Now that I’ve got you here with the click bait headline I will admit these 8 tips have no guarantee for success, in fact I don’t even know what I’m talking about. I’m not really qualified to write such an article but I have a spare hour so I’m gonna write one anyway.
The Gift of Knowledge
Have you ever dreamed of creating a video game but were worried about the amount of time it will take to develop around your soul crushing day job? Well, your worries were justified! Luckily, we have some great tips from a qualified expert that will guarantee success.
#1 – If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it.
Creating games take a lot of time and a lot of hard work. If you don’t enjoy working hard or losing your free time then you should find something else, like playing games, ideally ours. For us, it started as something fun to do at the weekend. It became so much fun we started working on the game during the week too. We just fell into a rhythm of constantly working on it because we found it fun. Fortunately, it is still fun for us but sometimes the workload is overwhelming…
#2 – Work everyday!
Even if it’s just an hour everyday, progress is progress. I’m spending my hour today writing this rubbish. It’s not directly related to creating the game but you’re on our website now and I’m hoping you will now read more of our website and then play our games…
We fell into a slight rut last year. We killed ourselves on a Ludum Dare project, we had a break after and we lost our momentum. To get back into it Rodo started using the Pomodoro Technique, using a timer to give himself an hour to work on a task. That was the catalyst for us to resume development, even if it’s just an hour at a time. We usually work a lot longer than that now but at the very least we do an hour everyday.
#3 – Don’t Burn Yourself Out.
As fun as it is not having a social life and never seeing your family, you’re gonna need to have a week off now and then. If you don’t it will lead to project fatigue, and project fatigue leads to hate, and hate leads to project abandonment. But..
#4 – You’re Gonna Have To Burn Yourself Out.
Reality check, idiot. Working one hour a day, a week off now and then? You must be joking. That’s all well and good if you are still in hobby mode but if you want to get stinking rich it’s time to start putting the hours in. You won’t abandon it, you’re in too deep.
You will have to start ignoring your spouse. Yeah, she might make you sleep on the sofa a lot but once she moves back in with her mum you get the whole bed to yourself! Which leads me to..
#5 – Isolation and Focus
Other people will try to waste your time. “Coming out for a beer?” or “Can I at least come in and get my clothes?”. Ignore them, you have too much work to do. Don’t be distracted by silly things like TV and showers. What you really need to do is come home from work, sit at the computer and do an even harder 8 hours of work and nothing else.
Top tip: If hunger is slowing you down, it’s often quicker to just have a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Repeat as necessary.
#6 – Remind People At Work That You’re Gonna Be Out of There Soon, And Unbelievably Rich.
Yeah, this is in an important one. Sometimes you might hear chatter going around that some of the staff have been calling you Panda because of the darkness around your baggy eyes. You could take this to HR but I think you’re best tackling it yourself by yes, looking tired, but with an air of confidence and smugness since you are actually better than them. You are going to be a legendary game designer soon and there’s not a damn thing they can do to stop you.
#7 – Secretly Game Dev At Work
Don’t be obvious, you don’t want to get the sack. But if you can sneak your PC into the toilets and get a bit of game dev in you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done over a working week, and you’re getting paid for it. Congratulations, you are earning money as a game developer and you’ve got the new nickname – Shit Break Panda. Ignore the name calling and refer to tip #6.
#8 – Create A Game That You Are Willing To Sacrifice So Much For
If you are sacrificing your relationships, job and health to make a Flappy Bird clone (are people still making them? I needed a quick reference) then in my opinion you’re a fool. When you’re making ground breaking entertainment like us it is an easy decision to sacrifice such luxuries such as the caress of another person or clean skin. For those making awful games, you really need to stop. Tell your loved ones you are sorry and hold them for at least an hour. Use the Pomodoro Technique if necessary.
Well, there you have it. 8 superb tips for developing a game around a full time job. I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me. Good luck out there!