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antro

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Dec 3, 2015
23
20
25
31
Germany
Hey folks,

good to be back, let's make some progress!
Game Developement is a topic I rarely see here so I thought I'd share for those of you who are interested.


Ultimate Goal:
Develop an indie game and release it on the Nintendo Switch


Roadmap
:

Proof of Concept
  • Develop proof of concept
  • Get feedback

Steam Release (Early Access)
  • Create prototype / alpha version of game
  • Release as Steam Early Access --> get feedback

Switch Release (Full Game)
  • Find small indie publisher (or good resources / support) for releasing on Nintendo Switch
  • Get into Nintendo Developer program
  • Port game to Nintendo Switch
  • Marketing / Release campaign
  • Release game on Switch

Background:
I'm not a mastermind god-developer but I've got the basic programming understanding down and can follow instructions + adapt as needed, so that should be good enough to get the job done.

On the personal side: 31 years old from Germany, 1 small child < 1 year. He's my motivation to execute on the Fastlane.
Ultimately, I want to spend more time with him and not be shackled to a day job (main job is in IT for > 10 years).


Progress:
  • Got the basics in Unity (game engine) down, completed a 30-ish parts tutorial while following along. This should be sufficient to get the basic game mechanics going
  • Rough game concept completed --> for now I'll focus on high level planning + action-taking reports here instead of "game design" talks. Let me know if anyone's interested in the details though

Next Steps:
  • Implement core gameplay mechanics
    • Basic movement (90% done)
    • Specials (work in progress)
    • Vertical movement (not yet started)
  • Demo Level (70% done)

I have a more detailed breakdown of activities on my whiteboard (basically a sprint backlog). Will report back once the most important features are in place.
 
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antro

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Dec 3, 2015
23
20
25
31
Germany
What genre of vgame?
Platform / Puzzler where you collect all items to progress while avoiding enemies.

I will create a gameplay gif (much) later on. Probably around the time I create the Steam page to create wishlists before launching.
 

Archer_Zero

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Oct 2, 2020
39
44
115
Hey folks,

good to be back, let's make some progress!
Game Developement is a topic I rarely see here so I thought I'd share for those of you who are interested.


Ultimate Goal:
Develop an indie game and release it on the Nintendo Switch


Roadmap
:

Proof of Concept
  • Develop proof of concept
  • Get feedback

Steam Release (Early Access)
  • Create prototype / alpha version of game
  • Release as Steam Early Access --> get feedback

Switch Release (Full Game)
  • Find small indie publisher (or good resources / support) for releasing on Nintendo Switch
  • Get into Nintendo Developer program
  • Port game to Nintendo Switch
  • Marketing / Release campaign
  • Release game on Switch

Background:
I'm not a mastermind god-developer but I've got the basic programming understanding down and can follow instructions + adapt as needed, so that should be good enough to get the job done.

On the personal side: 31 years old from Germany, 1 small child < 1 year. He's my motivation to execute on the Fastlane.
Ultimately, I want to spend more time with him and not be shackled to a day job (main job is in IT for > 10 years).


Progress:
  • Got the basics in Unity (game engine) down, completed a 30-ish parts tutorial while following along. This should be sufficient to get the basic game mechanics going
  • Rough game concept completed --> for now I'll focus on high level planning + action-taking reports here instead of "game design" talks. Let me know if anyone's interested in the details though

Next Steps:
  • Implement core gameplay mechanics
    • Basic movement (90% done)
    • Specials (work in progress)
    • Vertical movement (not yet started)
  • Demo Level (70% done)

I have a more detailed breakdown of activities on my whiteboard (basically a sprint backlog). Will report back once the most important features are in place.

