Sunday, May 22, 2016

"How do you start making indie games?" - Shared Blog Post

My friend Monique Blaize posted this on the blog for Pumpkin Online, an indie farming game I help run their social media during their Kickstarter, and I wanted to share this for all those interested in making their own games. Here's what she had to say:

"I got invited recently to talk to a highschool class about making games and to talk about our game and how we’re doing. 
Now I’m not claiming to be an expert, but here are some things I have learnt from graduating with a degree in Game Design from successfully funding and managing a game project for over two years now. 
Assuming you are in highschool, or want to make a career in video games here is some advice that I wished I had known earlier. 
1. Start making games early. Making games is a skill and it takes many years of experience to develop. Do not wait until college to start learning the software, there are so many programs that are out there for free you can use such as: Unity, Unreal and Autodesk Maya. As well as many youtube videos and tutorials to get you started. Do it now, even if you are just messing around! 
2. There is not a job for ‘idea people’. Many people have ideas and just want to assemble a team to make their game idea/ be a game designer. Not happening. In the game industry you need to be a part of multiple successful projects for decades before a company even takes a gamble on putting you on as their idea guy. Even then you are probably holding a crucial position such as programmer or producer. The only way you can be the idea guy is if you have unlimited money to pay people to do things for you. 
3. If you want to start your own indie project you need to be able to have at least 2 skills that will contribute to the actual development of the game. In the order of the most valuable here are the top skills that are useful: Programming, 2D or 3D Animation, Modeling, Texture Artist, 2D Artist, Music and Sound, Writer. You need to know how to do at least 2 of those things because trust me, running an indie project not everyone is going to play ball or be reliable and you HAVE to pick up the slack where others will not or the project will have a higher chance of falling apart. Some of the most successful games like Minecraft and Stardew Valley was made by a single person with minimal outside support. You have to take control of your idea as much as possible even if that means taking the time to sit down and learn new skills 
4. No one cares about class projects, companies want to see if you have worked on published games. Colleges spend a lot of time prepping students with portfolio pieces and stuff, however when it comes to games let’s be real, chances are you are not going to have time to complete anything halfway decent to impress a company (Unless you are a super competent programmer). Work on projects and games outside of classwork so you aren’t limited by time and put them out for the public to play.  
5. To my ladies and other minorities who want to make games.There aren’t enough of us in the game industry and when we are, most of us opt to take writing and artist jobs that make us easily replaceable instead of being project leads, producers, programmers, or more tech positions.We have to push ourselves to be in more lead positions in the industry to have any kind of meaningful influence. That’s why I am here producing my own game, on my own terms and that’s why Pumpkin Online has many elements in it that other game companies won’t ever consider. When you want something done you have to do it yourself, is what I believe. It’s a big personal and financial risk, but I’m taking it because I believe in this project. 
And that’s pretty much the short of it :) I believe anyone can complete anything they want if they put their mind to it. Thanks 
Pumpkin Online is a multiplayer, farming dating sim, currently being developed by a small indie company, Pumpkin Interactive. Feel free to check out our website for more information about our game. "

Original post here. About Pumpkin Online:
"Pumpkin-Online is a multiplayer farming dating sim. It is a chill relaxing game where you can, craft various items, customize your own private farm and house go on various quests, interact on a deeper level with NPCs, all with friends or solo! We're still very early in development I hope you join our forums or follow us on one of our many social media sites."