Hi every one, I've hovered around this site for a while but never actually posted. It's always been a very useful wealth of information and experience so I thought I'd try and share my experience so far trying to do what I love as a living.
I by no means am a professional and every thing is simply my opinion of what I have learned in the last several days of trying to get my game Moon Riftfunded.
so what I've learned.
You Have to Make it Happen:
I always thought that being successful had a natural order to it. You go to school, you get into a lower level position and then you work your way up, all the while someone holds your hand through the whole thing. This of course can work for a lot of people but when I found out that the courses I needed to take cost over 150,000 dollars I figured there had to be another way. So instead of waiting for something else I said screw it and just started working any way with out any credentials or experience on successful projects, and honestly, I'm really I'm happy I did.
Failure is Success:
By this I mean that even though something didn't work out or get finished it doesn't mean it wasn't worth it. This has been said a million times but it still bears repeating: learn from your mistakes.
Moon Rift is by far from my first project, as with most people I've been through dozens of different Ideas and prototypes before something stuck. This game isn't even finished and with out funding might not even happen but it's definitely the proudest of anything I've created as well as the most confident I've been in a project.
Work Work Work, and Then Work Some More:
Again this one is probably obvious but making a game really is a lot of work. Of course it is exciting and fun for a lot of the time, especially when your doing the parts you like, be it the art, music, maybe your really into to tweaking the physics or designing combat formulas, I don't know but every one has their favorite aspects.
The real work comes in later when you get to the tedious bits. No one likes making menus, they're boring, time consuming and seem so unimportant to the game. I've discovered that writing down what needs to be done, not just what you want to get done helps a lot to make sure you stay on task.
Rescue time :https://www.rescuetime.com/ is also an extremely helpful recourse as well as logging your work time. Writing every thing down really seems to help prevent you from spending too much time on unimportant details that might not even go into the game!
Nobody Can Like Your Game If They Don't Know About It:
This is something I wish I knew a week ago. Just because you have a super awesome game that you feel should blow up doesn't mean it will. Unfortunately marketing is a huge part of being successful and really requires almost as much work as the game itself. There are plenty of helpful sites out there especially this one: http://www.pixelprospector.com/indie-resources/ but even then its become apparent to me that staying relevant is a huge amount of work, especially for someone with zero networking skills like me.
Do Your Leg Work First:
This one may only apply if your trying to get a project funded like I am. Every single crowd site resource will tell you this; let people know ahead of time. While I figured this was aimed at larger projects it really applies to everything. I didn't realize how many sites would have approval times or how hard it is to get something out there when you don't have anyone else referencing you.
I'm already four days into my campaign and am lucky enough to start getting interview offers and a page feature or two but this is really something that should have been done before hand. start building buzz for your game early. Only when you have something to show though! Ideas are a dime a dozen and no ones going to pay attention unless you have a proof of concept.
Don't Stress out Too Much:
This ones hard for me to say because it's a piece of advice I'm not even following right now. But in the long run there are always more chances just because a game doesn't succeed now doesn't mean it won't later, or that you have to stop making games in the first place.
If this doesn't work out for me I'll simply go back to part time game design, which right now seems devastating but in the long run you'll always be able to do what you love:)
Once again I just wanted to share what I have learned so far, if you find any of this useful that's fantastic, and if you think this is stupid and I don't have enough experience that's fine too I just wanted to share my opinion