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Starting my own Game Development Studio

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EmotionEngine

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God I hope you have a marketing strategy planned. I didn't read the whole thread, but man did I mess that one up when I launched my game to the market.

I hope the game is worth playing.

I work in the industry (will be 20 years in Aug) and I know some people who may provide guidance.
 
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EmotionEngine

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Update (8/4/2021)
-The player is able to move the player left and right and the player sprites direction is now fixed via code. No extra art was needed.
- Animation: Idle animation is completed, implemented and working during gameplay. You can see the player breathe when standing idle.
- The player is able to fire their base weapon. (A laser gun) Lasers shoot across the screen in the direction faced and then I implemented code to destroy the objects on timer to save memory.
- Animation: Sprinting animation hooked up and implemented.
- Animation: Base weapon firing animation and projectile implemented and working.

Pushing commit to private Github repository.

Completion Rate: 3.5% (estimate)

Note:
Decided to invest money into a well-respected and reviewed art course to improve skill while I do this. Very affordable and not even $1k. This should improve my 2D skills as I go.
 

EmotionEngine

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Update (8/14/21)

Big pivot. I had an idea for a smaller game while I was making dinner the other day. This project is small in scope and something that requires less art, design and code. I'll still keep all my work on the other project in my Github repository. This will allow me to actually get something done much quicker and let the market react. Then I'll be able to assess reaction and adjust. The goal is to have this done by December 2021 or earlier.

  • Shelved prior project.
  • Game idea drawn out in my sketch pad.
  • Created new Unity Project
  • Created new Private Github Repository for this project
  • Art: Player and main enemy sprites completed.
  • Art: A Prop sprite completed. (This and the above item will require some animation work)

New Project Completion Rate: 2% (estimate)
 
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EmotionEngine

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Update (9/22/21)

I've been slacking as of late. My willpower to work on this project AFTER working an 8+ hour day stalled for a bit. I just had an FTE-reminder. A coworker tried to throw my team under the bus (and failed). Tired of that crap. I have been re-energized and continued working this week and had a very small win. Even with the delay I can still finish before the end of the year I believe.
  • Architecture of the game and pseudo code has been laid out on paper.
  • Basic game window design finished.
  • First user input test is in and confirmed working.
To Do:
- Create a modular design using scripts and prefabs that can be replicated per level. Break stuff down into components (UI, game manager, player controller, user and level data)
- More game assets (sprite art) needs to be made. Edit: and animations. (I actually enjoy drawing and animating sprites)

Project Completion Rate: 4% (estimate)
 
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EmotionEngine

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Update (10/11/21)

- Finished sprite art for all game objects. Only a few animations remain such as character states.

To Do:
I started writing the game logic but ran into a hurdle as I tried to mentally wrap my head around how the game would execute. I couldn't really describe my problem but after googling my frustration I ran into information on topic called "design patterns".

"A design pattern is a general repeatable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software design. A design pattern isn't a finished design that can be transformed directly into code. It is a description or template for how to solve a problem that can be used in many different situations."

So now I may have set myself back a little as I learn about design patterns for Unity. This should allow my code to be more readable, perform better and scale more easily as features are added.

Project Completion Rate: 10% (estimate)
 
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EmotionEngine

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Update (11/7/21)

- Created splash screen for multiple company names. (Haven't decided on what name to use.)
- Title / Main Menu art has been completed and in-engine. Player can start or quit game.
- Learned design patterns and implemented a Game Manager, Level Manager and UI Manager. Still have much work in building scoring system and core game loop in those respective managers.

To Do:
*Possible Problem* I need to talk to the HR department of the company I work for and see if I can release this small game. I signed a non-compete but only for products that actually compete. My game is much smaller scale. If they refuse I may need to quit and bet on myself. Hope they don't. (As MJ states in Rat Race you don't want to quit your job too soon. The goal obviously of all this is to leave that eventually and be Unscripted .)

