After spending months, our first game What The Film?! is just about done! We at Lethal Chicken Games wanted to share some things we noticed in bring a game to life from idea to launch.
1.Have fun with the process
Making a game from the scratch can be a somewhat crazy process. The number of hours you will spend behind a screen or at a desk is at times unruly. That is why making the process fun is almost a must. Finding your favorite music or cracking jokes when editing will both help you channel your inner creativity, but also break up the monotony. While making What The Film?!, I spent so much time laughing at funny card art or singing 80's new wave music at the top of my lungs. Find your thing, even if it causes your business partner to roll his eyes constantly (“Tears for Fears” can do that). Enjoy the moment because it can be a long one if you're not having fun.
2. Realize your game isn’t for everyone
One of the hardest things as a creator of anything is taking criticism. I will guarantee that your project will become a child of yours. Just like a child, you will want to punch someone who messes with your kin. It's really okay for some people to think what you are doing sucks. With that said, stay the course! You have something unique to offer to someone out there. Humility in dealing with the naysayers will ultimately help you bring the best product you can to market. Surround yourself with uplifting people, this will make it easier to deal with getting your heart ripped out through the project's process. Stay the course; you can do it!
3.Be critical, yet compromisable
If you are anything like me, you consider yourself a perfectionist. In the process of What The Film?! Alex, (co-owner of Lethal Chicken Games) made a folder labeled ‘Mike's a jerk’. This folder was dedicated to stuff that didn't make the cut for the game; and rest assure that folder was full in an about a week. It is ok to be critical, sometimes it is even necessary to be in order to make the best product you can. Making a game is like a relationship, you need to pick your battles. Focus your efforts on the big picture and the elements that are a part of a grandiose scene. Spending hours tweaking the opacity of font that is barely visible might leave you unsatisfied and a black eye from your business partner.
4. Playtest, Playtest, Playtest
I can't emphasize this point enough. You need to break your game! Playtesting is probably the most important part of the process. Play your game often and realize what needs to be a changed. You should be making a game you are happy to play, so prove it. The not so easy thing to do is hosting blind testings. I will tell you now, during a blind test you are going to have to bite your tongue and nails, walk away often, and literally fight back vomit! It is so nerve racking seeing someone you don't know hold your baby! But believe us, you will get through it and the critiques found here are priceless. Also, go above and beyond during blind test. Buy some snacks. Treat these folks nicely - they might be future consumers!
5.Marketing is your friend; become besties
I shouldn't have to say how important marketing is but, if you need me to, here it is...marketing is important! I think for many the idea of marketing is something you wait to pull the trigger on. My advice is not to wait. The minute you are willing to share your idea with a friend, you should be ready to share on social media. Marketing for your game should be a marathon, not a sprint. Setting up shop early provides a great foundation to run a successful retail campaign. Social media is your friend. Use it daily; yes, daily.
We know there is more to the process, but these are lessons we learned. Have you made a game? Or are you making a game? What is your advice? Share down below. If you are on the fence of bringing a game to market, we say DO IT! Now that you have a push, go make magic happen!