So, you like video games. Good for you, so do millions of others. The gaming industry is a major juggernaut in the entertainment business these days, so it’s only natural that everyone wants a slice of the pie.
Normally, ordinary saps like yourself get in on the action by recording themselves looking silly while playing, but that’s for people with actual comedic talent. You want to feel empowered, you want to create, and you want to be a true artist of the interactive medium! “But wait!” I hear you screaming from your dingy little apartment, “Games are expensive and I don’t have money, plus I’ve never typed a line of code in my life!” Well, never fear! Even with your lack of a budget or any discernible skill, it’s no problem at all; just follow these five easy steps and you’ll be kickin’ ass, takin’ names and makin’ great games in no time.
1. Choose a genre
Like all forms of entertainment, the gaming public likes to follow trends; certain genres will become really popular at any one time. You’ll definitely want to keep up with these trends, because otherwise anything you make simply won’t get noticed! Open-world survival games are super in-vogue right now, and even though they can be incredibly tricky to master, anyone can make one, as you’ll see below.
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2. Get an engine and some assets
The best developers out there tend to create their own engines to power their games and the assets to fill them with content, but that unfortunately takes actual effort. Don’t worry though, the Unity engine is here to save you! Unity is super easy to use and there’s plenty of tutorials out there to help you out. There’s even a store where you can buy and download assets to put in your game, because you know you can’t make anything vaguely resembling an original idea—hundreds of hard-working folks have done it all for you, and by using their stuff, you’re supporting independent developers such as yourself!
3. Make your game
As I said above, just follow the tutorials, stick to all the assets you bought and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about any bugs—they’re inherent to the engine and someone else will fix it eventually. Besides, glitches are funny as hell! Oh, and if you’re making a survival game, don’t forget the crafting system.
4. Put your game on Steam
Once you’ve finished something that looks pretty much playable, it’s time to rake in the big bucks! Getting a game on Steam used to be super hard, since they used to hire curators that sorted through all the games and made sure they were of decent quality. Now that they’ve ditched them all and replaced them with Greenlight, you’re a shoo-in to get on the Steam storefront. Just pay Valve $100 to become a certified developer, put up some gameplay footage you recorded with the free version of Fraps and bribe voters with free keys for your game; that’ll reel them in. Once your game’s been approved, charge the punters $10 for your masterpiece and watch the money roll in. Oh, and don’t forget to say the game’s in Early Access if it’s a little (read: very) unpolished.
5. Revel in the adulation
It feels good to be an indie dev, doesn’t it? Your game is fucking awesome and you know it! Hell, some bastards actually paid their hard earned money for something you made in just a few hours! Who cares if they ask for a refund, their money is yours now! Even if that fat bastard Jim Sterling calls your game a piece of shit on YouTube, he used game footage that belongs to you! That gives you all the rights to hit him with a copyright takedown notice, so his criticism is deleted from the internet forever! Nothing can stop you now, because you’re an indie game developer!
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be well on your way to being the best damn game developer the world has ever seen, with the money and the adulation to back it up! Go out there and make ol’ Cameron proud!
DISCLAIMER: Salient and the author of this article take no responsibility for any losses or personal injury to one’s ego arising from the use of this guide, including, but not limited to, DDoS attacks, death threats on Twitter, and legitimate negative criticism. Any resemblance to actual thought processes of shitty indie developers is both purely coincidental and totally intentional (seriously, people have actually done these things). This article is a work of satire and if you haven’t realised that by now, may God have mercy on your soul.