I remember seeing a graph showing that most studios only ever publish one game before moving on.
This is a shame.
The first game you make is the one that takes the most effort and gives you the least amount of rewards.
There’s a lot of work you need to do at first:
- Setting up a business entity
- Making a Steamworks account and installing all of their tools
- Learning to code, do art, where to find sounds and music, how marketing works
- Learning how to use a game engine
- Coding menus, resolution and input managers, localization systems and more modules that can be reused across all of your games
- And more.
All of these things only need to be done once no matter how many games you make.
And they all go to waste if you stop after your first one.
With your newfound resources, knowledge and skills…
…you could probably make a game with the exact same scope as your first one in less than half the time.
That’s how I personally feel about my own game.
Now, all of that sounds nice and good… but how do we know if it’s actually the case?
Maybe new challenges appear when you’re working on your second game.
We could theorize all day long and get no further.
Or we could run a little experiment and see if our hypotheses are true.
My first game is not done yet, but I’ve been working on this side-project the past few days.
I want to see how long it takes me to go from idea to published game when all the groundwork has already been laid out by past-me.
So I’m making a small game that currently looks like this. (image below)
I’m not going to be able to spend 100% of my time on this but I’m pretty confident it’ll get done.
Here are some of my expectations:
- Few weeks of part-time development
- 1-2 hours of playtime (it’s a roguelite)
- $4,99 price point, published on Steam and itch.io
- It’ll hopefully bring a boost in visibility to my other bigger game (I’m thinking of making a bundle with both of them)
It’ll be good to reflect on these once the project is done.
Obviously, this could all go wrong.
I could put a buggy mess onto Steam, get a bunch of negative reviews and lose my $100 Steam fee.
It could also get no visibility and sales at all.
But either way, it’ll be a good opportunity to learn, test out hypotheses, iron out my processes and make the next game even better.
I’ll keep you updated about that project. And I’ll share all the numbers with you, as usual.
Until next week,
Developer of Space Gladiators: Escaping Tartarus