Discussion How to fail gamedev in 8 easy steps

Here is a little thing I started on gamejolt, the original can be found here: https://gamejolt.com/f/how-to-fail-gamedev-in-8-easy-steps/271963 . If you have any horrible dev advice, feel free to give it by replying to this thread :)

As an amazing game developer, I feel that it is my duty to inform you all on how to fail a game. Making a successful game is hard and requires effort and luck. But failing at gamedev can be surprisingly easy and you can achieve this by following my very simple guide:

#FailGameDev

Step 1: maximize your scope

A video game is first and foremost an amazing concept. Just having one idea for a core gameplay mechanic is not enough, you must think about every detail and cram as much potential content into your game before you even start coding. After all it is well known that people like very long games with lots of content and will just HATE simple games ESPECIALLY if you are an independant dev with no budget. You don't want your game to be rated along other puny indie games. You want to be compared to those AAA games that take years of development and thousands of people to make. Are you working solo? This is perfect! You will make as much revenue as a triple A title does and you won't need to share it with others because by following this guide you will become a god-like dev who can do everything on his own. There is no reason to keep things simple, because you master all the aspects of gamedev.

Step 2: be the idea guy

Oh, it turns out you don't actually master all the aspects of gamedev. Fear not! In the amazing world of indie games, anyone can make a game and get rich without knowing the first thing about coding or creating ressources or project management. How do you make a game when you are this person? Why, working in a team of course! After your scope has been maximized, your next priority is to gather a team of expert individuals who will work for free. The best place to find great teammates is to go to a gamedev chat full of other aspiring game devs who are exactly like you. Just hop on the chat with your amazing concept, and start asking for people who want to join your team. The game is already nearly done! All you need is to recruit an artist, a composer, and someone who will actually code the game for you. Your role as an idea guy is obviously to be the leader of this team. After all, you don't need any kind of experience to be a leader!

Step 3: delay actual coding

So you are the idea guy. Obviously, you're going to need all your teammates to work and create content, because you can't function as a team if everyone else hasn't done their jobs. Make sure to not actually make a Minimum Viable Product. The only MVP your project needs is YOU. Artists don't need to know how your game plays to draw art for it, and composers don't need to know the tone of the game to make music. Because of your amazing recruitment skills, they are JUST THAT GOOD. Most importantly it is vital that NO ONE ever plays your game in an incomplete state, and a demo will NEVER be representative of what the final product is like. Since your ideas are amazing, it is obvious that they will integrate amazingly well with what your team has made. There is no need to set a schedule or milestones, or even bother about communication. Just make sure to contact your teammates after a week of radio silence, asking if they made anything. Even though you're not paying them, your team will never disband because they are in for honor.

Step 4: steal ressources

What? Your team has disbanded? It DOESN'T MATTER! At least you're still here. And you're the MVP! Your natural talent for improvisation will always compensate for your lack of actual talent. Who needs a programmer if you can just download tutorial edits for your favorite engine and add a plot to it? Who needs a composer if you can just download songs from other games you like? Who needs an artist if you can just copy entire sprite sheets for free? Hell, even as the idea guy you don't need a good core concept if you can just base your game on a popular existing franchise! Just add NSFW content to it to make it look more "mature" and "advanced" than the original product, and everyone will love it! Don't forget to credit yourself as the designer, the publisher, and the producer even though you have no idea what those terms actually mean!

Step 5: do not take feedback

You are the MVP, you know exactly and objectively how to make a great game. So you might give in to the temptation of releasing a demo anyway to show the world how good of a dev you are. If that happens, just know that a bunch of evil trolls will show up to say your game is bad. DO NOT FEED THOSE TROLLS. The most perverse of trolls will be the ones saying objectively how specific elements of your game could be slightly improved. They are only here to mock you, you know very well how the brain of every gamer works and therefore they are wrong. It is not that your game is bad, it is that everyone else is stupid and cannot comprehend your art. If you make a video trailer for your game make sure to disable comments and ratings, they were created for youtube drama.


Step 6: don't do any research

Just like other people should not comment on your game before release, you have no reason to actually check what other people have made. Being a game dev is about being good or being bad, and you know which side of the spectrum you stand on. Gamedev schools are a waste of time and money, and so are online tutorials. The work of other game devs is objectively inferior to yours, so why would you bother playing what they made? As the idea guy, you can just sit in front of your computer with your favorite gamedev program running, and ideas will flow naturally. If they don't, you can just go on forums and lecture people, giving them advice on how to make great games like you. Remember to not actually check their games, they are irrelevant for the advice you give. Talking about how you think games should work is definitely not procrastination, and a great way to improve.

Step 7: if at first you don't succeed, stop

Improving is actually something you should not do, because either you are a good dev from the start or you're a bad dev. Mistakes are done only by noobs, so if your first ever made game is NOT a major hit, you must leave the gamedev scene for a few years, to make sure people forget you ever existed. After a few years, remember that you are actually an MVP with massive talent and retry making your first ever game without changing your ways. This is also true mid-project. You don't want to ever ship a bad game, so if ever you notice that your current project isn't as good as you expected, just stop right there and start a new project. After all, who cares about finishing games? You're a good game dev beacuse you're good at CREATING things.


