©March 2018 by Dogma Game Studios.

  • Raven Garcia

Game Development: What Does it Take?

In our previous article (Why Game Dev?!), we answered the pivotal question on why we chose to develop our game. The next questions we’d like to address are the ‘How’, and ‘What it takes’ to get to our goal.

According to Unity, there are three ways to develop your own game:

1. Scope: “Get something built that you can actually play even in the most rudimentary fashion as soon as possible.”

2. Design your games around your skills (resources). Learn what you can do, and design around it. Start small, keep it simple. Tutorials, and forums. Stack exchange.

“Creativity is the mother of all invention.”

3. Patience, lots of it.


In its simplest form, a scope should have:

1. Problem Statement: the why

2. Goals & Objectives: the how & what

3. Administration: the who

4. Timeline: the when

In gaming (or when finding your niche), you must find what is called the MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

Online image: Transform Customers

Watch this video from Unity to know more about it:

In our previous article, being conscious about Goldilock’s principle is crucial to streamline the important elements of your products. More on: How to identify the scope of your game.

Design your games around your skills (resources)

According to gamedesigning.org:

“Game developers are people like you with math, computer, or creative arts skills. They spend their time programming and developing games. This includes programming console, computer, and mobile video games.”

I’d also like to point out that location is very important for you to thrive in gaming. Why? There are three reasons according to Game Industry Career Guide:

  1. Career security. Notice that I didn’t say job security. The video game industry can be volatile, and layoffs at any game studio could happen without notice, so job security isn’t always high. But when you live in a city that has a dozen or more other game studios, it’s faster and easier to get a new job if you do get laid off. Developers in hotbed cities often get hired at new jobs within days of a layoff, sometimes without even having to apply. Now that’s career security.

  2. Concentration of talent. Because hotbed cities have a lot of game jobs, they attract hundreds of highly talented developers. What does that mean for you? It means that, especially if you’re new to the industry, you’ll get to work with – and learn from – some of the most talented developers in the world.

  3. Size fuels growth. When a group of people start thinking about where to open a new game studio, one of their top considerations is the ability to easily find experienced and talented people to hire. Game dev hotbeds have more developers than anywhere else, so it’s common for new dev studios to be started in a hotbed city. That means more job opportunities for you.

I’ve seen a lot of forums also where a game developer in India or Philippines are seriously considering moving to either US/ China/ Japan to be able to work in “Silicon Valley” countries of gaming.

However, it is worth pointing out that the list of countries, and cities in the list is not quite up to date. IF you want the updated list (by game revenue that is!): Top 100 Countries/ Markets by Game Revenues.

One way or another, you will need to upskill/ cross- skill, so I’ve included here a list of gaming courses and resources online (original from Gautam Tambay: The Best Free Online Resources to Learn Game Development and Gamification)

Game Development for Beginners

1. Introduction to Game Development: This course is taught by Brian Winn from Michigan State University will familiarize yourself with the tools and practices of game development. Duration: 4 weeks, 2-5 hours/ week.

2. Game Design and Development Specialization: Another one from Michigan State University, this Specialization covers the theoretical and practical foundations of video game production using the Unity 3D game engine. Duration: 4 weeks, 2-5 hours/ week.

3. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python: This two-part course is designed to help students with very little or no computing background learn the basics of building simple interactive applications. Duration: 5 weeks of study, 7-10 hours/week.

4. Begin programming: build your first mobile game: This course teaches you to build a basic Android game in Java. Offered by The University of Reading on UK’s FutureLearn platform. Duration: 5 weeks of study, 4 hours/week. Cost: FREE access for 7 weeks, upgrade $74 for unlimited access to the course.

5. Walker Boys Studio Unity 3D Training: A very comprehensive course that takes you from beginner to developing a 3D game in Unity. The instructors, who have worked at top studios like Ensemble, Firefly, and Terminal Reality have assembled over 50 hours of content and have seen over 3.5 million views to date. Duration: Self-paced. FREE.

6. Game Programming A to Z: Space Rocks: This course on Udemy teaches beginners to build a game using free and low-cost tools, such as GIMP, Inkscape, Audacity and GameMaker. This shows how to start a video game idea at the planning stage and develop the entire title, step-by-step, into a finished product. Duration: Self-paced. FREE.

7. Game Development Crash Course with Corona SDK: This course on Udemy teach how to create a simple mobile game using Corona — a tool used by many developers to build mobile apps and games for iOS and Android. Duration: Self-paced. FREE.

8. gamedev.net: A fantastic community of game developers who share useful articles, answer forum questions, collaborate on projects, and post job openings. Truly a great resource for anyone who likes learning in a social setting. A lot cleaner than going to Stack Exchange for example.

9. EdX Course on Video Game Design: With instructors from Rochester Institute of Technology, this will add up to a rich understanding of gaming as an industry, and a discipline. Duration: 5 weeks of study, 3 hours/ week

Gamification, Game Psychology and Games as Media

10. Gamification: Taught by Wharton professor Kevin Werbach, this is amongst the earliest and most popular courses on the Coursera Platform. It covers the psychological and technological aspects of good game design, and how game design principles can be applied to non-gaming problems. Duration: 6 weeks of study, 4-8 hours/ week.

11. Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative: This 6-week course from Vanderbilt University, designed as an English literature class, covers how stories change as they move across different media (books → movies → games) with Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings as the central example. . Duration: 6 weeks of study.

Game Development for Experienced Developers

12. HTML5 Game Development: This intermediate-level Udacity course (prerequisites include knowledge of HTML and JavaScript) is taught by two members of Google’s Chrome team. It covers game development techniques and building a high performance HTML5 application. Duration: Self-paced. FREE.

13. Game Development Fundamentals with Python: This Udemy course is ideal for people with some prior Python programming experience. Duration: Self-paced. Cost: USD 20.

Game Art and Design

14. Game Design Fundamentals: A YouTube talk on game from MIT’s gaming lab.

More self-paced courses (Thank you for reaching this far!):

15. Coursera

16. Alison.com

17. IGN’s list of 40 Best Online Game Development Courses

Last, and certainly not the least— You must have a PATIENCE of a saint!

OK, probably not of a saint, but at least have the resilience to overcome hardships:

Just try searching “How long does it take to create a game?”—the best answer I’ve seen so far:

Image Source: quora.com

So you can take that as a benchmark; OR an opportunity. I guess the real question should be: “HOW DO I BECOME MORE RESILIENT?”

5 steps according to Experience Life:

  1. Positive thinking: always try to find the silver lining even in the worst of circumstances. To me, I find listening to the likes of Gary Veynerchuk, or Robin Sharma does the trick. Also, know that positivity (and negativity) are contagious—always think of yourself as that catalyst for change.

  2. LEARN, LEARN, LEARN: always ask the question: “what I can gain from this experience?”

  3. Open Your Heart: In studies, researchers found that serotonin [the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being] is used more efficiently by people who have just engaged in an act of kindness,” says Sabine.

  4. Take Care of Yourself: Because no one else would, and a regular healthy routine is essential to both mental and emotional resilience. Taking advantage of breaks is key to finding that mastery.

  5. Hang on to Humour: Because laughter is indeed the best medicine.

SO, whatever it is you are starting, ask yourself: “DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES to….?”

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