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So you think you want to build a video game
Working on your first game?
The articles in Heathen's guides are here to help. We have guides here to help everyone:
- Enthusiast Loves the tech and wants to learn more
- Hobbyist For the love of it, not the profit of it
- Amateur Industry hopeful but this isn't your day job ... so you won't starve to death if it fails
- Professional How you make your money
The rest of the articles on this page are aimed at amateur and professional developers. That is people looking to make a buck doing game dev. If that's not you then the sub-articles under this one may be less useful for you. The rest of our guides though are topic based and great for everyone.
Understanding where you are and what you want as a developer is the first and most important thing to sort out. The list above isn't exhaustive and isn't linear for example anyone finding this article is almost certainly an enthusiast and either is or planning to be a hobbyist.
If you are even slightly serious about making a go of it as a game developer or game development studio that pays the bills then be sure to read the sub-articles under this page. We will lightly touch on the key concepts you need to understand. We will aim to reset your expectations to be based on the reality of the game industry today and help you develop a plan that could lead you to success.
So you want to be a professional game developer. that is great, we need you, don't be dissuaded but let's make sure your expectations are rooted in reality.
You may have been told how easy it is these days, that anyone can do it with minimal learning all by themselves and find success.
If you were, you were lied to
Game development is very challenging.
Before we even get started, understand:
Learning is required for any level of success as a dev and/or as a studio. Even a "solo" developer has a rather massive team of support and tooling propping them up. Those "zero budget" games ... that is referring to zero outside investment e.g. "out of pocket" budget not "free" aka "without cost". Game development like every business has costs, a lot of them. Be prepared.
If you're still here, wonderful! The game industry, like any creative industry, can be incredibly fulfilling for those with a passion for it.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life Probably not said by Confucius, at least not in so many words ... still true