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  • Doing The Impossible: The Guts And Glory Success Story

    - Jedediah Steen
  • "I want to quit my job and make games for a living."

    I thought my wife would fall out of her chair laughing when this sentence came out of my mouth. After all, I was working a full-time job, attending multiple online college courses, and digging my way out of debt. Not to mention I was in my mid-thirties and had zero professional game development background. Hell, I didn't even know what kind of game I wanted to make!

    Instead her reply was "Okay babe, just be smart about it." and she went back to drinking her quad grande two-pump mocha with whip cream and sprinkles. At least I had one thing working in my favor.

    Over the next couple of years, I would finish my bachelor's degree, build a game demo, market it, crowdfund it, sign a publishing deal, and quit my day job to do what I dreamed of doing since I was a kid. I actually made it!

    Guts and Glory was my first video game project. It hit #1 on Steam Greenlight, #1 on it has remained for months) and has sold well over 100,000 copies in Early Access, where it hit the Steam Best Seller list for short time. Version 1.0 launches this Summer for PC and Consoles

    Screenshots of the (now defunct) Steam Greenlight stats for Guts and Glory

    As a solo project, Guts and Glory was a big success, but it wasn't easy. In fact, it was one of the hardest journeys of my life and I made many mistakes along the way. To help others who may be traveling this path, I've put together a list of helpful tips and advice. I could probably write a whole chapter on each of these points, but I'll do my best to keep them concise, yet valuable.

    (If you don't like reading, you can find a summary of my story in the first half of this video.)

    Your passion will become a chore

    Genius Game Development is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.

    I think the altered Thomas Edison quote above sums up game development quite well. Most of us get into this industry because of our love for the craft, but I think many of us don't realize just how much work goes into building a game until we actually try it. If you're new to gamedev, realize that no matter how much you love what you do, there will be many days where it becomes a chore; it comes down to good ol' fashioned hard work to actually finish a project. If you realize and accept this before beginning, you will have an easier go of it.

    Don't let anything distract you from the task at hand!


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