indie game development

6 Steps in Starting in Indie Game Development

Are you fascinated by the idea of creating new worlds that people can enjoy? If so, indie game development could be the perfect opportunity for you to let your creativity shine. With an abundance of technology tools at your disposal, you can transform your vision into a feasible and exciting project.  What is indie game…

Are you fascinated by the idea of creating new worlds that people can enjoy? If so, indie game development could be the perfect opportunity for you to let your creativity shine. With an abundance of technology tools at your disposal, you can transform your vision into a feasible and exciting project. 

What is indie game development?

Indie game development is the process of making video games on your own or with a small group of people, typically without the financial support of a major game publisher. This gives game designers more creative latitude and control over the course of their project.

Indie games might be modest, straightforward games created by a single person or team, or they can be enormous, intricate games. They can also accommodate a variety of genres as a result, including platformers, puzzle games, role-playing games, and simulations.

So if the above excites you and makes you want to jump in and create your own universes, it’s time to start your game development journey.

Pressing the start button

So, where do you place yourself? Here are the basic steps to unlock tremendous possibilities in entertainment and multimedia computing. This guide can help you find your way in the world of indie game development.

1. Start with a small idea

While your favorite video game titles may inspire you, it may not be a great idea to go hard as a beginner. Game development can be immensely complex. The best way to get into indie game development is to start small. 

Begin your journey with a simple idea and narrow it down to the basic elements to make your project playable. All you need is simple player movement, the ability to jump, and of course, win the game. Starting small will motivate you to improve and keep on learning continuously. 

2. Choose a framework

Determine what framework, engine, or library you would like to use. Choosing the right tool can be challenging, so you should find the option that allows you to focus best on game development. 

Since you’re just starting out, you can wet your toes with engines like Godot or Unity since these engines are preferred by game developers with varying expertise. Some of the greatest indie games that were created with Unity include “Hollow Knight,” “Cuphead,” and “Inside.” Imagine the possibilities of creating games with readily available frameworks, making indie game development far more easier than building a game engine from the ground up.

3. Create a prototype

Now that you have an idea and platform to work with, it’s time to start developing your project. At this stage, your goal should be to create a minimum viable product (MVP). You should identify which elements are nice-to-haves and which ones are crucial to reaching your goals.

One of your priorities should be your core mechanics because this determines how players will enjoy your game. They are the set of rules, systems, and interactions that make up how the players will be interacting with your game–it’s the unique identity and is the thing that sets it apart from other games in the same genre.

While you’ll encounter many challenges and difficulties here, the success you achieve from this stage in indie game development allows you to realize how fun and fulfilling the experience can be. Not only will you learn more about the practical implications of game development, but you’ll also be more confident in your skills knowing that you’ve overcome multiple obstacles.

At CIIT, creating game demos is part of the curriculum so you will have real-world experience even before you graduate. Games ranging from pixel to 3D are some of the things you’ll learn from our instructors that are also industry practitioners. 

4. Find assets

While your goal as a beginner in indie game development is to start small, you wouldn’t want your project to be boring. That’s why you should add sound and art to your game. Remember that although you have the option to make these elements from scratch, you can find free assets online. 

Websites like itch.io and OpenGameArt are great resources you can explore. They provide placeholders that you can use if you plan on using original or unique elements in your game. Experimenting with different sounds and graphics allows you to realize how these elements can create a massive difference in your game. 

5. Turn your project into a complete game

Once you’ve accomplished a small game with easy mechanics, graphics, and sounds, it’s time to take your indie game development to the next level. You should implement a full game loop, including winning, losing, and starting over. 

Honing your entertainment and multimedia computing skills can be a challenging but rewarding process. The only way for you to improve is to finish your game. Finishing your game doesn’t mean you’ll never change it again. It means the full game is there, no matter how small.

6. Start a new project

Once you’ve finished your game, the next part is crucial: keep going. The best way to learn how to make games is to keep on making new titles. You should go out of your comfort zone and try something new to test your capabilities and improve your skills. 

CIIT is your player 2

Fortunately, you don’t have to be on this learning journey alone. A Bachelor of Science in Entertainment and Multimedia Computing degree can help you along your journey in indie game development. With the right mentors, you can learn all the necessary skills and more to make the game of your dreams a reality.

With the guidance of CIIT’s founder, Niel Dagondon–one of the pioneers of end-to-end gaming in the Philippines—BSEMC students will have access to knowledge, expertise, and tools to achieve a great career in game development.

If you’re passionate about indie game development, you should look no further than CIIT Philippines. An academic institution that promotes high-quality, industry-based teaching, we make education more accessible through our state-of-the-art CIIT Online Admission System (COAST). Explore our senior high and college courses to know more. 

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