Hi,
I tried indie mobile game dev for few years & I tried hyper casual mobile games, here is my advice:

1. the market have have way too many games, it's not easy to generate revenue
2. based on your description ( a platformer where you collect things ), the idea does not seems very typical & does not stand out
3. if you're going this route, I think doing game dev vlogs is very beneficial to get feedback & build an audience that helps you to get the initial sales, initial good reviews, tell the friends ... ( didn't try this & I don't think it's easy, but I think it's worth it )
4. I suggest you write the marketing material right now ( the store page & gameplay video )
- when you write it, you will get an idea if it's interesting or not
- if it's cool or not
- you will find the cool part & focus on developing it
5. I think the biggest issue with game dev is the length of time to validate an idea ( you might spend months developing then get no sales ), so the faster you can prove an idea is fun & engaging, the better
6. I would advice you to develop for oculus quest VR, since the market is a lot newer & much less saturated
7. game makers toolkit just started trying to make a game, I think he's doing the right thing so far ( testing the core mechanics as fast as possible ), checkout the channel it's very helpful:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMbIvmv25u0


That's mostly what I have, I don't wanna deter you.
- whether you decide to go another entrepreneurial route that's faster to validate, do VR game dev or continue with console game dev, I hope you keep these points in mind, validate quickly, fail faster, build an audience & succeed.

good luck.
 

antro

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Dec 3, 2015
23
20
25
31
Germany
Thanks for the insights @Archer_Zero, always appreciated.

On Game Devlogs:
I could see my self streaming during game creation in theory. However, plenty of my time is spent revisiting tutorials as well, not sure how interesting that would be.
Diving into Youtube content creation head on sounds like loads of time to sink without clear immediate progress benefit, I'm afraid it might become a shiny distraction.

For now, I'll keep your suggestion in mind. It could be more well suited during level creation process, because that should be straightforward without jumping back into tutorials all the time.
Maybe that would be fun to stream / watch! :)


On Marketing:
This one will be out of my comfort zone for sure. Will have to find a good way to systematize marketing efforts so I can't chicken out.

The Steam page will be created once I have the core game mechanics down.
I focused on gameplay features for now and will have to spend some time to develop at least some very basic lore. Creating the store page will force me to do that soon enough.


On changing platforms:
I've chosen the Nintendo Switch as a target platform specifically because I have been following news, engagement, trends and the general games landscape since its launch. I've observed social marketing ways that seem to work well, have a great idea on how to gain visibility in the eShop (note: discoverability sucks by default, but there are great hacks) and feel overall as part of the community.
Will create a marketing playbook and plan out the pre-launch campaign once I have the proof of concept "completed" i.e. it reached the "good enough" stage.

However, I have chosen the Unity framework to have easy portability. The significance of Steam is not to be undererstimated, hence I definitely plan to release an early version there. Who knows, maybe a VR adaption can come later on?


On the GameMaker's Toolkit video
Thanks for sharing, I just subbed to GMTK. I tend to watch videos like this in my downtime already. So far, the usefulness of their videos has been hit or miss for me. Some were helpful for my current situation and some are a nice distraction for when I don't feel like actively working.
Preventing "mental masturbation" and getting 50 steps ahead of myself is something I try to limit as much as possible. I try to...

____________________________________________

Progress Report
  • Basic movement 100% completed
  • First special completed (core gameplay feature, more specials will be introduced in later stages --> not part of proof of concept)

Next steps
  • Implement vertical movement (ladders)
  • Implement Collectables + "winning" mechanism
  • Build 2nd level (so you can progress after winning the stage)

Above items + implementation of enemies should be all that is required for the proof of concept.

So far, I'm using 100% pre-made assets. Creating custom game assets, sprites etc. will come for the Steam release, it shouldn't stop me from letting others play the proof of concept already.
 
Last edited:

Archer_Zero

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Oct 2, 2020
39
44
115
Thanks for the insights @Archer_Zero, always appreciated.

On Game Devlogs:
I could see my self streaming during game creation in theory. However, plenty of my time is spent revisiting tutorials as well, not sure how interesting that would be.
Diving into Youtube content creation head on sounds like loads of time to sink without clear immediate progress benefit, I'm afraid it might become a shiny distraction.

For now, I'll keep your suggestion in mind. It could be more well suited during level creation process, because that should be straightforward without jumping back into tutorials all the time.
Maybe that would be fun to stream / watch! :)


On Marketing:
This one will be out of my comfort zone for sure. Will have to find a good way to systematize marketing efforts so I can't chicken out.

