Note: These tips are not arranged in order
Indie game development community is growing rapidly, and in fact more and more people are joining the indie ride. As much fun indie developer can be , most of the times it is exhausting and difficult and especially if you are working solo. Teams can accomplish lots of things together with collaboration. If you are a solo game developer like me, here are top 10 tips for solo game developer for better games.
Note: These tips are not arranged in order
Always keep it simple and don't ever try to make a big project or game. Since you are one developer a normal simple game would take you around minimum two weeks or month to make and making a big game is almost impossible and it will be badly produced. There are many simple indie games like AA and Rotate which are the best!
Since you may not be able to do all the graphics and sounds by yourself you can always use free assets and bundles for your games. I myself design my own graphics and do my programming but when it comes to music tracks and sound effects (sfx). You can find many websites that offer free graphics and music.
Playing games is one of the most important thing to do as a game developer rather your indie or not. While playing games you can see what is trending right now and check out reviews and interviews to know how the game was made and its pros and cons. More you might get your next game inspiration from one of these games!
Game engines save time and make game development easier. Use a game engine that fits you well and that you feel comfortable with. Lots of professional game developers use game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine and a lot others like Construct2 for example. In my opinion it is not the tool that is important it is the production resulting from it thus choose whatever engine you feel the best for you! You must notice that different engines requires programming language and may export to specific platforms. Keep that in mind!
Trailers and teasers are a great way to attract a player to play your game. Learn how to make a video first and know its technique and then wow your players to try your game out.
Since most indie developers don’t have the money to offer for marketing, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks can bring audience to your game and make it exposure to potential players. Use shortened links like by Bitly it shows you how many times it has been clicked which means you can follow up how much people and player are interested in playing your game!
One of the most important aspect of game development is building fan base. fans are the players who are interested in your works and those fans of yours will make your next game more visible and reachable to as many players as possibly. Try to expand your fan base but remember the number keeps coming down and up it's not stable but try to get as much fans as possible and interact with them like Notch did!
Always be updated to the latest game engines and to the latest development tools and to the latest game trends because if you didn't do that you will fall in the old school category and nobody wants that
I mean everything from programming books to graphic design programs to game engine's manual to articles and game review and interviews , always read and learn new things because you don't know when time comes to use the skills to build the next game or maybe few tips to make less bugs and mistakes.
The key to a successful indie game or to any game at all is practice. Practice is a thing that you do to make you good at your work. Since you’re a solo indie game developer give each part of the development its time since Graphic Design, Game Design, Programming are all important part of the game and it affect the game play.
What's Stupid Chicken 3?
Stupid Chickens 3 is the third sequel of the series which we are plan developing it. The first and the second sequel got positive reviews, good number of plays and views and now we are willing to make the third sequel more refreshed and improved. We are willing to also publish it for Android. This will be our biggest project and we want to make it the best. We need help from the community to build this game well polished and designed.
This will be our BIGGEST and GREATEST project yet! YOU can be a PART of it!
The Roles/Positions Available
We really need the following roles to be filled to start development:
Graphic Designer / 2D Artist:
We want two game tester who will test our demo and incomplete versions.
Note: this is an extra role , the development can continue without a sound designer.
Try Out The Game
Our game was published on game websites like Kongregate , GameJolt, and Newgrounds.
Play the game and get familiar with it to see what kind of work your dealing with:
Stupid Chickens : Play it here
Stupid Chickens 2: Play it here
The benefits of the roles
For those who applied , there names and emails will be saved in our list for later projects and games when needed.
For those who were selected for the roles will get their names and work on the credits and links for their website in the game. We will promote their work and websites and we may contact them for a payed project later on.
Note: this game is a free game and there is no financial benefits from this project. if this game gained popularity so do you since we will promote your work and add it in the credits. It's a beneficial for your later projects and work.
How To Apply
First: to apply to these roles , you must contact us from the contact page and choose "Job Offers" Topic. Then say in your email/message the role your applying to then and send your portfolio and resume and anything more details you want to add.
Second: subscribe to our newsletter if you haven't already. We will announce whom were selected for the role in the newsletter and we will send them special email/newsletter for the job. Don't forget to subscribe to know if you are selected.
We will be waiting for your applications and will check it as soon as possible,
Lightbulb Games Studio
What is Squares?
Squares is an action/arcade game where you have to tap the green squares and avoid the red ones. The game is endless and be careful because green squares can swap with others! They swap faster as you progress! When you stop taping the green squares , the timer starts the countdown. Tap the green squares to stop timer! Good Luck!
How we got the idea?
