Thread: Where to start?
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
Destin Bales
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Default Re: Where to start?

Congratulations on putting together a team! That can be one of the hardest parts, so you've already cleared one major hurdle.

In my opinion, if you try and learn everything at once you and your crew may become overwhelmed. There is simply so much that information out there, and aspects to creating a business, that trying to tackle too much at once could put you in a state of analysis paralysis.

My advice? Start with one game. Get that game on screen and fun to play and then go from there. Maintaining the morale of your team will be one of the most important challenges you will face, and the best way to do that is to have compelling playable content to share with others.

I think that you should consider creating a milestone development plan for your project. You can read up on the various ways to do this, but from a high level what you want to achieve includes:
- Outline the features of the game (I suggest using a mind map tool to do so, see FreeMind as an example)
- Outline the phases of development (Ideation, Pre-Production, Alpha, Beta, Launch, Live Service)
- Create a draft of the milestone cadence. For AAA games some studios use 4, 6 or 8 week milestones. For your indie project I would suggest no more than 2 week milestones to keep things moving at a rapid pace.
- Then funnel each feature from your mind map through an iterative development process such as Design, Rough-In, Playable, Polished.

Some other tips:
- Build this plan with your team, not for your team
- Complete a post mortem at the end of each milestone and improve both the process and the plan as you gain experience
- Once you've completed your first game, then take the next step in terms of learning about monetization strategies and the like.

For more advice on how to build a career in game development see my site at www.ineedtomakegames.com

Good luck, this project sounds exciting!

- Destin
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