I think Simon learned a lesson today.He learned not to email me and say “I’ve got some great ideas for the Rather Useful Seminar this afternoon about getting your game to market”. I told him I had an even better idea.
He could do the seminar.
So he did. And it was excellent. We kind of did it between us (in other words Simon said things and I shouted out stuff from the side). We also had John and Josh come by to talk about their experience getting games to market. They started by publishing games from Three Thing Game and are now planning proper releases, with game companies based down at Platform Studios. Points to ponder:
- Get something out there. Just do it. Don’t wait for it to be “finished”. Nothing is ever really finished. If you get stuff out there you will get feedback and make your next game even better. The experience of actually getting something approved and in a marketplace is an incredibly valuable one.
- Set yourself deadlines. Don’t just plan to “Get round to it”. You never will. Tell yourself you are going to ship at the end of November and then do that.
- Put yourself out there. Like everything else, it is all about networking and who you know. Get yourself business cards. Go to events. Shake hands with folks. Start a blog, get yourself a following and practise your writing styles.
- There is no such thing as an “Overnight Success”. Minecraft took four years of solid work. Lots of other independent games that came from nowhere actually had a long gestation period and lots of planning behind them. And they were frequently the most recent in a long line of releases that had previously gone nowhere.
- If something doesn’t work the way you thought it would, see if that makes the gameplay better, and use it if it does. Some games are built on “happy accidents”.
- Keep doing stuff.
Thanks so much to Simon for putting together such a good presentation at such short notice. You can find the slides here.