How to make your dream game

So you have been playing games all of your life but none of the games out there are quite what you are looking for.

So, you decided it’s time for you to make your own game.

Not just any game, THE game.

The game that will revolutionize the gaming world.

The game that will speak to others the same way your favorite game did for you.

Well no worries my friend.

Today I will outline the 3 tools you need to make your perfect dream game.

1. Technology

We are living in the golden age of game development.

Every tool you need to make you game is not only available to the average user, but is also, for the most part, free.

Back in the day, the Quake 3 Engine had a cost of $500,000 USD, per game plus royalties. An impossible price for small developers.

Meanwhile, the powerful Unreal engine 4 is completely free to use with a relatively small 5% royalty. After making over $3,000 in a fiscal quarter.

Unity, on the other hand, requires no royalty fees at all. They just require a subscription fee to use their latest technology.

3D models can be made for free in blender and textured in either Blender or Kald.

For every basic piece of software you need, there is a free version out there, with more powerful and versatile software available to you if you have the funds.

Another great way to both learn and save time is by purchasing or finding free plugins and marketplace items for your game engine of choice, because your not building your own engine right? That would just be silly.

With so many different programs there’s a lot to learn, but with online tutorials, there are loads of resources to get you started. But mastering each of these fields is a different story, which brings us to the second tool you will need.

2. Talent

Even though we have access to many of these resources for free, a program won’t simply do all the work for you.

Each one of those free programs takes hundreds of hours of experience to master. And, to make a game, it requires music, sound, art, programming, design, writing, and so much more.

You need to have a mastery of all of these categories at least in some aspect, right?

Well, you could just focus on the skills you are proficient in…

But this is your dream game!

You need to be equally good at each skill to achieve a level of consistency across the board.

Or, you could work with teammates who have the skills you are lacking.

But they would mess with your vision! And can you risk that?

Given enough time, you can master each one of these talents for your game, right?

But that’s the biggest challenge of all. Time.

3. Time

On November 1st, 2016, the game owlboy was released for windows computers, with ports to various consoles on the way.

It was a triumph of a game, built by a small but dedicated team of five that received almost universal praise.

The creator was inspired by the many games of his childhood.

I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that this was a dream game.

But, Let’s be clear. This game took 9 and a half years to make.

Nearly a decade.

That is a huge chunk of time.

That is a huge chunk of your life!

Think about where you were ten years ago, think about what you liked ten years ago, and think about what your life goals were in 2007. Are you the same now? Is the gaming world the same now? Is the world the same now? Are you ready to work on this game for a decade?

Now, I am not trying to scare you away from developing games. I actually am trying to help you make them.

One of the reasons that Owlboy took so long to make is that they kept remaking the game because it wasn’t up to what they thought fans were expecting.

But maybe they should have finished those games.

Maybe they should have done the best that they could do at the time, release it, and then started on the sequel. Now, that is not to say that they should have released half baked ideas. Rather release smaller games.

Then we could have had three Owlboys with the final one being the crowning achievement. Don’t think that it would work? Just take at what the creators of owlboy did.

Spending so much time on the game made the developers wonder if they were even capable of making a game. So in the summer of 2013 they did just that with Savant: Ascent.

A simple quick good game sold for a small price that brought in some cash and taught the team how to finish a game.

But I hear you say, “Those games weren’t made by one person! They were made by a whole team working full time. How can my game compare to theirs?”

The answer is scale.

Don’t try to make your entire dream game from the start. Make a slice of it.

Then build on it in the sequel.

Over ambition will leave you with unfinished projects and unhappy players.

Focusing on obtainable goals can get games made and helps more players become interested in what you have in store next.

And if that slice is too much to handle by yourself, try working with someone else on it. Ten people working on one game instead of just one makes for better games.

And be willing to change your vision.

I had a very clear vision of what the comic for our game was supposed to look like. And it wasn’t the same as what it actually looks like.

But you know what? It actually exists. And that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been willing to work with someone else. Between everything else that I have to do on Novaborn and a full time job, there are simply not enough hours in the day.

As a bonus tool: The true solution to making your dream game is teamwork.

I know you have the drive and passion to make your game happen. I just wanted you to know what I learned while making my own dream game. We learned the hard way that all the dedication in the world won’t help you if you are not ready. So we are starting small and working our way up. With the dream game in our sights for the future.

So in summary:

  • Use the free technology we have in this day and age
  • Focus on what you are good at
  • Work with others who have different skills
  • Make smaller games to prepare for bigger games
  • And be willing to compromise and take criticism

I hope you get to make your dream game. Because we need dreamers in the gaming industry that bring those dreams to life. One step at a time.

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