The Game Plan: I’m Not a Programmer

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If you’ve been following my Game Plan series then you’ve already put your game idea to paper and have a game design document done along with a set of small, easy to complete tasks to get you started working on a MVP or minimum viable product.

But What If You Can’t Do It?

If you lack the skills to do something during this game design journey then it really boils down to these two options:

  1. You outsource the work to someone who knows how to do it. If you go this route then you have to account for what it would cost to hire a knowledgeable person. Don’t expect that you will be able to find someone to do the work for free as this is often not the case, no matter how awesome your game idea is.
  2. Resign yourself to learning a new skill. You don’t have to be an expert programmer to make a game, just an adequate one. If you’re going to invest time into learning a new skill then don’t dwell on it for too long. Learn enough that you feel confident to complete the task at hand and then move on. Investing too much time in learning a skill will start you down a path further and further from a working game.

Outsourcing The Work

If you’ve decided to outsource the work here are a few things you should consider when hiring someone.

  1. Be prepared to pay — nothing in life is free!
  2. Ask for current examples of their work
  3. Communication is key, make sure you can easily understand each other
  4. Setup a timeline and consequences for BOTH parties not sticking to it
  5. Be available to answer questions and be flexible to suggested adjustements, changes and/or improvements
  6. Put everything in writing and set all expectations up front

Learning It Yourself

If you’ve decided to learn how to do it yourself then find a good resource that you like and understand and dig in until you can complete the task at hand. Try not to go above and beyond the task you’re trying to complete — remember that this will steer you away from delivering a minimum viable product. Here’s some good resources to get you pointed in the right direction:

Programing

Art

Music & Sound

Animation

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