Hey there, Gamers and Game makers!
This week, I'm going to talk a bit about when you should start talking about your game and my opinions on how you should do it.
Deciding when is the right time to start talking about your game with the world can be a very tricky thing. On one hand you want to start talking about it as soon as possible so that you can start growing interest in it and get a fan base established before launch. On the other hand, you don't want to talk about it too early as ideas and concepts can change and you may come to feel that your game idea wasn't that good and you cancel the game in the end and now people are mad that a game they were potentially interested in is no longer in development and they have lost some faith in you as a developer.
In my experience, years ago when I first started making games I would tell anyone who would listen about my game idea. This is way before I had the sense to prototype my ideas and I just assumed the idea in my head was pure gold. It rarely was. So what I found was I would start talking about this great game idea I had and all the features it was going to have. The good news is I was good at getting people interested in my game. The bad news was I hadn't wrote a single line of code or even a basic design doc at this point.
So, when I would start on these games that I had talked up so much, I quickly realized I was in way over my head. the game was too large in scope and beyond my budget and skill to develop. This meant the game was soon dropped. Sometimes and this goes for AAA and indies today that you'll have developers talk about a game they are developing and mention aspects of it or features but when the game comes out, that feature is not in it. This often angers people because something they expected to be in a game is not there and they feel ripped off. Now what often happens in these cases is that a developer will talk about a feature that they plan on putting in the game that sounds good on paper but once they start testing it, they soon realize that it's not fun and they remove it. The player never got to play the feature so they don't know that it wasn't fun. They just know something they were told would be in the game now isn't.
So how do you know when the time is right to talk about your game? Well, in all honesty that really depends on you and how you feel about your game. Some people like to talk about it right away and share development news right from the start talking about things they put in the game and a week later that feature could be cut but they want to share the whole process. This is a great approach for your first game as you can learn along the way and document your process.
I personally like to wait until after I've made several prototypes of my game idea and establish a solid core gameplay loop or I've nailed down the narrative of the game. People who follow your game development progress also want to see that you are sure of what you are doing and that you are taking the time to develop on ideas before releasing them to the world. Before you start talking about your game, make sure you've developed your idea fully, created a design doc even if it's a basic one and prototyped your game to a level that you are confident in the games design and are ready to move forward. However if this is your first game, I would say talk about it and share its development right from the start as you'll get more feedback that will help you learn as a new developer.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog and found it helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment below.
Until next time!