games, inspiration

To make games you must play games

This one is for the guys who believe that working on your game to the point of exhaustion is the best way to make them.

I see this a lot. I saw it on myself a couple of months back. Games are hard to make, they take lots of your time. Better to dive in and forget all around you then, right? I used to answer “yes” to this question and get a twisted feel of superiority over my peers who played hours per day. Then I started getting stuck with my ideas. I got stuck a lot and kept working just for the sake of it.

Even though I still believe that working through your blocks is the best way to overcome them, there are a couple of things you can do to diminish them. I realized this when I started relating some advice for writers to game development.

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games, university

Game development major… Why?

I have been a university student majoring on Game Development since 2009. On the course of these four years, I’ve had a wide variety of feelings regarding the necessity to take classes on an education entity to produce games. It has been a long journey, I am no longer the kid that started the courses long ago. I have grown both personally and professionally. Because of that, my feelings changed along the way.

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game industry, games

What NOT to do when starting as an indie game developer

A while ago I stumbled upon a talk submission form for an event called The Developers’ Conference. It’s a gathering of people who want to learn a little bit more about topics like architecture, digital marketing, Arduino and others. Sure enough, games were going to be discussed there too.

The event was close to at least four universities that have game courses, so I thought many young faces would show up. Right after I saw the submission form, I started thinking what I could tell those people that want to be a part of the game developing scene here in Brazil. It didn’t take long before I realized I wanted to share with them the things I messed up on the past two years and maybe help them be more aware of some of the tricks you can fall for when you are too eager or too optimistic to do something.

When my talk got accepted I wanted to validate my arguments with other people’s own experience. That was something I didn’t have time to do and this post is an attempt to fix that. What this post is not, however, is a receipt to follow blindly. Feel free to disagree with me and bring your ideas to the table.

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games, postmortem

Postmortem: Little Red Running Hood

On the end of 2011, I was taking iOS development classes at college. I remember being amazed by how easy it was for me to have a prototype running on the iOS simulator, how little money I thought I would need to invest to have it up on the App Store and how everybody was talking about the nice opportunities indie game developers were having on the mobile market. I wanted that for me. I also remember being unhappy with my job at a web agency, with no perspective on the horizon. So, I partnered up with Eduardo Ribas, another unhappy co-worker and we set out to make an iOS game.

After working on the project on my spare time for quite a while, I realized it would take forever to finish it and I didn’t want to lose the momentum. So, on the beginning of 2012, I quit my job and started coding full time. We also started talking to people that understand how taxes here in Brazil work and they told us we needed a company to share profits and those sorts of things. So, I wrote a simple business plan and we started filling out paperwork to have our own indie company. We named it Luckyfingers Interactive. It was around that time that Eduardo also quit and joined me on the ranks of full time indie development.

It took a while, but we finally released our game, Little Red Running Hood. It happened on July 31st, almost three months ago. On October 31st Luckyfingers Interactive will be one year old.

This is a personal reflection on how we were unable to keep our company alive longer than that. It’s a warning to aspiring game developers out there to not be as naive as I was and to not fall for survivorship bias as I have.

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