In this video, Jesse Freeman talks about why it’s important to make more games even if your first few aren’t successful. Making games is like any other skill you need to learn so the more you practice, the better you get at it.
- [Instructor] The key to being successful when making games is to actually make more games. While it may be frustrating when you first get started, especially if people don't play or pay for your games, it doesn't mean you should give up. I talk to a lot of game developers each day, and they all have the same story. The more games they have in the store, the better their sales are. This happens for two reasons. First, the more games you have, it increases your chance for discoverability. And two, the more people that like your games, the more of a following you get.
So they'll actively go out and look for the other games that you've developed. One of the byproducts of having more games in an app store is that you get more downloads. When you make more than one game, they're all featured on the game's download page under the section that highlights other games made by the same author. That means that each additional game you make basically gives you free advertising for your other games. In addition, any time you release a new game, you might actually see a lift in sales for older games because they're able to discover the older games easier.
While there's no magic formula for the right amount of games to make, I can tell you that after 30 or so games, I'm still learning on each of the games that I built. And by going into each game, hoping to learn something new or to challenge myself in a new way, I know that building the game and actually releasing it is the most rewarding part. One of the things you'll want to do to avoid burnout is to be creative each day. Be creative every day for at least 30 minutes, even if you're already working on a game or you're just getting started.
It's important to challenge yourself daily to keep your motivation going. One of the techniques I use is something I call a code warm-up. The basic idea of a code warm-up is to spend at least 30 minutes at the beginning of your day just coding. It doesn't have to be anything you plan on keeping or incorporating into your own game. I got this idea from when I used to paint. My art teacher used to make me do a sketch for 30 minutes to get me in the mood for actually painting. By picking some challenge, or something that you're struggling with, or something you just want to try out and spending 30 minutes on it, not only will the time limit help keep you focused, but you may come up with some creative solution for the problem you're trying to sort out.
You could even take this and apply it back to your own game. So how does it work? The code warm-up could simply be an idea you had the night before, or you can work on a particular game mechanic you've always wanted to try building. Whatever you create during this time is temporary and in the moment. When you've finished, you can go back and clean it up or just scrap it. The most important part is to limit yourself to the 30 minutes of time. This limit is what'll stretch your creativity, and it'll also get your brain going and get you ready for the day's work.
By incorporating this technique into your day-to-day activities, it'll help keep you motivated in order to keep creating games, even when you feel like you don't want to. It's important not to give up and to keep trying different ideas until you find something that's successful. By getting feedback early on, you'll discover which game ideas work and which ones don't. And over time, you'll get better at judging which ones you should continue to work on, so you can spend your time on the ideas that'll end up being the most rewarding.
- Picking a framework
- Playing more games
- Documenting your ideas
- Getting feedback
- Prototyping a game
- Polishing and optimizing your game
- Publishing and marketing your game