We wanted to build simple yet challenging little game that can be mobile friendly. So what could be simpler than clicking and tapping green squares? So we started right away building a small prototype and then expanded it by improving it and adding a few twist. The cool thing about the game is that the background color changes as the player advance and there's a timer for players who stops tapping to be fair. Note: We published version 1.0 Web version then 1.2 Web version but the Android 1.0 Version is the same as 1.2 Web Version
We main publish was to the Amazon Appstore but we published our web version with lots of game hosts including GameJolt , Newgrounds , itch.io , and Kongregate. We want to reach as many players as possible because this is a new concept and gamneplay!
How you can support us?
You can support us by sharing our game links and help us to get as many views and players as possible!
Thanks all in advance for all who shared our links below.
Amazon Appstore : http://amzn.to/1GuVIHV
Web Version: http://bit.ly/SquaresGJ
It's the spring break already! We have some new contents and updates in development and updates for our website. Here are the headlines!
Open Source Blender 3D Models
As we're headed towards Unity3D, 3D is a whole new world to us , thus learning modelling is essential ! We will try to publish our finest art and models for your games. We might also add a 3D section for our Art Assets page!
New Unity3D Game Demo
We are working on a new game demo before Google removes the NPAPI plugin from its browser. More news and details can be found in our next newsletter! We will try to export our game to both Unity3d file and Webgl (HTML5) !
Another 2D Game using Construct2 !
We've started missing Construct2 already so we are going to make another great 2D game for our fans and all players. It will be an arcade/action game! Stay tuned for the details.
Note for developers: We have used Construct2 for around three years now and we say that it is the best game engine for 2D HTML5 Games and since the result is important not the tool and the type of development. We support the developers of that engine and we recommend you to try it out!
Crossy Road Article
We will be writing an article about Crossy Road a hit success game made by Unity3d by Hipster Whale!
This game has made over 10 Million dollars already!
Stay tuned for this article!
We are using Unity3D!
We have chosen to start make some real deal using the unity3D engine, it is efficient and it has lots of important tools for 3D development.
Our First 3D Game in Unity
We have created this mini-game in just 2-days and it is based on a project tutorial in Unity called roll-a-ball. Our roll-a-boll has few adjustments that make it more interesting that the previous one.
To try the game play it here!
We are going to create the best 3D games ever starting with simple addictive game to medium sized game like race games!
What is Round?
Round is an arcade game where you have to tap the circle between lines as long as possible. try to collect diamonds to buy new circles and unlock achievements. Try Wheel Of Fortune to get free diamonds! This game is currently BETA.
What is Amazon Appstore?
Amazon Appstore is an Android Appstore created by Amazon. Amazon Appstore has some great apps and it is used by lots of people!
Before Downloading Game
Remember that Round is not published on Google playstore thus you need to download Amazon Appstore APK and then create a new account
Either search for the game "Round" or click here for instant download!
Being a young teenager who's passionate about game development, I started alone and self-taught. Game development can be as easily as well as hard. Developing a full game all alone can be exhausting, but challenging. If you are a one person game developer then these tips will definitely help you out!
Learn a programming language
First of all, you must learn a programming language for your games.
C++ is a good way to make windows games.
There are also python, ruby on rails, etc..
Choose whatever you feel comfortable with and that is needed for your platform
Start development early, especially if you haven't got into college yet. Starting younger means more years of experience and time to practice before you get into college. If you like to learn, start immediately and don't be afraid to try!
Use Game Engines
Game engines or Game Studios saves development time. There are three main category of game engines and three subcategory to me. The main categories are 2D engine, 3D Engine, 2D&3D Engine. The sub-categories are visual coding (coding free), and needs coding, and library engine. Library Engines are just files that can be used to program faster and more efficient whereas the other engines are more easier especially the visual ones. You can surf the net and you'll find there is plenty of them. The most popular 3D game engine is Unity 3D. Unity 3D has been used to make the game Bad Piggies by Rovio
The key to be a good developer is to PRACTICE and A LOT! try to spend weekends and free time on programming and developing games. create demo projects or apply a tutorials from online websites. There are tons of tips and tutorials out there. Malcom Gladwell a famous author who wrote Outliers : Story Of Success Focus on his book about the 10K hours rule. It says in the book that to reach master level in any job, a person must put at least 10K hours of practicing. he also mentioned that practicing is something you do to good, not once your good. To read more about this theory read this small article : www.wisdomgroup.com/blog/10000-hours-of-practice/
Choose a specific platform
Is your games are going to be web games, PC games, console games, or mobile game? Specify and choose the platform you are focusing on. It's OK to publish and create games for different platform but focus on one platform
Choose main genre
Every game studio or every game development team has it's main genre. Focusing on one main genre helps building stable fans and followers, since it can know immediately that the studio X makes games for the X genre. For example Rovio focuses on casual games while Saga focuses on puzzle and online games. This way they built a fan base that is mostly stable and gained reputation at that genre.
