the piston being laughed at

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Game Development

TLDR: What's the most important advice for new game developers?

  • 1. Start big
  • 2. Keep adding features
  • 3. Use only the best game engine
  • 4. Delay everything & attend some courses first

Sarcasm alert: Do the exact opposite to everything said above. Game development requires you to at least have a game finished so you can sell it.

These points are all growing pains that developers will go through at some point when making their own game.

I would like to enter into the fray that one should not try to avoid the common mistakes that new developers often stumble across but instead, go full steam ahead, do it hard and do it fast.

Just rip the band aid off. Failure is a sign of progress and these 4 points are important milestones in becoming an experienced developer.

1: Keep your project small, focus on your game development cycle

You will overestimate everything!

It's vital you keep your project small, If you can't finish the game alone or with minimal help within 60 days. It's too much work. Write down all the tasks required on a piece of paper; cut it half, then cut it in half again; it's called a diet.

Acquiring skills is the critical point here when first starting out in game development. In order to make money from selling video games, you need to have a finished video game ready to sell.

Early on you don't have much experience in gauging how much work is required for ideas, only experience will fix this.

So hurry up, start your project, finish it within 60 days then do it two or three more times. Your goal is to complete the project.

Which leads to the next point.

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2: Feature creep is not your friend.

Before you start, open up notepad.exe or mspaint.exe; write some notes and/or doodles of what the game should look like and do. You're after the "Minimal Viable Product"

Focus on the bare minimum needed for this idea. Is it a match 3 then you'll probably just need a Main Menu, A Match 3 Level and a Result Screen.

Once the minimum is finished, It will direct you as to what is important and what is not.

It's very easy to take the bait by going down the rabbit hole where you start adding new features because a friend said this would be cool or you read a post about this or you played a game and liked that mechanic.

Every time that thought comes to your mind, just go back to notepad.exe and focus on the task at hand.

Your goal is to complete the project in your game development cycle.

3: Don't overthink it, Just do it.

I can hear you rejecting my words already, "But Mr-Know-It-All, what's the best game engine? Which programming language is better? How do I find a team ? Is it better to work with an artist".

You Mr New Developer are in no position to be asking these questions. You haven't even uploaded a Hello World App or made Flappy Birds Clone to Tasks which take literally 30 minutes to complete with a youtube second by second guide.

It's incredibly easy when starting out to get bogged down in idealism, pontification and procrastination.

As with point #1, the most effective method of combating these types of thoughts is with your very own experience.

It's very easy to get hung up on the details. Reddit is in no short supply of thousands of stories by passionate new developers who get burned out within weeks.

You can steal a man's idea, but you cannot steal his conviction.

Should you use Unity, Godot, Javascript?

Answer: Pick a game engine, programming language and finish the quest. Every minute you spend on Quora or Reddit discussing what you should do and why is a minute you could have been finishing your very own game.

Your quest is clear, complete the project; Then repeat it.

4: You don't need a fancy degree to make games

A game is effectively lines of code manipulating images on the screen to get a person to perform a repeated loop.

A university degree, udemy course or whatever is not a magical tool to produce that.

There is no such thing as learning the basics before making a game.

Thanks to breadtube (YouTube), there are thousands of hours of content walking new developers on how to produce all sorts of products including games.

If you have a potato computer, access to YouTube and can read this article then you are more than capable of making your own game.

Once you've made your first application, You can go out there into the world armed with something most people who argue about making video games don't have. Genuine experience making a game.

Yes, You making a Match 3 game and uploading it to the Google Play Store counts as you having game development experience. Don't sell yourself short.


If its taking you 1 year of 80 hours a week to make your first game; That's a very bad sign.

The games industry has shifted to accommodate the new spending habits and how media is being consumed through social media.

The days where a 'solo developer' could sit in a cave in 2009 with zero feedback or testing, commission a couple bits of art then upload a game to the new developed App Store then break even fairly quickly is over.

If we take for example the average PC User that has steam installed, including yourself. How many of them have hundreds of games on their Wishlist that they have been waiting to play but never do?

How many have accumulated 50+ games in their Steam Library that they struggle to justify spending time on?

This is the market your game is competing in.

Finishing two or three of your own games is vital for getting the skills needed to break into your customers mind.

- Pistol Taeja

Can you make money while making your first game?

debula sketch female p for pistol

Yes, make your dream come true by releasing your game so you can build your first game and earn money while doing it.

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To make a game is very similar to running a marathon, its difficult but there is a path forward.