Five Indie Game Dev Tips You Need To Know

March 13, 2023
Game Development | Game Marketing

Are you an aspiring indie game dev? Are you unsure where to start or what to focus on? Look no further! As a game designer and game developer myself, I’ve compiled five of my personal top indie game dev tips to help you achieve your goals.

Game Designer’s POV | Top Indie Game Dev Tips
Tip #1: Do not start with your dream project

Many upcoming game developers make the mistake of trying to create their dream game, which happens to often be an MMO or RPG game, as their first project. While admirable, this can often be a recipe for disaster. Instead, start small and work your way up. By creating smaller games at first, you can learn the fundamentals of game development with less risk. Once you have a good understanding of the basics, you can move on to your more ambitious projects.

Tip #2: Document everything

Documentation is key to any successful project. Without it, you may find yourself spending hours re-doing work or getting stuck in the process, not knowing what to do next. By creating a game design document, you can avoid many of the stumbling blocks that come with game development. This document should outline your project’s goals, scope, and features and as a result, provide you with a clear road map for development.

Tip #3: Keep your scope realistic

Scope refers to the size and complexity of your project, including the time and budget needed to complete it. It is essential to keep your scope realistic and achievable. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. A good way to avoid overscoping when estimating is by adding an additional 30% of time/money onto your existing estimations. This will more often than not, result in a more realistic outcome. Starting with a smaller project will help you gain the skills and experience you need to take on larger projects in the future.

Tip #4: Test, test, test

Testing is crucial to the success of any game development project. Invite your friends or colleagues around to test your game and offer feedback, while also reaching out to a few unbiased sources along the way. You will be tempted to jump in to defend your project and its rough edges while they playtest, but avoid this as much as possible. This will provide you with organic thoughts and insights that you may not have considered. Take notes and use this feedback to improve your game’s design and catch any bugs or issues.

Tip #5: Promote your game

Even throughout development, you should absolutely be sharing and promoting your game. Without any marketing, your game will likely go unnoticed. While there are organic ways to promote your game, such as word of mouth, you will have a much better chance of success by putting yourself out there. Utilize social media, blogs, and other platforms to reach a wider audience and increase your chances of success. I will dive further into how to promote your game in the future, so make sure to follow or subscribe to my newsletter in order to stay updated.

In conclusion, indie game development can be a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience. By following these five indie game dev tips, you can set yourself up for success, and with a little bit of creativity and a lot of hard work, create games that are both enjoyable and hopefully profitable. Remember to start small, document everything, keep your scope realistic, test your game, and promote it to the world along the way. Good luck on your game development journey!

Check out my video on this topic:

By Connor Thorpe

I'm a game designer & digital marketer with a strong passion for games. I love analyzing all genres of games and diving deep into their creation to learn more about their development.

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