9 things

they don't teach you about game development in school

by Ron McLeroy

There are about a million things anyone would love to know before making a game. Pepper and Rony: Brick Oven Beat Down, our first in house game, is merely weeks away from releasing and looking back on these last four months here a few golden nuggets of knowledge to take with you on your quest for the ultimate achievement in gaming: Launching a title

1) Make friends and ask for help

This is vital to game development. If they are helping you on the game, then the more friends you have the wider net of help and expertise you can draw from to give them the outlet to use their gifts.

 Whether it be in color design or drawing, writing, anywhere and anyone that is a creative, make a friend. Most people don't want to just draw and sculpt and 

The prospect of knowing that their work will show up in a game is usually 


enough for them to give you 8+ hours of their time to help you out.

So make sure to reward them by taking their input and seeing how it can work within the game. The more eyes, ears and hands that experience your core game concept, the better it will be. Guaranteed.

2) Keep a good sense of humor

Making others laugh and smile is a sure fire way to get your game into the hearts and minds of your audience.

Capture3.JPGIt shows intelligence, relevance and creativity and that you are a human being that can entertain. Aside from humor being a highly effective tool within video games you will also be presented with insurmountable challenges that you can either implode or explode. The other route is to laugh at the matter and then move forward smiling.

3) Have guts

You will have to push yourself more and more each day and if you don’t have friends, you will need guts to get through it.

Even with friends it's still very challenging to keep your feet moving towards the finish line. So in the end, like all things in this world, you will have to rely on yourself. That's a good thing.


4) Learn to manage people

If you have team this is an obvious and learned craft. It's also important to manage yourself and the hours you spend in the week or month to finish your game and move onto the next launch title.

A consistent schedule where you sit down and move forward on your game is so crucial that it will take a game from a year to launch to months.

5) Create a schedule

After your gameplay is polished and fun, now its time to schedule the production of it and set time aside for art, fx, cover art, marketing and your own personal life.

Let's face it, you have had your head down and working every hour that you have and to grow within is just important as growing your skills.


So get out, but don't stay out. Remember, while you are at home and others are out staring at their phones, in just a few weeks or months, they will all be playing Your game on their phones. Isn't that why you wanted to start this whole quest in the beginning?

6) Time is the most precious thing you have

Nothing will be perfect. Know that now. But you must get this game DONE within your time budget.

You don't want a game taking a year and then quitting cause its not "perfect" when it was done a long time ago and you could have gotten some solid feedback to boost your enthusiasm and confidence even more.


Don't take every idea to finish before implementing it in the game, fail faster. If you have to put in an animation in a game, start off with a scribble and put it in the game. You won't know until you see and play it for yourself. So do it as quick as possible.

Then make that idea better, or try another one. Either way, you spent a minimal amount of time to know if you were on the right track or not. This concept can be applied to every aspect of game development, not just animation sequences.

7) Money matters (but not as much as you think)

Whether you have none, or a lot, it takes money to make a game. You need a budget not only for the development of the game you have spent every hour you could to finish now needs a website. That will either take TIME if you do it yourself or MONEY cause you pay someone else to accomplish these goals in time to launch and promote your game at the most effective moment.


All this, takes money. Plan for it and you will be surprised how much you can get with people just starting off like you, and since your gameplay is solid, the look doesn’t matter cause they are having fun.

A little cash and being able to have their work in a fun entertaining game for the first time goes a very long way. Make sure to take care of them after the games launch and success.

The believed in you and the game and did some great work for very little. They deserve it and your fairness and generosity goes a very long way in this business. Those two qualities alone will solidify your next venture as others talk of your professionalism.

8) Is my game fun to play?

So many talk about their gameplay for months and months and then put it in the game and it doesn't workout. You need to talk about it AS YOU ARE PLAYING the game, not in your head.


What I saw in my head with Pepper and Rony was usually not as effective as seeing it and then refining as soon as possible. Don't spend hours in discussions with yourself or others. Try out all the ideas you have as quick as possible and then iterate on the most effective option you have to work with.

Remember, people just want to have fun. They don't usually need levels and levels of depth to have fun with a game. Poker. Chess. Checkers. These games are testaments to how important the gameplay is and how they can be played with the most primitive elements. “5,468 bit HD 3D Blu Ray graphics x87” is not as important as “Is my game fun to play?

9) Create a solid workflow

You need a plan, from point A to point B. Linear is best cause its always moving forward. Analyze your steps on an asset you created that gave you bit more trouble than the others.

Pick out points in your workflow that you seemed to be going around in circles or always fixing an issue that can be handled earlier and allow you to be even more creative.

A “workflow” is not a one size fits all solution. Every studio is different and thus, each function in unique ways. That being said, there are also a lot of solid ones already created that you can learn and adapt to your own means.

Not only will you be able to sleep a bit easier at night, a unique and powerful workflow will save you hours of work and countless dollars cause it's very nature is that of forward momentum and completion.

Let me know what your experiences have been in your quest for game launch. What golden nuggets of knowledge and wisdom have you developed and learned from? 

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