Mine too. It really takes a lot of hats to make and sell a game, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until you’ve tried. Know what I mean?
Does that mean I’m giving up? HELL NO! Read on:
Hello, my name is Trevor and I have a resolution for 2013 that I’d like to share with you.
I want to become a professional video game developer. If I make games in 2013 and can earn just $1 from making them, I will have accomplished this goal.
If I break that goal down, what do I have to do in order for me to earn this $1?
- Make at least one good game.
- Share that game.
- Earn $ from it, somehow.
Let me work backwords. As I see it, there’s two ways for someone like me to make money from my games:
- Ad revenue
- Direct sales / donations
I am VERY much against ads. I hate them. I’m not going to make you look at them if I can ever help it.
So what do I need for a direct sales / donations approach?
- I need to be maintaining an up-to-date website which showcases my games.
This brings me to subgoal 2: Sharing the game.
Like I said, I need to be posting my games to the web. This is going to be really hard for me, because I HATE being on the content-creation side of anything web-related, and I’ve avoided the same for ages. But, I know I have to get over that hatred to accomplish my goal, so that’s what I’m gonna do.
Another thing that I’ll need to get over is my fear of failure, which would otherwise keep me from taking the risks I need to take.
And that brings me to sub-goal 1: Make at least one good game.
How do I plan to do that?
By getting lots of practice, making lots of games, and hoping at least one of them will turn out well. This is going to mean not being afraid that some of the games I’ll be creating and sharing with the World are going to suck. In fact, I should expect that many of them will suck until I gain more gamedev experience. I shouldn’t be putting all my eggs into one basket; focusing on one epic game that takes all year to make is clearly not the way to go.
Alright, so that brings me to my first chunk of 2013: January. My goals for January are:
- to gain experience posting games up to this website
- to gain experience making games
- most importantly, to accept the fact that both the website and the games are going to be far-from-perfect while I’m starting out, and not to let that stop me from making the attempt.
My plan for achieving these goals is to post one game I’ve made every day and make one new game every day. I will try to spend no more than 30 minutes per post and I will usually try to keep the development time of each game to around two hours.
Please don’t get the wrong idea – these will NOT be good games. Most of these games probably won’t be complete or fun. This is not meant to be a demonstration of skill or a feat of any kind. This is about getting practice.
I will be posting the games I make in the same order I make them, so I’m really hoping that after a month, the average quality and completeness of my games will be noticeably better.
Near the end of January, I will assess my progress and set February’s goals. Handling things one month at a time will let me keep my greater goal manageable, and let me respond to my progress instead of trying to predict it.
If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you have a similar goal or that you’ve already earned your first dollar. If you are in the same boat as me, feel free to take my plan and adopt it to suit your own strengths and weaknesses. Then, let the world know how it’s going! It would be really fun for me if I knew I wasn’t the only one doing this.
If you need ideas for practice games, you can follow me on twitter, @coderTrevor. each day in January I’ll tweet the game theme / name / idea of what I’m working on and what I’m posting to the site that day with #1gad. I’ll be scouring the web for theme generators and name generators, looking for the perfect one-game-a-day simplicity each day. I’ll also be using my own ideas and those suggested to me.
If you are one of those awesome folks who’s made that first dollar, I’d REALLY appreciate any words of wisdom you can leave for me and my fellow n00bs!
More than anything, this is about me embracing failure and learning not to care. So please, when I release a bad game, and I definitely will, embrace the not-caring with me!