- Animate title screen.
- Implement game logic for core game loop using the assets I've created so far. Been delaying this part since it's really the hard part. It must get done now.
- Create level intro and end score results screen.
- Make a decision on purchasing stock retro 16-bit synthesizer music. I believe my game only needs 4 tracks.
- Make a decision on company and game name. I need to figure out how to officially apply for a company name and then register business? I think those are the basic steps. Never done this before.

Project Completion Rate: 20% (estimate)
 
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notinuse1245

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Jun 13, 2021
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Some tips from someone who started out in the Game Industry and then switched to something else.
Try to find a team early. Even if it is just for Game Jams or something similar. What you do right now is great, but you can't always do everything yourself. Use small projects to figure out what you like, e.g. game design, coding, music, art. Then focus on that and find motivated people who fill the vacant spots.
From my experience, beginner game developers are like sand on the beach, it's way harder to get good artists.

I can also really recommend the Game Dev League discord, just google it and you should find it. There are always people looking for hobby projects, or team members. And it is also a good place to ask specific questions and get quick answers
 

Mathew Verble

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Just a thought as a consumer.

Not me. I gave up video games a year ago realizing exactly what they were.

But my two kids spend money on the most ridiculous games, especially on steam.

I didn't put much thought into it at first. Especially since making games would make young me's dreams a reality and dreams are complete shit.


But with a fastlane mindset, these games don't need a lot of flair and the creators aren't spending a lot of time creating them. But I can def see the market skews that are attracting at least my kids and their friends into dumping money into what I would call trash.

And I realize it doesn't matter what I like. Only what the market holds value in.

A lot of it falls into the random hype category much like alt coins and other reddit fueled skewed value items.

I really wonder if the niche could be exploited if someone who was willing to advertise and market and knew how to fan the flames of hype was pumping out these games.

This kind of goes against what others are saying about how it's a full market of indie designer wannabes. But I really think if you produce they'll consume.
 
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TrillAmbition

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Jun 11, 2020
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Main Goal:
Start my own game indie (small) development studio.
- Create a Hit Game or one that sells decently well
- Hire staff, design and develop another more complicated game (<- This is neverending)

How?
- Before coming back to join this forum I spent hours upon hours learning the C# programming language and a little bit of Unity. Enough to get me started. I figured I just needed to start or I'll enter the tutorial hell loop or "action faking".
- I'll have no staff. I'll be the Programmer, Designer, Artist & Animator. I'll need to hire a music composer for some music down the road. Mostly everything you see I'll do by hand.

My Tools
I purchased a new Acer Nitro 5 Laptop. *Upgraded the RAM to 32 GB.* (It works perfectly using the tools below and has enough horse power for development)
I purchased a Gaomon PD1650 to draw 2D sprites
I bought a license for Aseprite to draw the draw sprites. (It's like Photoshop/Paint but built specifically for the pixel art style and 2D animation.)
I bought a license for Pyxel Edit to do 2d sprite tile sheets. I may not use it but just draw big scrolling backgrounds for this first game.
A free personal license of Unity. If I make a game that gets a $100,000 in revenue then you'll have to pay.

First Project:
A Top down space shooter game like Space Invaders, Ikaruga, and Raiden IV. (Edit: This first project is practice and I'm not selling it.)

I'll post update here in a few minutes of what I did so far.
I wanted to offer some potential outside the box thinking from my background. Since there a re a ton of games you need to be able to differentiate. The whole talk of the meta universe is all buzzword for crypto powered games. There are a ton of nft games that require the nft to play or use it town stuff in a virtual wold. You can toe into the competitive nature of the game and have users bet nfts or win competitions with it.

It might be hard to compete against the market of all game devs. But most meta universe devs suck tbh. I think this will be a big space in the next 3 years and you can master that genre by just learning a little bit of web3 /smart contract on top of it.
 

