Post tutorial RSS What you can learn from my first game release

This article covers the crucial things I learned in taking a game to market. If you're like me and have dabbled in game development for years but never released anything, this is for you!

Posted by on - Basic Other

(Also posted this to Reddit)

Yesterday I released my first game ever on Google Play – Sir Hopsalot

It’s a retro inspired endless runner with a knight that can do sick double jumps.

I’m writing this so that if you’re in the same boat I was, you can get some actionable advice to get your ideas to market.

  • Stick with your engine - Don’t change what you’re learning with unless you’ve hit a real barrier in development – so much time is lost if you keep starting over. Re-learning basics isn’t fun.

  • Do tutorials – to a point. I chose Godot as my engine of choice this time around and after a series of tutorials, I was ready to start implementing what I learned immediately.

  • Keep it simple – I had ideas for enemies and abilities that would have only increased my project’s complexity (with a negligible benefit to game play). By keeping my game based on one mechanic (double jump) I was able to complete it in less than two weeks and balance it accordingly.

  • Difficulties happen – it’s a part of the process. I thought the art would be a cake walk and it was much more difficult than expected. Ad integration took me ~2 days as I had to learn the implementation with an external module and compiling Godot from the source code.

    Stepping away instead of obsessing helped me overcome roadblocks regularly.

  • Marketing – it’s as hard as everyone says it is. I’m still not sure what the best platforms are to get noticed on, but I’m dipping my feet in everything – Twitter, Facebook, itch.io – basically trying my best to be available on as many platforms as possible, and soon I will create my own website as well. Attempting to build an audience from the start is the goal. Facebook has had the most initial reach by a LONG shot, so reach out to your family and friends.

I hope you got some value out of my post – I’m really proud of my game and I would love to hear your opinion. As an indie developer you’re probably aware of how hard it is to get good feedback.

I post more frequently on Twitter than here, so if you’re interested in my future projects follow me there!

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