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The Budget Game Designer

Chapter 1: How to Create a Game

Happy to see everyone again.

Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about the development process for the game. People have been asking why I wanted to make  a board game, and what I did to make it a reality without a publishing company or a large bankroll.

While I haven't completed the game or succeeded in many ways when it comes to the Scorched Kingdoms, I thought I would start a new category dedicated to sharing what I have learned and found to help most.

I’m not saying I know more about game development than anyone else, but if I can help someone create something of their own from what I've learned, then why not?

I found a few “how to’s” out there- some good, and some not- but there is something to take away from each of them. I hope you find that to be true here as well. I’ll link them throughout the series.

Let's get to it. Here are my top warnings before you start your adventure.

First things first, I thought developing the Scorched Kingdoms was going to be a side hobby. I would work on it a couple hours a week and take a year to make it. If you go into it thinking that, you will be looking at a long 5 years to finally create something.

It became another full time job that I was scrambling to find time for. The biggest problem was I had an awesome idea in my head, and a bunch of cut up paper, but no clue how to make any of it a reality.

Before you start, you’re going to want to make sure you’ll be able to make the time for it. You’ll also have to think of ways to make it up to your family for disappearing for days at a time. If they’ll be helping you or you have friends joining in with you, that’s great! Working on a game alone sounds fine, I mean it’s your idea and you want it to be your way right?

I’ll tell you now it’s a big NO.

Splitting all the tedious research and work will make your life much easier.

Yes, there will always be things you hate working on, no matter how much you like the project… Sorry, no way around that.

These teammates are your first line of defense against mind overloads and the unforeseen abundance of stress. Every painful detail is easier to figure out when you have multiple people looking at it.

Let's not forget the biggest part people don’t like to mention: money. Even if you are an independent developer, there will always be things you can’t do. I’ll try to make it cheaper with some tricks I’ve learned along the way, but it won’t be free.

No matter how you look at it, this is an investment in yourself, and you have to be willing to do it or stop right now. If you are making something for you and your friends to enjoy on paper, that’s fine. But if you are looking to build a marketable game, you are going to be studying more than you ever did in school. You’ll also be paying a lot of people to help with the thousand other things you don't know how to do. So it helps to have more people involved to focus on different parts and split costs.

Last, I have found that you will often want to quit as time goes on. When I got crushed on my first Kickstarter attempt, I was ready to throw in the towel. Like any business or venture out there you have to be willing to fight and claw your way through. That’s where you will want others around you most. The positive people will help you stand up and the negative people will give you the motivation to stay standing.

Speaking of the negative people, there will be plenty of them. Thick skin is a trait that will get you far in life. Later on when I talk about play testing and marketing we will get into that.

Just know you have to learn the difference between constructive criticism and BS. Take all the criticism you can, it will make the game better in the long run. Don't pay attention to the jealous and vindictive people out there. Most wait their whole lives to create something and never get there. They will always try to take others down with them.

Now that I posted all the warning labels, I want to say welcome to all the insane ones that will keep reading further. You are about to have the time of your life.

I don’t like writing too much in each post, I find people like to take information in chunks, so the next post will go back to the beginning of the Scorched Kingdoms. To keep the flow of content, I want to post this series on a separate day then the regular Thursday/Friday posts.

In the next few posts I’ll cover: the idea process, sites and programs I used, people I got help from, and how I developed the game. Then I’ll go more into the Kickstarter and how to bring it all together.

That will catch us up to the present and the second launch of the Scorched Kingdoms. I'm hoping to end this section with a success, and bring everyone on my journey forward.

The end of part one. Let me know if there's anything else you wanted me to cover.

I’ll see you guys later.

Oh and don't forget to subscribe below! We all know without updates you'll never know when I actually post.

Written by
Joe Rozier
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