Ismail941

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This is awesome
I am gonna watch/following this thread.
Thanks man. I appreciate you
 

EmotionEngine

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I wanted to offer some potential outside the box thinking from my background. Since there a re a ton of games you need to be able to differentiate. The whole talk of the meta universe is all buzzword for crypto powered games. There are a ton of nft games that require the nft to play or use it town stuff in a virtual wold. You can toe into the competitive nature of the game and have users bet nfts or win competitions with it.

It might be hard to compete against the market of all game devs. But most meta universe devs suck tbh. I think this will be a big space in the next 3 years and you can master that genre by just learning a little bit of web3 /smart contract on top of it.

You are correct to a degree and I know and have done some things in the space.

This gold rush is quite different because there is tons of opposition. The cash grab nature and environmental costs. Everyone is racing there and I will be doing the opposite. Creating a game designed around basic fun.

Here is a image from a well-known game industry personality. He posted how excited he is for Game Awards and coming announcements. Know what one of the first comments was? (See below) The hostility toward that space is plentiful and common.

Screenshot 2021-11-09 081329.jpg
 
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TrillAmbition

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Jun 11, 2020
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26
Texas
You are correct to a degree and I know about the space.

This gold rush is quite different because there is tons of opposition. The cash grab nature and environmental costs. Everyone is racing there and I will be doing the opposite. Creating a game designed around basic fun.

Here is a image from a well-known game industry personality. He posted how excited he is for Game Awards and coming announcements. Know what one of the first comments was? (See below)

View attachment 40690


There are so many cashgrabs right now that the market is a bit annoying in my opinion. But eventually there is a blowoff top and a couple of years of a bear market where it is the best time to build projects in my opinion (The money chasing opportunists don't survive bear markets)

I just want to emphasize that the powerful part of NFT games is that there can now be "real" ownership of in game things that translates outside the game. I really advocate to learn the technology now so that the next cycle you are proficient and can be on the cutting edge while everyone else is playing catch up.

I agree on focusing on the game even if you go down that route of nft gaming. Just keep an eye out for how you can build a world or potentially universe that can have games which users can send assets (health, cars, houses,real estate, in game currency etc) back and forth through different games. I think this might skew your offering (fun video game) into a 1% success story (Every game this studio puts out can increase my overall game points in all other games). This gives your studio a network effect that no other studio has tried to get.


NFT games are trash right now. Too many people chasing money with low quality goods and NFT as a sticker on as an after though
 

EmotionEngine

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I just want to emphasize that the powerful part of NFT games is that there can now be "real" ownership of in game things that translates outside the game. I really advocate to learn the technology now so that the next cycle you are proficient and can be on the cutting edge while everyone else is playing catch up.
Yes, I know and agree and I'm involved in that space more than I can mention here. I cannot enter that space right now.

Another note:
The biggest game selling platform has banned NFT games and anything blockchain related. This isn't a normal gold rush.

I believe the Blockchain will be in the future and mostly powering crypto. I cannot say the same about NFT art and NFT's in games as we know them. The future seems shaky. I hope I'm wrong obviously.
 
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TrillAmbition

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Jun 11, 2020
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26
Texas
Yes, I know and agree and I'm involved in that space more than I can mention here. I cannot enter that space right now.

Another note:
The biggest game selling platform has banned NFT games and anything blockchain related. This isn't a normal gold rush.

I believe the Blockchain will be in the future and mostly powering crypto. I cannot say the same about NFT art and NFT's in games as we know them. The future seems shaky. I hope I'm wrong obviously.
I think the digital ownership will be a lot more pervasive in the future of gaming. Lot of companies will proactively hold off on them since new tech has new implications and bigger companies are hesitant with anything that shifts power.

I can completely relate to the being involved in the space but not being able to mention too much hahah

Keep us posted on how your game dev goes!
I did a little bit of mobile sprite based stuff way back when corona sdk was a thing. Keep pushing forward and looking forward to what you create !!
 
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EmotionEngine

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I think the digital ownership will be a lot more pervasive in the future of gaming. Lot of companies will proactively hold off on them since new tech has new implications and bigger companies are hesitant with anything that shifts power.

