There is a widespread problem with indie developers embarking alone onto projects that have massive scope without having the means to support their efforts. Enthusiasm alone cannot take something to its completion, especially when you’re dealing with something as ambitious as the development of a complex game. Before embarking on anything of scope or difficulty, it’s important to know the following:
Have a clear outcome. Developing games is a long and arduous process. It is important to know what you want to achieve from the game you are working on. Many times we see young developers wanting to develop the next game that everyone talks about. That is all well and good. However, how do you accomplish this? Well it’s quite simple. You need to know where you want to end up. If you do not do this you could be a year into developing some game that doesn’t even make sense.
Make a realistic assessment. Once you have a clear and specific outcome, you will need to take an inward look. Do you have the skills and resources to accomplish this outcome? Do you need to learn how to use a certain game engine? Are you able to put in the work day in and day out? Do you need to recruit other people to help with the execution of the game development?
Have reliable support resources. You are going to be in front of a monitor for many hours. Everyone gets overworked at some point. You will need a way to replenish your energy and maintain a balance in your life. Some ways that you can do this is by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and maintaining consistent sleeping hours. We know that this is not new information but it really does have an effect on your performance. You will be happy you maintained a balance when the hours get grueling.
Talk with other game developers. Networking with other game developers has two key benefits. First you get to talk about the problems you are dealing with. Many times there is someone who has come to that hurdle before and found a solution. You can also bounce off concepts and ideas to see how effective they are at accomplishing what you would like. Second, knowing that there are others just like you doing what you love and overcoming challenges is very motivating.
Be extremely patient. Now, be more patient than that. Developing a game takes a lot of time and energy. There are days you simply don’t feel like doing it. You will have setbacks. The key is to understand you need to get back up and figure it out. Some people think they will do it when they are motivated. This is flawed thinking. You do it and the motivation will come.
Produce quality work. When embarking on this quest to build your own game you must produce quality. It is far better to execute a game that has a specific goal that provides value to the player than it does to create a large game with lots of features that provides no real value to the player. Take it from us. Do small things in a great way and the gamer community will reward you for your efforts. Focusing on the quality will give you motivation to finish the game and make it a success.