Experiences of a Self-Employed Game Developer

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Over the next few weeks I will be writing a variety of blog posts covering my experiences as a self employed game developer. Each post – I hope – will act as a guide for anyone planning on diving into the game development industry.

In this post I will be covering some of the subjects that I will be writing about as well as giving you an opportunity to tell me what topics you may want to hear about.

Before you read the rest of the post I think it’s important to backup my thoughts and opinions with a bit of credibility. Over the past three years I have been developing a variety of games for a range of different clients.

It is true that I haven’t made a game that was featured on the Steam home page, but over the past three years I have managed to pay my bills and live comfortably by doing what I enjoy most – developing games.

In July of this year I was accepted onto a full scholarship researching and developing games. Currently I am developing games to help in the career decisions of teenagers. I have also taken part in teaching at the university which I attended and am now doing my PhD.

The future for Monocool Interactive is to continue taking on contract work and driving towards releasing more and more games. The future for me personally is to complete my PhD in game development and hopefully go on to teach Games Design and Development at university level.

I am very proud to be where I am and i’m excited for the position that I find myself and Monocool Interactive in. I truly believe that anyone can be where I am. I am not a prodigy nor am I technologically gifted. I am nothing more than hardworking and lucky. I have received a lot of good advice over the years and my hope is to pass that advice on through the means of these posts.

I already know a few topics that I will be covering, but if there is anything in specific you’d like me to cover then please let me know and I will see what I can do.

 

Getting started as a game developer

In this post I will cover the basics of getting started as a game developer. Even if you’ve got a degree in game development, getting started is still somewhat tough. There is so much information available that it’s often difficult to filter out the irrelevant stuff. I will talk about the various available game engines and what you can best spend your time learning and doing.

 

Picking your first project

Similar to the getting started post, this will be more orientated to getting things done instead of making decisions about how you’re going to do it. I will cover what makes a good or a bad project, how you should decide on your first project and the importance of settings and achieving your goals.

 

Game Prototyping

This post will be a continuation from the project deciding post. I hope to give you guidance to prototyping your project. I will also explain why prototyping is important, how to prototype and a few hints and tips to make prototyping go quicker and easier.

 

Making Money

In this post I will do my best to give advice on making money throughout your game development cycle. I will cover the pros and cons of contract work, how to get it and how to protect yourself. I will also give my thoughts on dealing with your clients and what work to accept and more importantly what work to avoid!

What do you want to know?

As I have already mentioned, in addition to the above I would also be happy to write posts if there is anything in specific you want to know about. If you have questions that don’t really require a blog post or you’d just like a quick answer you can get in touch via DM on twitter. Otherwise if it makes a great topic then we can discuss it here.

Rhys
Follow me on twitter – @rhyswilly