I can completely relate to the being involved in the space but not being able to mention too much hahah

Keep us posted on how your game dev goes!
I did a little bit of mobile sprite based stuff way back when corona sdk was a thing. Keep pushing forward and looking forward to what you create !!
Thanks!

My goals and project have changed since the original post. Partly due to some good suggestions in here that I disregarded at first.

I wish I could edit that post. Anyhow Post 63 should be the starting point if anyone wants to be up-to-date with what I'm doing.
 

EmotionEngine

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Update (11/18/21)
Still struggling with getting the game architecture and getting this core game loop working. Thoughts of quitting has popped in my head but I won't. This game is very simple but believe it or not getting the idea to come alive with Unity and C# is quite difficult. I will continue charging forward. Hopefully better news soon.

To Do:
- Implement game logic for core game loop using the assets I've created so far.

Project Completion Rate: 22% (estimate)
 

botaybry

Contributor
Nov 18, 2021
14
21
Update (11/18/21)
Still struggling with getting the game architecture and getting this core game loop working. Thoughts of quitting has popped in my head but I won't. This game is very simple but believe it or not getting the idea to come alive with Unity and C# is quite difficult. I will continue charging forward. Hopefully better news soon.

To Do:
- Implement game logic for core game loop using the assets I've created so far.

Project Completion Rate: 22% (estimate)
I love video games and I love seeing you hustle for your idea. I'm rooting for you! You got this in the bag!
 

EmotionEngine

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Update (12/12/2021)

It's been a few weeks so I'll write a much needed update. I've learned how to architect a game using 3 design patterns that has made my code much easier to manage and scale as I develop. I've even learned how to use Scriptable Objects based on feedback from an Engineer I work with. My game has quite a few of these objects which helps my workflow and decoupling my code. I have made a few leaps in progress with this small game. I would be a little further along if I wasn't killing Grunts in "Halo Infinite" (good game) which just released on Xbox Series X, but I've limited game time.

Some problems are looming on the horizon though which isn't development but more with the freedom to sell this product when it's ready without breaking a proprietary information and invention assignment'' agreement with the day job.

To Do (Software Project):
- Get the UI manager working to handle game score, lives, etc. It will work in tandem with a couple other managers I wrote.
- Finish logic for game rules and allow user to restart level.
- Implement basic sound effects for actions in game. I can get these for free. Audio is the only thing I can't do by myself but fortunately people have already did the heavy lifting. Tons are available including music on Unity Asset Store which can be used in a commercial game freely.
- Add more animation to breath life into characters. Some animation is already complete but I need to hook it up with events and scripting.

In Planning:
- Studio Name
- Marketing, Website, P.O. Box?
- Business License

All tasks are in my trello board, seperated by game project and future company tasks as mentioned above.

Project Completion Rate: 42% (estimate - This is only for the game not bootstrapping company tasks.)
 

DonJulio

Contributor
Dec 18, 2020
20
48
Main Goal:
Start my own game indie (small) development studio.
- Create a Hit Game or one that sells decently well
- Hire staff, design and develop another more complicated game (<- This is neverending)

How?
- Before coming back to join this forum I spent hours upon hours learning the C# programming language and a little bit of Unity. Enough to get me started. I figured I just needed to start or I'll enter the tutorial hell loop or "action faking".
- I'll have no staff. I'll be the Programmer, Designer, Artist & Animator. I'll need to hire a music composer for some music down the road. Mostly everything you see I'll do by hand.

My Tools
I purchased a new Acer Nitro 5 Laptop. *Upgraded the RAM to 32 GB.* (It works perfectly using the tools below and has enough horse power for development)
I purchased a Gaomon PD1650 to draw 2D sprites
I bought a license for Aseprite to draw the draw sprites. (It's like Photoshop/Paint but built specifically for the pixel art style and 2D animation.)
I bought a license for Pyxel Edit to do 2d sprite tile sheets. I may not use it but just draw big scrolling backgrounds for this first game.
A free personal license of Unity. If I make a game that gets a $100,000 in revenue then you'll have to pay.

