If you’re an avid gamer, at some point your mind might turn to creating your own indie game. After all, if you’re bored with what’s on offer in the market, and you’re always thinking ‘I know how I would do that’, why not put that to the test and actually give it a go! Of course, making a game is not a simple task, and requires lots of different layers to get it up and running – but if you’re serious about starting to make and share your indie games, here are a few steps you’ll need to follow.
Learn the Skills
Coding, animating, design. It takes a lot of skills to make a game, and the joy and difficulty of independent game-making is that you do it all yourself. Now, you can look for collaborators of course, and if you have mates who also want to try making a game, perfect. However, if not, it’s probably a good idea to learn at least one of the skills above, and ideally all three to a basic level. There are courses you can take online which will teach you your way around and start letting you create basic forms and programs.
Make the Game
Once you’ve learned some basic skills, it’s time to actually build the game. You can actually use Unreal Engine or Unity as they are both free at the point of use, only charging royalties when you start monetizing your game. However, as they’re used for the big-budget blockbusters, they’re both complex platforms that might be intimidating for those without coding knowledge or game experience. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of online websites and resources, for example GDevelop, where you can create games even without any coding skills at all.
Choose Your Platform
You might think your job is over when your game is complete – wrong! If you want anyone to actually play your game (or even to make money from it) you’ll need to find the best way of sharing it. Steam is the obvious distribution service for PCs, costing $100 to upload a game, but if you’ve created a mobile game, you’ll want to look into the app stores for Google and Apple. Other services such as Itch.io and GameJolt will also take a cut of any profit you make. If you want to have ultimate control over your game, it may be worth creating your own website to host it on. Investigate cheap windows vps if you can, as this will give you dedicated virtual servers to host your games, helping to optimize how they run for users.
Even then, you can’t quite move on to your next game just yet. Sometimes, gamers might stumble across your game as a hidden gem on one of the platforms above, but to really get it noticed you’ll need to treat your game like a company would treat one of its products – share it, share it, share it. Start on your own social media platforms and get your friends to help spread the word; word of mouth is a great way to popularize an indie game, and there’s no better time to start than immediately after your game’s release.