It’s Not Just About You
You aren’t the only one with a game
Last year was very different to me in terms of game development. I was busy with University, so I had to put developing games on standby in order to focus on assignments and other pieces of work. However, this didn’t stop me from watching everyone else develop. I was finding a lot of interesting projects on places like Twitter and Reddit, and had been backing more projects on Kickstarter. I also had the time to visit GDC in San Francisco to find out about what people have been working on too.
I’m no perfect representation of what a game developer should be, but I have been noticing a lot of developers out there that aren’t bothering with anyone else. To them it’s all self-promotion, and I can understand — why care for someone else’s project when your own one makes you money and gives you experience? Engaging with others in the game is a big part of being an independent developer, and you need to embrace it.
You want to be someone who’s genuinely kind and friendly, right? If you focus on nothing but yourself, your vision will become blurred. By doing nothing but focusing on your own projects in the development world, you become very self-centered, and you may give off a bad impression to people. I’m sure you’re a very nice person, but by not showing any care for others, the community won’t know. Get out there, and give people friendly and motivational comments about their projects. It’ll make you feel even better knowing that a few simple words can brighten up anyone’s day!
Being a friendly person is great, but being a helpful person is even better. Engagement in other projects can help developers insanely. If you worked on a project by yourself without any feedback, how do you think the final product is going to look? It’s going to be very unpredictable, and potentially not a huge success. Talk to others about their projects and how they can improve. Tell them what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. They’ll greatly appreciate it, even if they aren’t asking for feedback either. And who knows? Maybe giving more feedback to others can help you recognise improvements in your own game!
Now, where do you get your game ideas from? You may be one of those people who can magically generate original concepts that are award winning just by clicking your fingers, but for most of us out there, we get inspiration from other forms of media. Most of the time, this comes in the form of other games. You may not think it’s true, but one can get just as much inspiration from independent games than professional ones. Super Meat Boy, Shovel Knight and Nuclear Throne are some notable examples in the indie world to inspire so many games in similar styles. Heck, Shovel Knight was the main inspiration for one of my games! Keep to yourself and you’ll keep on using the same ideas and styles. Get involved with others and you’ll be exposed to a plethora of new content.
Getting involved with others is a genuinely great thing you can do for yourself and others. You should always try to engage with the community as much as possible, and who knows? Maybe this will give you a bigger audience for when you want to promote or get feedback for your project! A few ways you can do this for people include following social media accounts, sharing the content they produce, and commenting on their posts with helpful or motivating content. Twitter is probably the best network for this kind of practice, so be sure to get involved with the vast amount of projects out there!