Devlog #2: Information Overload, Where to Begin?

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So, as I discussed in the previous post I knew I had a lot to learn and no formal experience in the industry. I wasn’t discouraged, but also didn’t really know where to get started. I knew I had a friend from back in high school who ended up working for Bioware and Google as a developer, so I made contact and had a virtual cup of coffee with him to discuss the industry. While he wasn’t interested in participating in the project he did point me to some useful resources to get started, namely some GDC talks that gave a good overview of the indie dev scene and various facets of the industry, and that developing a game design document would likely be a good first step to put my ideas on paper and properly scope my project and be able to communicate it to others. I’ll link the various resources at the end of the article for anyone interested.

So, I checked out the resources he recommended, watched a LOT of GDC talks, found a game design document template I liked and started working my way through it. I’ll be posting that and discussing it in a later blog post if that’s something you’re interested in.

While I was doing all that (around my day job, family commitments, and other things) I did some more research in to other studios and the history of cRPG’s. I found a great retrospective on the genre by Chris Davis on YouTube, and read up on how Bioware, ZA/UM, and other studios got their start. I remember this was a pretty encouraging time for me, learning new things about the industry, making some contacts, and just generally trying to absorb as much information as I could. I also joined some gamedev communities on Facebook, Reddit, and Discord and tried to participate and see what other folks were working on. I remember reading about how some other studios got started was also pretty encouraging, especially Bioware and ZA/UM which like me had no prior games industry experience, but went on to be successful anyway. It really demonstrated to me that passion, persistence, and a good general business acumen could help me be successful in spite of my lack of experience and hard skills. Several of the GDC talks that were more “business of gaming” focused reinforced this point as well.

I remember things were moving pretty slowly at this stage, the game design document took weeks to develop and I spent those weeks watching the GDC talks and reading various articles about the industry. But slow, steady and persistent progress is still progress after all. I remember having to manage my expectations. With limited knowledge of the industry, a full-time job, and a limited budget, I knew it was likely going to take years to develop the game, so persistence was going to be key.

Thanks everyone, Take Care.

-Isaac