It had already been established in my previous post, that developing a videogame is not an easy task. It is not just about having fun, miraculously creating awesome content and waiting the 10/10 reviews to roll in. Without patience, determination and a bit of a talent, the average wannabe developer will quickly get bored with he mundane parts of the development process.
Now the question is, how on earth did I manage to finish a videogame, working on it more than a year, and not giving up halfway? Afterall, I couldn’t produce a single mod, not even a single custom map in the last two decade. I wasn’t cut out to be a videogame developer! Actually, even after finishing my first project, I’m still undecided if I count as a real indie dev. Am I really a developer? Afterall, the amazing indies who created games like Braid, Eador, Underrail, Minecraft, are great artists, coders, composers and designers. Meanwhile, I can’t code for sh*t, my art talent is probably on the level of an infant, and I’m sure I couldn’t compose real music even if my life depended on it. How could I be called a game developer? Hell, one of the reasons I chose RPG Maker as the engine for my first game was because it is one of the most user-friendly engines out there. Simple enough for a child, they advertised.
Simple enough for a child, powerful enough for a developer – just what I needed
Yet, when I spent day after day, week after week creating maps, scrolling through dozens of scripts and used them with my limited scripting knowledge, when I was looking for the most fitting soundtracks for my project, I couldn’t help but to think, yes, I am developing a videogame, I am a developer. Even if the most amateur one. It felt damn good. And when I got my first few positive feedbacks, it was so satisfying. Like that time when someone told me that the despite the limited assets of the RPG Maker engine, my map composition was pretty good. Or the time when they liked the music in the game? Really? You like that?
I still know my limits, but I feel that I’ve gained a lot of experience in the last year, during the development of A Long Road Home. This is the part where the determination comes into picture. There were times when I was on the brink of giving up. Not because of frustration, I just felt that I’m not enthusiastic about the project anymore. I was bored with building maps and spending my free time on writing dialogues. I even started to doubt my game. Who would want to play this anyway? – I asked myself. This is nowhere near as good as the work of other indie developers.
And then, I found the answer. I don’t really care if they want to play my game or not. I mean, of course it is great if they play it, I want to create a game which people enjoy afterall, but for now, this is just a hobby for me. I don’t feed my family from the profit of this game. If a few people will give the game a try, I will be satisfied. If they buy it, I will be in heaven. What more could I expect from my very first project? Realizing this gave me the push I needed, and I finished the game. Now, I can prepare for my next project, with more experience, a new engine and the same determination.
What you can all take away from this is that if you start your game developer career from scratch, just do it as a hobby. Enjoy doing it. Don’t ask yourself if people will buy your game or not. I’m not saying you can’t dream about success, even I dreamed about getting filthy rich. Just know the difference between reality and dreams, this will make your life much easier. Just put in the effort, and if you are willing to learn, the results will come.