You can also make another games of different genres, there are always exceptions!
Best way to practice game development is to try to make clones of games. Game concept can be very difficult and sometimes challenging. As you are a one developer and there is no full team to make a huge brainstorming, try to make clones that you see yourself capable of. Remember you can make clones and projects that is a bit higher than your scale, but not too much, like not a newbie game developer who wants to develop a game like GTA alone. It is truly impossible! unless you spend 20 years of your life developing it. One of the most simplest and the most addictive game is Flappy Bird.
Use Reverse Engeering
Download free open source projects or buy cheap ones, then break them into small pieces of code and try to understand them,then from the info and conclusion you have got, make the same game but in a different way.
To know more about reverse engineering read this Wikipedia's Reverse Engineering.
Search Free Assets
Big studios and game development have specialist in each part of the game development process. There are sound engineers, graphics designers, game designer, game programmers, and sound artists, etc... Too much for a one person to handle, thus you will feel that you are good at one part, but weak on another. If you want to save time use free assets from the internet.
Here is a couple websites for free sound effects and art :
Open Game Art
Gain Extra Skills
We must be clear, you can't use free assets forever! Free assets are limited, because they are not well made and they are all the same. To have a good graphics you have either three choices: buy assets, hire a graphic designer, or learn on your OWN! Making graphics can be a fun process and it helps develop your creativity which is also useful for game design. There are many software that you can use to make your game graphics. for 2D games you can use Adobe Illustrator , Adobe Photoshop or Inskape.
I prefer Adobe Illustrator because it is easy to use and efficient. I recommend it.
While as for the 3D games, you can use software like Blender, 3D Max, Maya, etc...
Or you can use built in software for 3D art with the 3D game engine.
Do Freelance Work
If you want to keep your position as a one developer studio, you can do a freelance job. Work for others or give them non-exclusive licenses for your games as will as exclusive, or you can sell your work for other developers.
Create your own website
Creating and publishing your own website helps people, players, fans, and our fellow developers to check your work and see your latest things. You can build a full website or a portfolio website or a blog website, anything that you need to represent yourself and your work! If you are not an experienced web developer (like most of us) you can use any free website builder. Here is some few ones:
10 Top Website Builders
Managing a Facebook page, Twitter Account, and etc... Can helps your fans get connected to each others. For example fans would like to know the latest news about your games or because they like your games they might give you a like. Mostly recommended is to make Facebook pages for the most successful games, it is better than having only one page since same fans might like different games of yours, not all them. Be active, share with your fans, connect with them and try to be friendly.
Hope it helped you to become a better indie one developer!
Lightbulb Games Studio
What is ONSA?
ONSA means orthonormal system application , and this application was fully developed for intermediate students who want to visualize their work on screen. This application helps them to plot and create lines and find midpoints and save and edit and clone systems and drawings. This can be also used by teachers for fun and fast view of work. This project is a open source project and is made up of 4 classes in Java and over 1000+ lines of code! Thus this project is not for beginner programmers. If you are good experienced programmer just click this link to get source files!
What is the video for?
We wanted to show developers how the library of Kiwi Developer Tools work, thus we created the first beta video for the package IO to show developer how they can benefit from these classes. We made a test class and used all the IO package and use it to demonstrate it. We will make new beta test videos to show developers how to develop programs using our library.
The video is approximate 9 minutes long.
Check the video from Youtube.
What is Kiwi Developer Tools?
Kiwi Developer Tools are classes made to make programming in Java easier, faster, and saves lines of code. It helps Java programmers to develop better understatement for faster ways to make things done. Sadly this is in Beta state, so there are not much classes but we will be sure to add many classes in our stable release!
Note: Project's Source Code is going to be published at GitHub!
This Tools currently provides four packages:
This package allow faster and easier to manage Input and Output operation and extra few classes. Kiwi IO package handle all the exceptions and files to save lines of codes into simpler methods which are File.save() and File.load()
Tired from all the mathematical operations? Want to build an effective calculator? Then this package is right for you! This package provides with various calculation methods to solve problems. If you used all the classes from this package, consider yourself you made a full calculator!
This package is used for text editors and word processors. It provides with powerful and efficient classes to search, type, and style a text in a text editor. This package is going to help many programmers who wants to make a text editor
This package provides with simple tools to make graphical animation. It helps to make things move around and render and update automatically.
Naji Kadri - Lightbulb Games Studio Founder