Any good thing can be a painstakingly long process. Game development is no exception. When working with code, assets, level design, etc. There are too many things to keep track if your justs learning the basics. Let’s also say your a one man team just trying to develop a simple level; making sure everything works properly with little to no problem. Luckily I’ve got just what you need. For this discussion, let’s work with the situation of one person.
Tip I: Notes
Notes are a life saver. From a personal experience, it really helps right? Treat your game like your classwork. Always take notes on what you don’t understand. If you know a piece of code or blueprints that you know are not going to be able to remember, first write down the steps to achieve such data, label what kind of group does that code belong in, and make sure you write it in a way you will understand. Use things like abbreviations, post it notes.
Tip II: The primary objective
Always focus on the most important things that play a major role in the game. The Coding/blueprints. While aesthetics are also important, the most critical part is often the hardest. The body cannot operate without the brain. Always work on the areas that take up the most times.
Tip III: Breaks
As blunt as this next tip is, you would be surprised how effective a rest is. You can and will become mentaly stressed out by work. Between coding and designing assets, your head will start to hurt. Step away from the screen; even if you feel as if you barely made any progress. You won’t be able to continue the game if you can’t focus properly and can lead to a much of mistakes, incorrect coding, incomplete animations, the outcomes vary. Remember, you may be designing a game, but you’re designing YOUR game. You want to create it the way you want it to be.
Tip IV: Accept the mistakes
This is especially useful for those just starting out or looking to get into game design. You must not be afraid of the trial and errors you’ll face during the development process. First informal play around with the engine your working with to get a better idea of what to expect from it. Then as you venture further into your work, accept the errors you will make. You can build upon and learn from those mistakes; especially when trying to have a character and an asset interact with each other. If you do end up getting things right my pure luck, by that’s fantastic, but always know that failure is the first part of success.
Tip V: Have Fun
As if it wasn’t obvious enough, enjoy what you’re working on. If you go in with a negative attitude, you’re going to get negative results. I’ll say it once and I say it again. Game development is a long process that requires precision and dedication to complete. It doesn’t matter if you’re designing for yourself or wanting to make a profit from your games if you don’t enjoy what you’re working, your time as a game designer will be short. I mean, you literally get to play a game before anyone else (playtesting your game). Stay committed and dedicated and you’ll do just fine.