3 things I wish I knew before working on my first commercial game
Updated: Aug 24
We asked our Indie Game Developer alumni River to share her insights after working on her first commercial game.
A bit more than a year ago I started my education as an indie game developer and the following summer I worked on my first game. It was a dream come true, but once I started working, I quickly realized how little I actually knew about game development and the process behind it. There are things I wished I knew beforehand, that could have made me work more efficiently.
These are three things that I wished I knew before developing my first game:
Do research on game engines
Since I studied to become an indie game developer, I learned the very basics of Unity. But I wished I had done more research on my own since I initially needed a lot of help due to not knowing how things worked. While everyone was accommodating and kind, I would probably have been able to work more efficiently if I knew things such as animating 2D objects in Unity beforehand. So other developers wouldn’t have to teach me.
Lilla Spöket Laban - Färger och Djur; the game River worked on.
You don’t have to know how to work in each field.
While it can be good to know the basics in several fields, it is not always necessary. For example, if you work with a team, people will likely have different roles, where they work with what they feel comfortable with. Because of this, there is no need to feel wrong about not being a good level designer if you feel more comfortable working in another field!
A lot of things might change.
Things in a game are bound to be changed, but I never knew how many things might be changed or implemented before a game is released. During development, people come up with cool new ideas to implement. Then, after getting feedback from beta testers, we had to change items for clarity or other reasons. While I am thrilled and proud about how the game turned out, I wished I was more prepared for how many things would change. That way it would have been easier to “kill my darlings,” so to speak.
These were some of the things I wish I knew before working on my first game. Despite not being fully prepared, it was a great and fun experience and I learned a lot. Working on a game has made me hungry to learn more and I can’t wait till I get the chance to work on my next game!
River, one of our Indie Game Developer alumni worked together with Signe Studio and Shaping Games to create the delightful mobile game Lilla Spöket Laban - Färger och djur and you can find it on both Google play and AppStore.