If you, like me, have worked on a personal project to develop a game, or even if you have a similar project in way of scale, then you know going it alone is thrilling and exciting and a challenge to enjoy, but, it’s a long road, a very, VERY long road, and going it alone has many things that’ll make you want to give up!
Now, there's a lot to be said for going it alone and meeting all challenges by yourself, problems will always have one answer, your answer.
No one else to hash through and persuade of your opinion, however that also means if your answer is wrong, you are back to square one to find a new answer. And oh the distances we can go before we realise how big a mistake we’ve made!
The same is true of new ideas and directions for your project, your one voice leads the way, wrongly or rightly.
That obviously isn't too much of a problem, it just means you will spend longer getting to where you want, without the interference/annoyance of other people's opinions.
There's another flip-side to that and it’s the creativity derived from collaboration and the joy of achievement.
Yes, when there's a problem, tangling in debate about solutions can be at times tiresome. But when things go right, when you have a celebratory milestone, you turn around to high five, and your shadow's cold wall feel (possibly textured wall paper feel) is enough to make you feel like it wasn't a win at all. Then there's telling a mate down the pub, or coffee shop if you're a non-drinker, the "Ah cool man!" response hits your ears like a butterfly and you hardly feel any joy at all.
They don't know, and can't understand the triumph you've just explained. Further still telling your mate, or telling your dad or mum, results in the end of a conversation and onto the next thing "You won't guess what Bob's gone and done", or "Did I tell you your sister has a new boyfriend!".
The death of your excitement right there, however, (here’s that thing, I have that you might not!) if you've worked with someone, a team perhaps, there's high fives, there's huge smiles, sometimes hugs! There's the ever so great reliving or re-enactments, like "Remember when we argued about fonts, soooo funny" or "Remember when Tom's face went like this (makes puzzled face) when we asked him how many times a day does he find our questions puzzling, hilarious!".
You may all plan to go out for a meal to really relive the highs, or go out for drinks to relive said highs, till you blackout from dance exhaustion.
All this and there're even more options available to truly relish in triumph, take the team to a theme park, hire a bouncy castle, go crazy, you're celebrating after all.
These things, and more, like the quiet moments when you look around and everyone is happily working, or chatting about developments, a real buzz of activity. All make me feel great about the forming of my game development team.
Then there’s the benefits of your small idea being bounced around other creatives, changing, growing and building something far beyond your dream, a far greater game!
Feedback on your ideas, is actually crucial, that’s why beta testing and prototyping exists. And while you can outsource this feedback, there’s things that a team who work on a game, will know what to look for based on the goal of the final product.
Complete strangers may bring a fresh new idea or concept, but more often than not, their ideas would mean changing your game to something that isn’t inline with what you want your game to become. External feedback is far better suited to finding and fixing bugs and errors, which from being so close to the project is hard for the team to spot and find.
I have a team of legends and I look forward to the highs, and I know that whatever the lows, me and my team will overcome and excel, and when it's time to celebrate, we will aim to make newspaper headlines.
If you’re convinced from this patter of mine that the road ahead of you is one you don’t want to make alone, well you’re in the right place!
Game Dev London has a thriving community of game developers of all trades, from coding and concept to design and asset. Join the discord, and build your team today, your dream game awaits!
About the author:
Stuart De Ville is a CEO at zappoppow.co.uk and the Co-founder here at Game Dev London, he also hosts episodes of the GDL podcast. He is also involved in #PitchYaGame on Twitter, an initiative to help indies showcase their games and get noticed by investors and publishers.
A self-confessed workaholic and stay at home parent to a 2yrld boy, we really don’t know where he finds the time to write blogs!