How I became a Game Developer.
Becoming a welder.
My name is Risto Prins. I’m from Estonia. I have been working since I was 16. I fell in love, had a child, went to work. School was not that interesting to me anyway. I learned and evolved by working. I constantly felt the need to try different jobs. I’m sure it was, because I wasn’t doing, what I love. To be honest, I had no idea, who I wanted to be professionally.
When I was 17, I started learning and working as a welder. This profession has a lot to offer. I like it a lot. It can be a hard sweaty work, but at the same time, it can be a very creative experience. You can create things, that are beautiful, practical and stand the test of time. Since then, I worked as a welder most of the time. I have welded lot’s of different things, in different places. I also learned to work with Robot Welders.
From welding to developing games.
Is the month, I decided, that welding is not it. I have worked for years, without really owning anything. I have actually been raising my child alone since 2008. It seemed meaningless, to work and live from month to month, for the rest of my life. Having enough to provide, but never enough, to have the freedom, to figure out, who am I ?
So I became unemployed, and started learning game development at home. Developing games at home seemed like the perfect solution, to be in charge of my own time, and stay around, as my daughter grows up. Still, the amount of knowledge you need, to successfully create something so complex, is insane. You have to learn so many professions, to actually create this one thing. It is the most difficult thing, I’ve ever done. To learn something so complex, on my own, at home, and understand it. But I have always worked hard. I have always tried to make things better and be better myself. So I decided to start this journey, and see where it takes me.
My first game had more bugs than a bait shop.
I released “ Tapnbuild-A Free Clicker Game ” on 05.2016. It had tons of bugs, but It was an actual fully working game. After that, I had a full month of debugging. To fix the bugs, and to assure, that the player can play the game, without being afraid, that it’s going to break any moment.
How I evolve as a game developer.
- Figure out, what kind of game you wanna make (keep it small and simple at the beginning).
- Learn, what you need to know (example: “How to create a Main Menu in Unity Game Engine”).
- Create and learn more as you go.
Sometimes it’s better to be wrong twice.
I released “ TapnBuild 2-Tower Clicker ” on 07.2016. This game also had tons of bugs. I was so eager, to learn, create, release and get feedback from people. I wanted people to like my creations and to make a living with it. For that, I needed feedback. While developing, I cannot put myself into position of someone, who is seeing my game for the first time. I know everything about my games. It is very easy to get lost. People may not understand something, that seems completely obvious to me.
Was it a good idea to start making a 3D game next?
In August(08.2016), I started working on a 3D game. I am still working on it. It is complex, and to make it into an actual game, a game that has different and fun functions playing well together, takes a lot of time. Especially, if you are doing it without any kind of finance. I worked constantly on it until January(01.2017). I had a playable game, but it was still a work in progress. It still needed a lot of time and inspiration, to finish. So while needing a break and with advice from a friend, I decided, to use my current knowledge, to improve my first two games.
Something made me go back to my first games and make them more fun. Did it work?
When returning to my old projects, I realized, how much I have learned. You see, I work and learn pretty much every single day. I‘m living it. I updated the graphics and fixed lots of programming on “TapnBuild-A Free Clicker Game”. Then I moved on to “TapnBuild 2-tower Clicker”. It is a Tower defense / Clicker game. So I updated the graphics, fixed a lot of programming. Then I realized, that it could be something really special with Multiplayer feature. Up until this moment, I always wanted to learn about multiplayer, but never really got into it. It seemed difficult and learning demands time. So I learned and tested for a week, and I had a working multiplayer game. This was a huge success to me, because it was difficult, and it added so much the game experience.
Welding or Game development?
Still to this day, I do not know, who I wanna be professionally. Game development is the toughest thing, I’ve ever done. To be able to create, what I need, I must constantly use most of my brain capacity on it. It is the most difficult thing, I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most fulfilling. Am I still developing games in 5 years? I have no idea. What I would like to see, is people enjoying the things, I create right now. I wanna make a living doing it. I wanna work by my own clock, so that I could be always there for my child, when she needs me. I cannot express in words, how difficult this journey has been for me. Even harder is to admit, that even tough, I have learned so much, worked so many hours, and am able to create so much, I still haven’t made it in game development world. I am not making a living with it. In the real world, it is just a hobby. And in the real world, at some point I have to make it, or return to the old job. Maybe it’s not meant to be. Maybe quitting is not an option for me, and I’m just getting started.