First Project:
A Top down space shooter game like Space Invaders, Ikaruga, and Raiden IV. (Edit: This first project is practice and I'm not selling it.)

I'll post update here in a few minutes of what I did so far.
Those crypto gaming businesses are hot right now. I would try to do something with that.
 
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EmotionEngine

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Those crypto gaming businesses are hot right now. I would try to do something with that.
Way ahead of you. As I already mentioned above. Currently, I'm involved in that space already.
This project is not going to be and it doesn't have to be. It's a small casual game.

Also, many are hostile towards games with that mechanic as seen in recent tweets below and their responses. So all isn't sugar and rainbows.
Jason Schrier: "I've been wondering how the business model for "play-to-earn" games"

Play to earn is so f-----g grim...
 
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DonJulio

Contributor
Dec 18, 2020
20
48
Way ahead of you. As I already mentioned above. Currently, I'm involved in that space already.
This project is not going to be and it doesn't have to be. It's a small casual game.

Also, many are hostile towards games with that mechanic as seen in recent tweets below and their responses. So all isn't sugar and rainbows.
Jason Schrier: "I've been wondering how the business model for "play-to-earn" games"

I really hope I never have to stand up at #TheGameAwards...

Play to earn is so f-----g grim...
Yes I am really into defi and crypto farming. I made a hell of a return on a couple of farms I invested in and avalanche took off. So funny to see people who claim to be “fastlane entrepreneurs” but still are brainwashed by the media into thinking everything in crypto is a scam. I work with crypto casinos and design software for them and I have been making a fortune.
 

EmotionEngine

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Update (12/27/2021)

The game is coming along well. So far I've written over 847 lines of code across 9 separate .cs files and 5 scriptable objects. 90% of the code is in the .cs files since the scriptable objects are basically just data containers.

All basic sprites are done. Most need animations and to be hooked up in the engine to be sprite sheet sliced, edited for timing and event. The art part is my favorite part actually, I love to do pixel art and animation. The 800 lines of code was fun in a different way. I had to debug an issue which took me 6 hours to solve and I had to leave it last night and then retry this morning. I fixed the bug this morning after 30 mins and that was a great feeling.

The game mechanics are taking shape. The user is able to make actions and the game reacts accordingly and it's so fun to see this little game come to life. The game tracks user turns and it's displayed on the UI. Scoring is also implemented and working. I still need to do little things like actually make the game "restart" on game over but that will be fairly easy.

To Do:
- Player takes "damage" and I use that loosely since my game isn't exactly combat. The art asset for it is done already and just needs to be hooked up.
- Animations for sprites within game scene.
- Implement Game Over / Restart

Project Completion Rate: 50% (Estimate - this is only for the game not company setup which I still have to do among other things.)

I haven't shown anything, but without giving my game and character designs away, here is my scoring system at work so you can see this game does exist.

Screenshot 2021-12-27 084020.jpgScreenshot 2021-12-27 084048.jpg
 
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EmotionEngine

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Update (01/24/2021)

Completed:

  • Added user interface, art, animation and code support so that a a level graphic with animation appears at the start of every level. It shows what level the player is on and has a little character animation.
  • Added the code which allows the game manager to know if a player has lost or won the game.
  • Basic animations for base state on all elements have been completed.
  • Bug fixes
To Do:
  • Start reading a well-known and popular book on game design theory (500 pages, read 20+ a morning). I'm uneducated in game design from a professional standpoint although I've played games for a very long time. It's time to see how all elements come together.
  • Animations: character states, title screen, backgrounds and more.
  • Finish idle animation for main character and implement it.
  • Slow down the game a bit to create a better flow. Everything is a little too snappy without wait.
  • HIT BETA! The game is playable from beginning to end.
Stats:
1210 lines of code written
14 Files (11 .cs and 3 .cs (scriptable objects))
187 hand drawn sprites and animations

Game Completion Rate: 52% (approx.)
Company Formation: 0%
 
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