Final step: monetization and promotion

This should always be the last thing you do, and more often than not you don't even need to do it. Your game is perfect, and therefore it doesn't need communication shenanigans to be played. At launch, thousands of people will naturally buy it, play it, and then talk about it it to their friends just like any AAA game. If your game is free then it WILL become viral and net you millions in ad revenue. You don't need to worry about market laws or intellectual property or even TAX. After all you earned money on the internet, you are not like those inferior people with regular jobs. If ever you DO run into minor setbacks like a DMCA takedown due to following step 4, EVERYTHING IS FINE. Just write them an e-mail including the words "fair use", "parody","freedom of speech" and "money-grabbing arseholes" and your game will instantly be taken back up, generating revenue as intended.

Another great moment to monetize AND promote your game at the same time is actually right before doing anything else. This can be done by creating a kickstarters, and giving amazing speeches to your backers about how great your non-started game is. You'll get great funding this way and if ever your project fails you can always just say it's the backer's fault for not putting in enough money. Remember that any problem can be solved by throwing enough money at it, ESPECIALLY when you are not part of a big company.

If ever you DO feel the need to promote your game because EVERYONE MUST KNOW IT EXISTS, here is a list of great promotion methods:
  • Use every popular tag, even those that do not have anything to do with your game.
  • Go on gamedev chats saying "hey guys check out my fnaf fan game", it will get them intersted immediately.
  • Spam links to your game with no context. Don't actually reply if someone has questions about it.
  • Posting multiple times in a row makes it more likely for people to download your game.
  • If you don't have a playable game yet, make sure to not include any screenshots from your secret project.
  • Using a popular franchise character as your thumbnail makes it more likely for people to click it.
 
G

Guest

Guest
This "fail" **** is getting annoying. It's let-me-give-you-some-straight-talk pap mixed with "7 steps" business wisdom repeatedly warmed over by dorm room intellectuals with zero qualifications to advise anybody on anything ever. Just ****ing stop it.
 
This "fail" **** is getting annoying. It's let-me-give-you-some-straight-talk pap mixed with "7 steps" business wisdom repeatedly warmed over by dorm room intellectuals with zero qualifications to advise anybody on anything ever. Just ****ing stop it.
Those lists are usually about how to succeed though :) not how to fail. Failing is easier.

I do recommend watching this video though:
 
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zendraw

Member
i wonder has any1 tryed to just take ready art/music and program the game entirely from tutorials? i think that wuld be fun to see.
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
Funny article, and well written. +1 Satire is an interesting approach to a how-to guide. And you used it well.

I laughed out loud at a few of your (satirical) suggestions. Because we've all seem this behaviour on game dev forums. Like this one:
The most perverse of trolls will be the ones saying objectively how specific elements of your game could be slightly improved. They are only here to mock you, you know very well how the brain of every gamer works and therefore they are wrong. It is not that your game is bad, it is that everyone else is stupid and cannot comprehend your art.
 
Dunno about the first step, but the main joke about the last step is that it's the LAST thing I advise you to do :p
I know. I was joking because I've seen people with 5k twitter followers fail miserably with their ks campaigns, and people with barely any followers do twenty times better. Indies always say "I failed because of bad advertising, not because of my game!", but from the people I've talked to and the statistics I've seen, word of mouth actually does drive sales and kickstarters more than cute gifs on twitter and Facebook, haha. ;p

I'd still recommend having a social media presence, because it can't hurt, but from what I've seen, launching a ks "dry" is absolutely feasible if your game is good enough.
 
I know. I was joking because I've seen people with 5k twitter followers fail miserably with their ks campaigns, and people with barely any followers do twenty times better.
Actually, 5k followers is not nearly enough for marketting purposes (I myself am at 2k or something, and considering all the bots it's really nothing), so they probably just failed because their thing was bad like everyone else :p
Word of mouth does drive more sales when it happens (and by that I mean your game going viral), it just doesn't happen as often as an indie dev would think (which for some, seems to be "100% of the time") So launching a kickstarter "dry" and succeeding is something that may happen but you shouldn't plan on it happening automaticallly (especially since, as you said, you need your game to be good. And good is very subjective for some :) )
 
Actually, 5k followers is not nearly enough for marketting purposes (I myself am at 2k or something, and considering all the bots it's really nothing), so they probably just failed because their thing was bad like everyone else :p
Word of mouth does drive more sales when it happens (and by that I mean your game going viral), it just doesn't happen as often as an indie dev would think (which for some, seems to be "100% of the time") So launching a kickstarter "dry" and succeeding is something that may happen but you shouldn't plan on it happening automaticallly (especially since, as you said, you need your game to be good. And good is very subjective for some :) )
Do you have any statistics on any of this? Or is this all based on your gut feelings? =)
 
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