Learning about game production is the starting point of becoming a game developer and managing your career as a developer and your company in the industry.
Start by thinking like a game producer
A game producer is a person who leads a game development team and manages the business aspects of the project in addition to managing the coordination of the creative members of the team.
Since you’re going to make your first game, you have to learn to be your own first producer.
Becoming an indie game developer
The decision to become an indie game developer is a business decision. Artistic inspiration is a great reason to embark on a game dev career. It begins a path through making a first game towards building an indie game dev team or getting a job in the game industry.
To make a first game you’ll learn production, writing, design, programming, art, audio and testing skills.
The path leads from planning a career to starting a small game company almost immediately, unless you plan only to go to game developer school till you are hired by a big game company and never develop your own games.
Start by watching Extra Credits: So You Want To Be An Indie:
Plan your scope small and achievable
You aren’t going to make huge AAA games with endless RPG content as your first project. Think small first.
Know what you’re getting yourself into
Being an indie dev involves more than making games. You need to consider financing, legal, PR & more.
Plan a realistic budget with enough to make another if it doesn’t sell
You’ll need to get your game distribution and you may not get paid for 30 or 60 days after it goes on sale even if it is a success. Make sure you have enough in the bank to eat after the game comes out.
Mechanics trump content
You can’t pull off lots of boring levels and make them fun later. Polish and scale are the weapons of the AAA world that you can’t compete with. Fun mechanics are what you need to focus on. Designing levels before you find the fun feels like progress, but it is premature. Before you build out content it is essential to making an indie game that grabs people right away. Mario started with a single room where you could practice jumping till they got the jumping to be really fun.
Indie games need public relations to succeed. Start by watching Thomas Reisenegger’s GDC 2016 talk, The 5 Pillars & Pitfalls of Indie Games PR and read our detailed game PR guide.
Play Game Dev Tycoon & Game Dev Story
Game Dev Tycoon is a game that simulates many aspects of being a game developer.
Game Dev Story is a similar mobile game for iPhone/Android.