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  • How To Create Great Indie Games: Make Lots Of Them!

    [09.17.20]
    - Michael Nannings
  • If you want to become a good game developer you need to make lots of games. Let's first start with why you need to be productive. The more games you make the better and faster you become at making games. Every new game you make is a new addition to your portfolio. Publish your games on different portals to see what the players think about your game, see what works, and what kind of ideas don't.

    You can work on a game for years, release it, and then find out that no one will want to play it. If you took your big idea and strip it to the core and release it like that as a game you would know it wasn't as fun as you think it was. You can prevent making your games too big by keeping a short deadline and the scope small.


    Keep it small

    If you have an idea to make open-world RPGs or the next GTA then shelf those ideas and think smaller and simpler ideas. Smaller games are faster done which in return minimize the risk. By consistently releasing games you keep motivated instead of burning out on one big project. Every time you release a new game it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

    I have a lot of unfinished prototypes sitting on my computer and some of them I spend many hours on. Some prototypes are concepts that are too big in scope to ever finish in a reasonable time frame. One prototype for example is a roguelike but to complete this game I would need more than 1000 different images for the objects in the game.

    At the beginning of a project, you are excited and motivated but after a while, you get bored by staring at the same art and testing your game over and over again. Even if you stick to your plan, new ideas keep flowing into your mind, there will be a time when you are too weak to resist starting a new project.

    Game Jams

    I hear a lot from other devs that they lack ideas. The best thing you can do is train your brain. Organize a mini-game by yourself, open your favorite game dev environment, and try to come up with something fun in a couple of hours. You can think of simple one-button games you play on your phone.

    If you really can't think of something just create an old classic like pong and add something unique to it. Consider joining a game jam like Ludum Dare, visit itch.io to see if there are jams that you can join. or join a game jam in real life like the yearly Global Game Jam.

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