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[Survey] What is the difference between a 'wannabe' and a professional GameDev? (Forums : Development Banter : [Survey] What is the difference between a 'wannabe' and a professional GameDev?) Post Reply
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Nov 23 2017 Anchor

I'm curious guys, which of these things do you do as you develop games? And how good are you doing them? [Survey]
I'm trying to figure out in the most precise way possible what is the difference between a 'wannabe' gamedev, and someone who can live from making games. What do you think? (Some of the questions are a bit hard. Have fun!)

Nov 23 2017 Anchor

Probably the wrong answer, but I do work with a 'mentor'.
Why? There is a huge difference between theory and experience. I suggest: get a mentor.
Will this make me/you/us a pro? No clue. But for now I do what he tells me to do. And so far, real cash is coming into my account.

Nov 25 2017 Anchor

Mentor doesnt make any of us pro, its just shows that we lack of something or not believing in our work, but at the time when you dont need mentor anymore, and you succesfull without him, you can call yourself a pro.

Nov 27 2017 Anchor

I agree. While having a mentor is not going to make you a pro automatically, is by far the faster way to become a pro, in my experience. And thank you for helping me with the survey! We are almost there.

Nov 29 2017 Anchor

Thought GameDev is just a job title (so in general that the main difference one is a job the other is a hobby) in my personal opinion both types of people can be more similar than you think. Both can earn a lot of money and barely anything, both can have a massive team and a small indie group, both can create amazing things and both can do poorly. So, in general, the only main thing that creates differences between wannabe and GameDev would be the passion to its own work.

I saw wannabe with 20 years in industry working for a large sum of money creating really amazing things in a massive project with as little passion as you can possibly imagine treating this as work only that has to be done. At the end, though the game looked really good it lacks that special spark/touch that would make a game great. It was just another pretty copy paste game with nothing special.

We should not look at this as a job title as at the end what people are doing is art, something that will affect people and create classics in industry. Something that people will remember for years and go back to after decades. I can bet that some of you still play games that were made 10, 20, 30 years ago.

So in my personal opinion, GameDev is not a job title, but it's a state in which you create your game.

Edited by: Lionsart

Nov 29 2017 Anchor

It depends by natural skill as well, some beginers could outperforme pros, I saw it before

Jan 21 2018 Anchor

Money. If developer earns from games enough to live AND continue development, he is a pro. Otherwise, he is a wannabe.

Nightshade Technical Artist
Jan 22 2018 Anchor

"A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct, enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations" -- Wikipedia

Lazy answer, but to my defense I found the survey pidgeonholed for solo indie devs and possibly managers - and I am neither. Also, I do find the wikipedia description to be spot-on in my case.

Edited by: Nightshade


Technical Artist @ King - an Activision Blizzard division
Portfolio | LinkedIn

Mar 4 2018 Anchor

Money. If developer earns from games enough to live AND continue development, he is a pro. Otherwise, he is a wannabe.

Totally agree! as this is what defines between Pro and Amateur, (although pro is not always better than amateur). I've seen many Devs who started part-time but ended up quitting their job and go full time. Like myself, I'm not pro since I'm still relying on my monthly income from other sources.

What Are You Stupid Playable Demo

Mar 10 2018 Anchor

Continuously developing one's creation I think. Money, Popularity, Trends can be a good indicator. Good gamedev surely create himself at least one of that or in case he isn't, he will make someone earn a lot of those things from their workpiece.

Jun 29 2018 Anchor

I don't think that "wannabe" is the right term here ... maybe pro vs. amateur is a better way to think about this like Beat-Fu says. If you are consistently making games, are employed by a larger development company, or can sustain employment in the field, I think that makes one a pro game dev. But plenty of people start out doing game development as a passion outside of the jobs that actually pay the bills and move their way into a game dev career.

Dragonlord Linux-Dragon of quick wit and sharp tongue
Jun 30 2018 Anchor

I've seen a large number of so called "pro"'s having no real passion for what they are doing but many more so called "non-pro" which outperform them in this domain by a large margin. So "pro" really is no quality label here.

And don't use the term "wannabe" for what you are asking here. It's a negative term for people thinking they are great at doing something but actually have no skills at all or little skills.

Also masking a profit does not equal quality or passionate work. Many grossing titles are down-right boring and a grind-festival with little passion behind it. On the other hand really great games did not get the attention they deserved. "making money" might line up with the "pro" term but it's not equal (many pro studios went bankrupt with publishers staying alive laughing... and boy they are really not passionate about games in the most time).

Edited by: Dragonlord


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Sep 2 2018 Anchor

I think it is an objective thing:

The difference between a game that could be made in a day, or if it was a game that is very hard to make even for experienced people.

For example the Lost Soul Aside

The game was created by one person, yet thanks to the quality of the game - no one would dare say it is done by a wannabe.
On the other hand, flappy birds, (before its success), people could say it is done by a wannabe.


Test out your game plot, by publishing it as a story first.
You can use for that, and you can even leverage your followers to download the game after you are done writing.
If you do, read my story, and I will read yours.

Sep 12 2018 Anchor

Professional: Someone who makes a living from making games. Alternatively, someone who has shipped a game.

Wannabe: Someone who makes games with the hope of making money from them in the future. Alternatively, someone who has the intention of shipping a game in the future, even if for free, but who has not shipped one yet.

Jan 28 2019 Anchor

To me the difference between a professional and non-professional is simply money: if your primary income is from developing, you're a professional developer. If it's not, then you are not a professional developer.

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