Between creating and launching

"Do I really need to do all this just to release my small insignificant game?”

My plan was simple - yet brilliant. Create a game and launch it. However, I soon learned there’s a huge additional phase between the "Create a game” and the “Launch it” - and especially for a solo dev trying to create his/her first game.

It’s the (deep breath) Getting-everything-including-the-boring-stuff-ready-for-release phase!

Pre-release preparation

Hey, of course it didn’t come as a surprise that I would need to do some pre-release preparation work in order to ship my game. Establish a company, get a company bank account, sign up with Apple and Google, create a decent website, text, preview videos, screenshots, social media, et cetera.

However, to me, this work felt like months of standstill because my game wasn’t moving forward. It was frozen in a state of near completion because all my creative gamedev time was being poured into figuring out dry business stuff. Deciding how and if I should establish a company (which I ended up doing), which bank to use, which accounting software, which business insurance - sprinkled with lots of doubt, thinking “Why am I doing this? This is complete overkill! Do I really need to do all this just to release my small insignificant game?”.

And while wrestling with my website's CSS and trying to get the banner plugin to behave, my game sure felt distant - even though it wasn’t! I was just perceiving that part of the project as something external, something additional I had to complete while also getting the game done.

In retrospect, it was clearly a mental thing. I wasn’t just creating a small game, I was creating a game AND a giant launchpad to be able to shoot my game across the galaxy and into deep space! An awesome reusable and upgradable SpaceX type launchpad that would be able to handle all my future games. Problem was, that launchpad wasn’t outlined anywhere in my development plan so I didn’t view it as part of creating my game.

Takeaway

The takeaway of my convoluted story is this: Do yourself a favour and include the dry business stuff and creation of marketing materials in your development plan or your gamedev todo (or your stained gamedev napkin if that’s where your plan is scribbled down) and expect it to take some time.

Try to view it as an integrated part of developing your game. Just as important as any other aspect of the game. Thinking of it this way makes it much easier to persevere through and you will retain that important and highly motivating feeling of moving your game forward.

/Kenni