Going Pro in Game Building

Learn the skills you’ll need. You’ll need some skills in order to make a game (skills we can’t teach you here because they are too complex). You might need to go to school in order to learn these skills but it is technically possible to learn them on your own as well. You’ll need a good understanding of math, since many games boil down to a series of equations. You’ll also need to learn a programming language (usually C, C++, or C#). There are schools for game design, but your best bet is to go to the best school you can get into for programming. This will give you a more diverse skill set so that you can take a general job as a programmer if you don’t immediately get hired with a company.

Start by making a small game. If you want to break into the industry and start working with major publishers, it’s a good idea to start by just making a small but engaging game that shows your skills but doesn’t require 5 years to make. This can get someone interested enough to give you a job or give you money. You also just don’t want to bite off more than you can chew.

Stay indie. You don’t need to get your game published by a major publisher. You don’t have to be recognized by anyone but your players if you don’t want to. The indie game market is alive and kicking and right now is the best time to be making this kind of game. Keep this in mind before strongly pursuing official backing.

Make use of Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites. If you want to make a great game, of any type at all, you’re going to have to get some money. It takes a LOT of money to make a game. Currently, the best way to get that money is to run Kickstarter, which is one of many crowd-funding platforms. Check out some Kickstarters that have been successful in the past to see what they did right, but the main pieces of advice are to have great incentives and communicate constantly.

Get your game on Steam. Steam is Valve’s digital game store and one of the most popular distribution channels for PC games. They are also one of the most friendly distribution channels for indie games. If you’re making this type of game, your best bet for success is to get it on Steam. Currently, Steam Greenlight is the channel you will probably have to go through.

Build a fanbase. Build a website and an army of social media accounts for your game. Update constantly and let people feel involved in the process. Communicate as much as possible with people who become interested in what you’re doing. Having people excited about your game is key to indie success, since interest is often the main factor in things like getting on Steam.

Make friends in the community. The indie community is very tight knit and many of them can help you on your road to success. If you want to succeed, it’s a good idea to make friends with them, help support them in their ventures, and promote their games. They’ll help you do the same if they think you’ve got something worthwhile.