It’s time for our new video! Last week, our next topic was put up for vote on Patreon, and “things we wish we knew before we started Snacko” won by a hair. It was really fun to brainstorm of things to talk about, we did make a lot of oopsies and less efficient choices throughout the development, but we picked our top 7 that had the most impact.
1. Narrative is important!
Narrative is important, even if your game isn’t story heavy. We didn’t give enough respect and room to develop our narrative early on, which made our game design and art choices inconsistent and a mess. Narrative, or world building, drives many parts of a game – the style of music, the kind of trees, what weapons or props the character could use, or even how they might talk.
2. Don’t forget the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto principle, the 80/20 rule is essentially “80% of the results can be achieved with 20% of the work”. Iteration is part of game development, and working with that mindset will save you a lot of time down the road. Always make a mock-up or a rough version and implement it as a prototype before you spend hours sunk into perfecting it.
3. Use what gets the job done
Don’t get too stuck on finding the secret magical workflow – there is no universal “best”. Use what you’re familiar with, and what works with your skill set. Avoid arguing about what’s best, because the best can vary so much between different games, teams, and individual tastes.
4. Develop communication skills
Part of the reason why we even started making YouTube videos was to build up our non-existent public speaking skills. Part of developing your game is also learning how to sell yourself and your game. Being able to communicate clearly your goals, your intentions, and your needs are just as important as working on your game!
5. Plan responsibly
Setting clear milestones and achievements are a big help to keeping your motivation. When you don’t know what to do, it’s very easy to just feel overwhelmed. Keeping a balance between over planning and not planning enough is subjective and changes from person to person, so work with different planning methods to find the right one for you.
The most important, and the hardest. Consistency is important for your game mechanics, your aesthetics, your monthly devlogs, and how you structure your own code and files. Enforcing consistency in your daily work is an investment to save yourself time in the future when you revisit old assets!
7. Market your game
Don’t assume the game will market itself, but having that mindset, you’re betting the success of your game on luck. It’d be such a shame if the only reason a game didn’t do as well as it did purely because the marketing started too late, or it never started at all! Twitter, Reddit, and Imgur are all great places to share your work and your development journey!
– The Snacko Devs 🐾