On October 3rd, 2017 I sat down at my desk and decided that I was going to make a video game.
Now, I’d made a lot of video games before. Small, dumb video games. Flash games, to be exact. But I had just graduated from college at 29 and realized that my 10 years of game making really hadn’t got me anywhere. I had yet to make a dime making games and here I was with a game-focused art degree and nothing but time ahead of me to do something with it.
Initially I thought, “Hey, let’s go apply to some AAA studios in Seattle and start making some money!” but I’m a stay at home dad to a 3 year old and my wife loves her job here in Arizona. And to be honest, being a slave to the AAA industry sounds like fun, but I know I wouldn’t last more than 5 years.
So I decided that I’d finally put some actual time into doing something I love. If I could put 3+ years into a college degree and graduate at the top of my class, I could put 6 months into a tiny indie game and get $1000 in sales. Which is my goal, by the way. And it will remain my goal for the length of this development, regardless of how much I put into the game or how terrible it turns out.
So after two days of working on a top down point and click idea I’d been mulling around with for a few weeks I decided I hate game development. Luckily, a friend of mine gave me a nice pep talk and a slap across the face and told me “Why don’t you start with something you already know how to do?”
I wasn’t much of a stranger to Unreal Engine, but I really only knew the basics. So I started again with this mentality. Only do what I know. So I set up some animations and built basic character movement mechanics. I started with no ideas or expectations and within two days I had my grand plans laid out with a poorly designed roadmap of how I was going to accomplish them. That roadmap mainly consisted of a lot of Google searches and forum questions. But at least I had some motivation, an idea and most importantly, a plan.
The rest is history.