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EXECUTION Creating my first commercial game

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Jonathan S.Diaz

Read Millionaire Fastlane
Dec 27, 2018
United States of America
Hey forum,
It's been a while since I've been active but I have been lurking occasionally and have been working on a project for the last couple of months which I wanted to share and gain insights on, so here it is

A bit about me
I'm a junior, soon to be senior, in high school living in a low-income neighborhood. My family is completely either taking the slow-lane or in the sidewalks, having moved to the U.S. around a year ago. I've become separated from my family and taken role of apprentice under a mentor in the fast-lane, who came from similar backgrounds as myself and was actually part of my family for a while when I was younger. He has, over the past 2 years, mentored me on many topics like philosophy, mental health, culture, software engineering, science, math, business, etc. and I have worked for the past year and a half on becoming a professional software developer.
As I stand now, I feel confident that I am employable, however, I have decided that, since I am still in high school, I should take advantage of this time in which I am not required to work and instead invest my time in trying to start my own business.
It has been isolating, especially when you see other people your age getting low-entry jobs at fast-foods and retail-stores and getting drivers licenses and applying to colleges, but at the same time I try to isolate myself as much as possible because I don't want to go down that path. My generation also seems to be extremely immature and dependent, so I try to surround myself with more level-headed and successful people, which is why I'm on TFL forum!

About the project
Around 5 months ago I tried to start a software consulting company but realized I had way too little experience or incentive to run something like that, so I moved on after thinking about it for about a month.
The I started thinking of creating a game and making money from it, just like my mentor had done in his teens. He created around 3 online communities and then went and co-founded a company out of high school, becoming the youngest Y-Combinator alumni (Tech-crunch post)

So I begun working at it. I thought about it for a while, detailed the specifications, the theme of the game, technologies involved and built a prototype in around a month. I then designed/programmed a website, server, API and hosted it online.
It's still very young but my goal is to have a multiplayer, collaborative experience on the browser where players can invite other players by sharing a link on social media, join the match, last as long as they can, and collect rewards until they lose.
The accelerator in this project is that the fun-factor of the game is multiplayers gameplay so my theory is that this should lead to players sharing the game, and to those players sharing it again, etc.

Once the game gains steam, I plan on either hosting some ad-space, accepting donations, or selling 'things' for real money, but I'm probably going to go with the first option, at least initially.

I'm very close to completing a first version of the game which I plan to release during the week so I can then set up a Discord server and maybe even a sub-reddit for players to post invitation links.

So, these are my achievements so far
- Designed and programmed website UI/UX and communications with server
- Programmed a real-time server for the game
- Built a basic restful API to authenticate/create users
- Designed and deployed a small PSQL database
- Designed and programmed a combat game to keep players in a fun-loop
- Built a basic game economy for the fun-loop

Some next steps
- Working with play testers to resolve major issues
- Set up a Discord server & sub-reddit for players to communicate/engage
- Begin early advertising & marketing phase to build the initial player-base
- Securing the infrastructure and moving/rewriting code-base for reliability/scalability
- Begin thinking about how to generate income

So basically, I'm going to begin getting involved in business management and execution.

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Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 20, 2012
So you're basically done with the initial development and ready to start testing? Fantastic if so! Get it into the hands of players (at least a few) as soon as possible. Do so in person if possible, especially at first. You'll learn so much about your game by watching over someone's shoulder as they play that you just won't get any other way. Also, it's never too early to start design your marketing and monetization. Ideally, it should be designed in from the start.

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