GameDev Protips: Common Traits Of Great Game Developers

Great game developers will work through early mornings and countless nights to make their game successful. This means developing, polishing and most importantly shipping a finished product. Delivering great games as opposed to empty promises is the first step on your path toward success. A good game developer should worry about making and selling games, instead of worrying about whether they appear to be successful or not on the surface. You don’t need to buy that fancy new laptop, or even a professional edition of Unity — just start working using the tools already at your disposal. No excuses. Mediocre developers lack the patience to develop and market their creations. They always look for shortcuts and prefer to spend their time making other people think they’ve made a great game, when in fact, they haven’t even started. One only has to look at the myriad husks of empty projects littering Kickstarter to understand just how far a developer can get talking about their great idea, only to see it fade away into the void of failures.

Remember that you need to maximize your game’s potential. You never know whether there is more to your storyline, list of features or characters unless you put in the extra time and find out. Great game developers don’t wait for funding or additional resources to start making games. They proactively seek ways to raise capital, whether it be through investors, crowdfunding or even stocking shelves at Walmart if needs be. When money or resources are tight, they will reduce the scope and content of their games. Many highly successful games, such as Flappy Bird, did not take much in the way of resources to make. So if some guy in Vietnam working on his own is able to ship a highly successful game, you can too.

A less dedicated developer will frequently use a lack of funding or resources as an excuse not to proceed with development. They exceed their deadlines and make excuses, refusing to proceed until everything is “just right”. Goldilocks wanted everything “just right” and ended up getting savagely mauled by a family of bears for her troubles. Don’t be like Goldilocks. Make due with what you have.

Great game developers don’t sit around waiting for the “perfect” idea to come to mind. A good game developer, even if they have no idea what to make, will draw up concepts, make smaller games, design levels, write stories, play with new technologies or learn new programming languages. That proverbial apple isn’t just going to fall from the tree and hit you on the head when you need it most — what have you done with your life while waiting for the perfect concept or idea to happen to you?

You need to find ways to get your games shipped. Great game developers make things happen and start working on their games no matter how small a step forward it is. Mediocre game developers will always give an excuse as to why their game hasn’t panned out and most of the time will blame the engine that they chose or some other external factor instead of their own limitations. A good developer will move forward and will not make excuses for a lack of progress. Funding gets pulled? That’s fine, reduce your scope. Engine sucks? Switch engines. It really doesn’t matter what happens and as long as you want to make a game, there will be a solution to your problems.

Important Takeaways: Deliver great games, not empty promises. Putting in the time and effort is the only way to deliver a successful product. Maximize your games potential and look around every corner and in every crack and find that extra bit of flair that your game needs to realize its full potential. Bring your ideas to life in a way that has never been done before. Find a way to get those games into the market. Stay persistent and understand that even if you fail, you can simply start again on something new.