Stop waiting for a better opportunity!
Contrary to popular belief, now is actually the greatest time to get into indie game development.
It’s 2020, people are at home starved for entertainment, and you are at home with more free time than ever. If you are lucky enough to still have a stable living, you can certainly benefit from adding a new skill to your repertoire. Most office workers regained their commute time, and if you are between jobs (and living stably) then now is the greatest opportunity to pick up a new trade.
The *FREE* Tools of the Trade
There are plenty of resources out there to learn how to program, if you are a beginner. YouTube has free channels dedicated to game development tutorials. Cheap online courses typically will run you about $10 for what is usually upwards of 40 hours of lessons, projects, and resources.
The tools to make games have never been so accessible. With Unity, Godot, Unreal Engine, Phaser, GameMaker, ClickTeam, and more! There are plenty of free software, with a whole community online waiting to help you with your inevitable coding questions. Many of these tools give you free license to sell your game, so long as you are making under a certain threshold (for Unity, it is $100,000 / year).
Unleash Your Inner Creative
Once you’ve learned the basics of programming, tap into your creative side and design your game. If you are an avid gamer with your pulse on the industry, directly or indirectly, you will be in a great mind-space to think up a relevant, yet fresh idea. Think about how gaming trends have shifted over the past 5 years. If you are more money motivated, consider reading consumer reviews and sniffing out where the most ad revenue, steam installs, and off-the-shelf sales can be made.
Be the Master of your own Destiny
Monetization models, while they have a bad rap, are actually on the side of the gamers. Games that release for cheap, but include a cash store or DLC, make the core content more affordable for gamers who are strapped for cash. Games that are completely free simply ask you to bear with the occasional advert — I can’t think of a better deal than free. Entertainment has become distributed; developers are not necessarily tied to physical software, contracts, sponsors and publishers. In terms of how you keep your side-hustle lucrative, it is entirely up to you! Truly what it means to be an entrepreneur.
With all these reasons to just do it, why do so many people decide that game development is not for them? Indeed, if you have a different hobby or side project you are working on, time constraint can be a real factor. But if you are putting up a fake hurdle for yourself, claiming it is difficult, or waiting for a better time to jump into the industry, then you should rethink your position.
There are plenty of online interest groups with thriving communities you can join to get advice on your game, create a team, gain inspiration, etc. Meetup.com has plenty of game development groups, r/gamedev has active threads, itch.io/jams has free game jam competitions you can join… Now get out there and don’t waste a second!
If you are wondering where to start, feel free to check out my other articles on Game Development for beginners: