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  • 125 Things I Learned While Developing Games

    - Steven Honders

  • 81) Winning awards is nice, but generally awarded by people that will not buy your game.

    82) Although awards won't sell your game, they do give you exposure with media.

    83) Media attention is great, but what really makes you game successful is people telling their friends about it.

    84) Don't shy away from giving away free copies of your game, even to smaller sites/ youtubers/ streamers.

    85) If one free key convinces two people to buy the game, you make more money than it cost you.

    86) Don't buy games from friends, because they're your friends, buy the game because you want to play it.

    87) The reason for this is that if you do, other 'friends' will expect the same treatment.

    88) Nowadays, if your game is stuck on Greenlight for more then a month, it's just not good enough.

    89) This doesn't mean it isn't good, you just need to go back to the drawing board.

    90) If your game isn't remotely fun after the first few weeks of development, it probably won't be anytime soon.

    91) Ditch that concept and start something new, instead of trying to fix it. Chances are it'll never be worth the time investment.

    92) Every person you hire will cost you money. Even when it's a revenue share.

    93) Don't forget to spend time on hobbies outside of gaming.

    94) Don't spend all your time on a project, you'll lose motivation faster. Take breaks.

    95) Don't be afraid to invest money, it'll be worth it in the end.

    96) Avoid going into debt at all costs.

    97) If someone promised you something, don't be afraid to remind them of that promise.

    98) Don't be afraid to cash in favors.

    99) A good game has meaning and value for a player.

    100) The easiest way to accomplish this is to make your game 'fun'.

    101) If you lose motivation, and you will at some point, take a step back and remind yourself why you're doing this.

    102) Fights will happen in a team and that's OK. Just be sure it's about something important in the game.

    103) Also be sure to really listen to concerns that people have in your team, even if you don't share them.

    104) In general, never forget it's a team effort.

    105) Never hold back critique when someone asks you for feedback, but let it be constructive.

    106) When pointing out a problem, be sure to consider possible solutions.

    107) You're responsible for your own successes and failures alike.

    108) You're never unique in your problems, someone already dealt with them somewhere.

    109) Get comfortable with presenting in front of a crowd and public speaking.

    110) 'No' doesn't necessarily mean 'Never'.

    111) Submit your game to competitions and selection procedures for events.

    112) Remember that games are made to be played by people. Don't be afraid to let someone fail at your game.

    113) Some of your players will be idiots, design your game remembering this fact.

    114) But never expect your players to be stupid, always take them seriously.

    115) Never be discouraged when trying to get your game noticed, keep pounding on that door till it opens.

    116) Playtest your game and iterate a lot on it.

    117) Collect data while playtesting, but don't forget to follow your gut feeling as well.

    118) If an offer sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

    119) When you're speaking from experience you're never wrong.

    120) But your experiences don't have to be the same as someone else's.

    121) Never lie just to fit in or be part of a conversation.

    122) Don't be afraid to admit that you don't know something.

    123) Have one person be responsible for the PR and trust them to make the right decision.

    124) You'll have to release your game at some point, even if that means you're not 100% satisfied.

    125) Never give up!

    Some of these might not be clear enough, if you want me to elaborate on some of these points don't hesitate to contact me on Twitter ( or send me an e-mail (steven[at]speelbaars[dot]com). Really, don't be afraid to ask ;-).

    If you don't agree with me, please let me know why, so we can learn from your point of view as well.


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