splitting your attention; this isn’t about only worrying about one thing, but rather only worrying about one thing at a time. Oxymoronically, you have to give yourself frequent breaks to be able to work as efficiently as possible. If you burn yourself out doing something, your work efficiency becomes much, much worse. Similarly, make sure you’re not just forcing yourself to do something. This will also contribute to that burn out and make your work less efficient. One way of stopping something from feeling forced is to develop a habit out of it by tying it into your daily routine.

In order to properly prioritize where you’re putting your time, develop a list of things that you’re good at doing and things you’d like to improve on trying to do. Knowing about the contents of this list will help you decide what is most important to you and allow you to allocate your time accordingly. One of the most important tips in working your best and spending your time wisely, however, is simply trying your hardest at everything you do. Having good time allocation doesn’t matter if you’re not trying to do anything, and work will never be efficient if you aren’t actually trying to work. Trying hard inevitably results in rewards somewhere down the line, so you may as well prepare for those rewards now instead of missing your opportunity. Whatever you’re doing, though, make sure it’s actually something you care about. For example, if you’re making an indie game, ensure that it’s something that you legitimately want to make — not just something that you hope will make you a ton of money. If you’re not doing something that you’re passionate about, stop doing it. That’s a difficult request and will require lots of courage, but you’re only spending your time well when you’re following what you truly care about. Optimize your time by focusing on what matters to you at the exclusion of all other distractions.