Of the few panels at New York Comic Con relating to video games during the first day, this one proved to be on of the most influential. With a panel of professionals in video game development particularly in indie games, we got some helpful tips and advice about bringing your video games ideas to life. If you dreaming to make you own game, have a great idea, or are bouncing the ideas with friends, here are some helpful tips when planning to start your video game project.
- When it comes to video games, one must not be passionate about making games for the sake of money, but more so for the love of games. This is what makes small start up game developers successful as new game developers are not going to make a Tripel A game their first time. Plan ahead; make your first 5 games lead up to your dream game leaving chances to grow and learn. Starting small and building up is less risky than aiming high and losing time and money.Having the game small and polishing it to a good game is the best means to creating game that will be successful.
- Include features that will be fun and engaging. Most small mobile games or indie games are fun and engaging. There are two reasons for this: (A) these type of games are more likely to keep a gamer engaged and playing the game often, (B) when making a proposal to a video game publishing company if the game is attracted within the first 5 minutes, it’s a winner. Granted, you will desire to have specifics qualities in a game, whether it is different from the norm, but the first 5 mins need to sell itself. Remember that in certain instances in order to be successful, you will need to make sacrifices. This includes giving up on ideas you might be to attached to let go for the sake of your video game.
- Create a prototype and test immediately with friends and family. Your best gamer testers are in your immediate circle. Utilize those around you for criticism on your prototype. The quicker you create a prototype and have it test, the faster your have criticism to make changes for a better game. Just because you may think a game is perfect the way it is, doesn’t mean it will sell. If your testers keep playing it and explore the game more than you did, you’re onto something.
- Don’t build your own tech. Sometimes the great ideas we have are better saved for when you have the tech to do. Figuring out something above what you can handle can kill a game at the start. If it can’t be helped, reach out to communities with NYC Game Meetup for advice and possible help from sources that have knowledge in the area your having trouble with. When it comes to tech, the most used and mentioned software for video game development is Unity. Not only is it free, but there are an abundance of tutorials and lessons free to use online. Again, focus on building the game, not the tools.
- Only release on open platforms for your first couple of game. This decrease the likelihood of jumping through holes, contracts, and possible fees that could stop your game from being published. It costs money to put an indie game on XBLA; that fee comes out of developers pockets. Use publishing software for iOS, Android, PC, and Steam for less risk. Using campaign funding sites like Kickstarter makes funding for bigger games a lot easier. However, remember that most audiences want to see game play, otherwise they won’t invest.
You don’t have to be a great artist to make a decent game. Passion and diligence are the true elements to any successful video game. Hold onto your dreams and never give up. One final note, if you asking for money from a publishers for your game, know you’ll have to retain less ownership of your video game. At the end of the day, it depends on what aspect of the venture is most important to you.
Narz is CEO and founder of Girl Gamer Vogue, lead video game columnist at Knickerbocker Ledger, and writer at Gametyrant.