GameDev Thoughts: How To Be A More Productive Game Developer
When you are developing a game, sometimes you get a crazy amount of ideas that could potentially work within your game. You end up dedicating some of your time to implement primitive versions of these ideas only to figure out that they don’t work. You’ll go back to the core game and get even more ideas, then the cycle continues. Many game developers are actively developing their games, and yet somehow manage to never get anything done because of the aforementioned reason. Like many things in game development, experience will help this problem be minimized; if you haven’t created a game from start to release yet, try creating a mini-game, something you can complete in a short amount of time. This mini-game has a dual purpose, in that it both gives you a complete game on your record, and the confidence to know that you can complete a project if you try hard enough.
It’s a bit of a developer’s fallacy to think that a game needs to be perfect; this just simply isn’t the case. Many of the best games are recognized as such because of one or two particular aspects of them, with decency in the rest. Look at the final fantasy games if you need an example; new players often complain about how hard they are to get into and just how generally confusing they are as a whole. We look past that and see their great story and gameplay diversity, as well as that there’s always something you can do if you don’t want to go along with the main storyline.
As a result, you should focus on your key strengths and accept that the rest can just be so-so. If people end up returning to your game, it won’t be because the game is decent on all fronts, but rather because one or two particular aspects that fit their interests are incredible. Because of this a developer should really just stop wasting time by attempting to create perfection that will never actually happen. Just try to perfect a few things so that you can streamline your concentration and forget the rest.
Important Takeaways: Newer game developers often think that it is correct to attempt to make a perfect product, but this is an impossible endeavor. Attempting perfection on all fronts will just lead to an endless development cycle and very little in terms of actual progress. Instead, try to look on other great games and really analyze why they’re good; you’ll find that it won’t be because everything is perfect, but rather because a few key things are perfect and the rest is at least decent.
Apply this to your own games, and focus on their key strengths while making sure everything else is at least decent. Don’t bother wasting development time on absolute perfection, just perfect a particular element or two and leave it at that. If this idea of purposefully ignoring imperfection seems difficult, create a mini-game in order to see the results of the idea and gain future knowledge that will help your time management even further. After all, there’s always time to better the game after its initial release if it needs it.
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Thank you so much for reading! I’m Daniel, Co-Founder of Black Shell Media. We’re a publishing and marketing firm dedicated to helping indie developers succeed.