Hey there, Gamers and Game Makers!
Welcome to another Game Dev Advice blog. In this, the first of the quick tips series,I'll try to break down some key fundamental tips that will help you make better games and decisions in promoting your games.
Tip 1: To Make Great Games, You Have To Play Great Games
This may seem like a simple one and you may even say "Isn't playing other peoples games a waste of my time when I should be making mine?" Well, games development while a very technical job is still at it's very core such a creative one and at the end of the day you are an artist.
Like any other creative medium, your work is a result of the things you draw inspiration from. This inspiration can come from anything really. Movies, books, music, nature, life experiences and yes, games are obviously going to be a big source of inspiration for a game developer. The games you played growing up will most likely be a big influence on the type of games you make. Games you play now will also be a source of inspiration for you. Seeing a particular game mechanic may inspire an idea in you for something in your game. A strong narrative game may inspire a new way you think about writing for games. So to make games, you need to play games.
Tip 2: Work Balance
While it's important to be very motivated and driven in order to make a game, it's more important to take care of yourself. It's very easy to become obsessive about your work and begin to neglect other aspects of your life. Finding a balance that works is different for everyone. For me, I set aside an hour and a half to workout four times a week. I make time for others in my life and take breaks to read, watch movies, listen to music and most importantly time away from all technology. Even if just for an hour in the day.
The better you manage your work life balance, you'll not only find your work will be better but that you'll also feel better as a person and at the end of the day that's what counts.
Tip 3: Finding Your Style
When making games, we're surrounded by extremely talented people in the industry. They can be folks working on the latest AAA title in a big studio to a guy or girl in their bedroom working on their first ever game. Regardless sometimes we compare our work to that of others and feel like it's not good enough or we wonder why we can't do something like another person did.
Games development is a creative process and as with any creative medium, people have their own styles and ways of creating. The key is to figure out what your style is and develop and grow it. Focus on what you enjoy making and see how you can evolve the look. This is one of those things that you'll just have to give time. But if you do dedicate time to it, you'll see that you'll develop your own style and that it will keep on improving with every project.
Tip 4: It's Ok to Fail
Being a creative means that you will try things and a lot of times those things don't turn out the way you want. An idea that you felt at the beginning may turn out to be something you hate. Making a game is a scary process sometimes. As a developer you not only invest so much time into making a game but you also invest so much of yourself into it.
Each game is a reflection of a part of you and that can make it all the more frustrating if you fail. But here's the thing. It's ok to fail. It's better to try and fail than to fail to try. If you fail, simply pick yourself up and learn from that failure. Use that knowledge and improve on the next project and the next and always keep learning. If you're motivated and passionate about something, you've got to keep at it and keep trying.
That about does it for this week's blog. I hope it's been of use to some and asalways, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch.
Until next time!