The Steam page will be created once I have the core game mechanics down.
I focused on gameplay features for now and will have to spend some time to develop at least some very basic lore. Creating the store page will force me to do that soon enough.


On changing platforms:
I've chosen the Nintendo Switch as a target platform specifically because I have been following news, engagement, trends and the general games landscape since its launch. I've observed social marketing ways that seem to work well, have a great idea on how to gain visibility in the eShop (note: discoverability sucks by default, but there are great hacks) and feel overall as part of the community.
Will create a marketing playbook and plan out the pre-launch campaign once I have the proof of concept "completed" i.e. it reached the "good enough" stage.

However, I have chosen the Unity framework to have easy portability. The significance of Steam is not to be undererstimated, hence I definitely plan to release an early version there. Who knows, maybe a VR adaption can come later on?


On the GameMaker's Toolkit video
Thanks for sharing, I just subbed to GMTK. I tend to watch videos like this in my downtime already. So far, the usefulness of their videos has been hit or miss for me. Some were helpful for my current situation and some are a nice distraction for when I don't feel like actively working.
Preventing "mental masturbation" and getting 50 steps ahead of myself is something I try to limit as much as possible. I try to...

____________________________________________

Progress Report
  • Basic movement 100% completed
  • First special completed (core gameplay feature, more specials will be introduced in later stages --> not part of proof of concept)

Next steps
  • Implement vertical movement (ladders)
  • Implement Collectables + "winning" mechanism
  • Build 2nd level (so you can progress after winning the stage)

Above items + implementation of enemies should be all that is required for the proof of concept.

So far, I'm using 100% pre-made assets. Creating custom game assets, sprites etc. will come for the Steam release, it shouldn't stop me from letting others play the proof of concept already.
I fully get that youtube can be a huge time investment & I don't think it's easy to generate a following, but I think you can try 1 video a month or even every couple of months to build some momentum. ( this is just my opinion, as I don't have significant experience with this )
- I've seen some devs use tiktok to go viral ( but that might require a game idea that lends itself to go viral )
- I think Dani on youtube has been doing a stellar job getting his game to the top 20 wishlisted on steam. ( but he does spend a lot of time making extra viral videos & he did achieve a million subs so it's definitely not easy to replicate his numbers )

good luck again, I'm interested to see how your Switch launch will go, as I don't know any devs who launched on Switch.
 

antro

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Dec 3, 2015
23
20
25
31
Germany
Dani on youtube has been doing a stellar job
Dani is hilarious, I LOVE Karlson Vibe!


Progress Report
Lots of work, not so much to show yet.

I ran into some issues when implementing consistent ladder movement. However, I discovered I can be a lot more flexible with the movement implementation if I rely on the State Pattern. Which I never heard of.

Turns out my programming habits are a bit rusty indeed ;-) I'm (re-)learning programming patterns specifically for game development right now.


I also discovered that Unity has an updated method of handling input which (again) will allow for more flexibility later on when controller support is to be added.


Next steps
  • Implement State Pattern for Movement (Rewrite exisiting code) --> 50% completed
  • Use Unity's new Input system --> 80% completed
 

Trait74

New Contributor
Jun 22, 2021
1
1
11
Fellow gamedev here, I want to ask you the most fundamental question for your game, what NEED does it satisfy and what problems does it solve?( yeah these apply for games as well).

While choosing what to make I started out with a strong need in the market and a niche that I could see myself dominating.

If you have figured these questions out and have realized a product market fit , nothing can stop your game's success but if you decided on a Impulse, consequences might be a flopped game.
 

ocricci

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Apr 20, 2013
76
101
135
Fellow gamedev here, I want to ask you the most fundamental question for your game, what NEED does it satisfy and what problems does it solve?( yeah these apply for games as well).

While choosing what to make I started out with a strong need in the market and a niche that I could see myself dominating.

If you have figured these questions out and have realized a product market fit , nothing can stop your game's success but if you decided on a Impulse, consequences might be a flopped game.
I agree, you really need to identify the demand before working on supply - specially for the overcrowded indie game development industry
 

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