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    October Challenge Kicking Your Butt?

    Posted by (twitter: @coderTrevor)
    December 30th, 2012 10:21 pm

    Mine too. It really takes a lot of hats to make and sell a game, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until you’ve tried. Know what I mean?

    Does that mean I’m giving up? HELL NO! Read on:

    Hello, my name is Trevor and I have a resolution for 2013 that I’d like to share with you.

    I want to become a professional video game developer. If I make games in 2013 and can earn just $1 from making them, I will have accomplished this goal.

    If I break that goal down, what do I have to do in order for me to earn this $1?

    1. Make at least one good game.
    2. Share that game.
    3. Earn $ from it, somehow.

     

    Let me work backwords. As I see it, there’s two ways for someone like me to make money from my games:

    • Ad revenue
    • Direct sales / donations

     
    I am VERY much against ads. I hate them. I’m not going to make you look at them if I can ever help it.

    So what do I need for a direct sales / donations approach?

    • I need to be maintaining an up-to-date website which showcases my games.

    This brings me to subgoal 2: Sharing the game.
    Like I said, I need to be posting my games to the web. This is going to be really hard for me, because I HATE being on the content-creation side of anything web-related, and I’ve avoided the same for ages. But, I know I have to get over that hatred to accomplish my goal, so that’s what I’m gonna do.

    Another thing that I’ll need to get over is my fear of failure, which would otherwise keep me from taking the risks I need to take.

    And that brings me to sub-goal 1: Make at least one good game.
    How do I plan to do that?

    By getting lots of practice, making lots of games, and hoping at least one of them will turn out well. This is going to mean not being afraid that some of the games I’ll be creating and sharing with the World are going to suck. In fact, I should expect that many of them will suck until I gain more gamedev experience. I shouldn’t be putting all my eggs into one basket; focusing on one epic game that takes all year to make is clearly not the way to go.

    Alright, so that brings me to my first chunk of 2013: January. My goals for January are:

    • to gain experience posting games up to this website
    • to gain experience making games
    • most importantly, to accept the fact that both the website and the games are going to be far-from-perfect while I’m starting out, and not to let that stop me from making the attempt.

    My plan for achieving these goals is to post one game I’ve made every day and make one new game every day. I will try to spend no more than 30 minutes per post and I will usually try to keep the development time of each game to around two hours.

    Please don’t get the wrong idea – these will NOT be good games. Most of these games probably won’t be complete or fun. This is not meant to be a demonstration of skill or a feat of any kind. This is about getting practice.

    I will be posting the games I make in the same order I make them, so I’m really hoping that after a month, the average quality and completeness of my games will be noticeably better.

    Near the end of January, I will assess my progress and set February’s goals. Handling things one month at a time will let me keep my greater goal manageable, and let me respond to my progress instead of trying to predict it.

    If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you have a similar goal or that you’ve already earned your first dollar. If you are in the same boat as me, feel free to take my plan and adopt it to suit your own strengths and weaknesses. Then, let the world know how it’s going! It would be really fun for me if I knew I wasn’t the only one doing this.

    If you need ideas for practice games, you can follow me on twitter, @coderTrevor. each day in January I’ll tweet the game theme / name / idea of what I’m working on and what I’m posting to the site that day with #1gad. I’ll be scouring the web for theme generators and name generators, looking for the perfect one-game-a-day simplicity each day. I’ll also be using my own ideas and those suggested to me.

    If you are one of those awesome folks who’s made that first dollar, I’d REALLY appreciate any words of wisdom you can leave for me and my fellow n00bs!

    More than anything, this is about me embracing failure and learning not to care. So please, when I release a bad game, and I definitely will, embrace the not-caring with me! :D

    -Trevor

    11 Responses to “October Challenge Kicking Your Butt?”

    1. Datw says:

      http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130848/how_to_prototype_a_game_in_under_7_.php?print=1

      You took your idea from here? Because I certainly did. Altough I’d like to try this model of making short jam-like games every ‘n’ days, I fear I won’t have the time. But if you have it, than by any means do it! I think that is a incredible why to get started and I’ll be sure to check your website once in a while!

      Good luck man :)

      • Jedi says:

        I actually first got the inspiration from looking at Kickstarter projects, and I came across Jonathan Mann. http://www.youtube.com/user/therockcookiebottom

        He’s been making a song-a-day for over four years now.(!) He tells you how he does it too.

        That made me think, “Wow, how awesome would it be to make a game a day!?” But, I decided it was impossible. Some time later, I came across the 0h game jam. http://0hgame.eu/

        I actually flaked on the jam itself, but I made a series of practice games, trying to force myself to stick to the 1-hour format. (These will be the first games I post)

        That’s when I thought, “Hey, some people can make games in ONE HOUR! One-game-a-day isn’t an impossible exercise after all!” And thus, the idea was firmly planted in my brain.

        Thanks for the article though, I can use all the help I can get! :)

    2. hissssssssss says:

      What a charming project. The idea of setting aside an hour and just making a game seems like a great way to break through the game design equivalent of “writer’s block.” Just get in there and do it! I have got to try this sometime.

      365 games in a year–and I thought my plan for 25 games in 2013 was ambitious! One every two weeks, but taken as a given that I can’t work on a game every day, so I have some wiggle room. In that two week period, I might take a weekend, or I might pick away at it over the entire two weeks. But the idea of doing one every day is exactly the kind of madness that I can salute. Good luck! I’ll be watching your site every day.

      • Jedi says:

        Thank you for the encouragement!

        Just to be clear, my goal isn’t actually 365 games next year, it’s to earn $1 from making games next year. I’m going to be making 31 games in January to get practice that will help me reach the greater goal.

        I haven’t decided what I will do in February and beyond yet, but I know at some point I will need to gain experience with finishing and polishing projects as well. I’m not worried about that until I get more experience with web work, with making games and with understanding what makes games fun.

        My plan is to assess my progress near the end of each month and set goals for the next month based on my current strengths and weaknesses.

        Please do watch me, I’ll try to look out for you and I wish you luck on a game every two weeks!

    3. A game every day? Dude, you’re crazy! I wish you the best of luck for this ambitious project!

    4. Mlle Eole says:

      Same goal here, so this year I have to learn programing too. I will follow your twitter. :)

    5. Datw says:

      You should allow comments on your website. For instance, it is somewhat buggy cause I have to refresh the page everytime if I want to see new content.

      • Jedi says:

        Thanks for the feedback! I should have responded sooner but this project has kept me pretty busy!

        I think I have it working now so that you won’t have to refresh anything when you visit the Games or News pages.

        As for comments, they have always been on the top of the TODO list! In fact, when I first attempted the October Challenge, comments were among many “Must-haves” for the site, including a fancy Content Management System like WordPress that made making posts easier. BUT I didn’t want my site to look like a WordPress site.

        What has happening is all these “Must-haves” were overwhelming me. I had given up on HTML in frustration in the days before CSS and avoided it since. There were SO many technologies to learn that I didn’t know where to begin!

        My new approach has been to start with the bare minimum of a site and gain experience with web technologies and design as I go. As a result, the site will kind of suck for a while, but at least there will be content!

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