Starting a game "company" to focus on fun projects

dAVE Inden on January 01, 2019

Cover Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash I've always had a hard time coming up with ideas for projects as I am learning something new. I know that putt... [Read Full]
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I really like this. It takes what you are learning and applies it in a way that can be focused for you. I love the idea of making new things rather than clones and it is something I have struggled with before when attempting to come up with my own projects.


Thank you Jacob! I appreciate the comment. I'm hoping this will help me focus much more in writing code. It is really hard to come up with things to build when learning to write code. I don't think people realize how much of an issue it can be for some.
I'm sure you can find a way to come up with projects. Keep an eye on the Dancing Vikings github and if there is something on there you feel like contributing to, go for it!


Wow, nice to see someone also thinking of doing some opensource game dev.

I also recently started a group/organisation on github for free open source game dev project. I am looking for other like minded developers.

Let me know if you would like to add your project to it.

Feel free to join in


That's really cool. What is the name of your Github org? I may not bring these projects into it, but I'm happy to check out the projects and see if I can contribute in some way.


Great, checkout opensourcegamedev.com and github.com/opensourcegamedevelopment

Not much atm, only my project but i am looking at adding other open source project as well.

Also, I would like to ask for your permission to add your project and reference to your website and github to the opensourcegamedev.com website.

Great. I will keep an eye out on the Github page. I just joined the Facebook group. I checked out your website. You can add info about Dancing Vikings to it if you like. What do you need for it?

great! I will add info from your website and reference it. keep an eye out occassionally and let me know if theres any thing you would like to change on your project section.


I'm in exactly the same boat, working on enterprise web apps where I don't have that much control or say is good money, but it does leave a bit of a creative hole in my soul :D

I found itch.io to be excellent platform to release and share indie stuff on, and also working on few game jams to introduce some form of deadline seems to make it easier to "get it done".

Happy to discuss all the game nerd stuff in private, if you have any questions, probably not that interesting for more work-focused folk on dev.to :)

Anyways, good luck with your venture!


Very cool. I'd love to chat about your thoughts on good resources for learning game design, especially around what makes a good game and what makes it fun for folks to play. Right now I am focusing on making games to play in a web browser, but making a native app that can be released on something like itch.io would be pretty fun.


Lets start with easy answer first - you can upload HTML5 games to itch.io - no hosting costs, plus makes it super easy for people to play your games without hassle of installing untrusted app :)

Design is a bit trickier. There are so many variables it's almost impossible to give good advice, it comes down to your strong and weak skills, the game theme, etc.

One thing I would say tho, don't start with your greatest idea first.

Good way to get started is joining some game jams. Don't start with short 24-48 ones, go for something longer, at least couple of weeks. That gives you time to learn and a deadline to aim for, but nothing too harsh that would make you fail every single time.

While working on a game can be fun process on it's own, you need to aim to release something. Jams are good as in they give you the theme, so you can try silly throwaway things, but also gives other people reason to check out your entries, while if it was original game, it's much harder to convince people to even try a free game.

Because life sometimes gets in the way, it's good idea to get fully playable game up and running for jam entry as quick as possible, don't worry about polishing early on, remember that your goal is to enter fully working game, not super-polished intro cinematic ;)

I start with punch of cards on Trello, and I sort them by priority - from absolutely must have for game to function, to nice to have polish, if there's time. I try to keep Trello board updated, so if I notice an issue, I'll make note of it. Again, it might be just me, but if I don't do that, without list of "open tickets" it's sometimes very hard to have objective big picture overview of what to do next, and you could lose hours of just poking around and not achieving anything.

Once you have few jam entries under your belt and you know your way around in your IDE / engine, you can start adding more polish and effects to your games.

What engine are you using, if any?

That is some great advice. Thanks for that. I like the idea of tracking the project somewhere to know where it is in development. I had thought of that, but not much honestly. I didn't know there were game jams that are a longer form. That is good to know. Something like that will help to make it so that I can fit this project into my life more. :)
I am starting out looking to use ExcaliburJS. It looks like something that is pretty straightforward to work in and isn't going to add a ton of complexity to projects.

There are punch of jams here, all shapes, themes and sizes - itch.io/jams

Never seen Excalibur before, but sure looks interesting.

I started with PhaserJS (phaser.io/), but recently I've been using Game Maker Studio. It costs, but I find it pretty good for my level and it sets up all the import tools behind the scenes so I don't have to worry about all the tech stuff.

That's cool. After I get some work done on my first game I will check out doing a jam. That could be lots of fun. I'm really interested to see what I can do with ExcaliburJS. Thanks again for all your thoughts and suggestions!


This is an awesome idea, I have had a similar feeling about learning projector some sometimes not being creative enough. What languages will you be coding in? Will you be using any game engines to create the games?


Thank you! To start I will be focusing on making games that can be played in a web browser, so Javascript. I am going to start with React and see what I can do. I also found ExcaliburJS which looks promising.
Beyond that I want to eventually release a mobile app or some kind of native app and that might take me into other territory, but I'm not sure yet.


Oh I'd never heard of Excalibur.js I'll take a look at it and keep an eye on your repository I'd love to contribute to a project


I just opened a real stupid PR on your github 'internet-site' repo. Worthless 1char change, but theoretically my first open-source contribution ever :D


Firstly, like questions, there is no such thing as a stupid PR. My site needed an update and you helped me out. It's not worthless. Thanks for doing that. That's awesome. Secondly, I just merged in your PR and the it is live on the site right now!
Thank you for having your first contribution to an open source project be on my project. That is super cool. I am so excited by the fact that this project got its first PR / contribution on the first day of it being announced to the world. That is so very awesome.


Great idea! I've been thinking about diving into the world of game dev for some time already, to taste something different from web development. My plan to do it in 2018 failed, so now it's the plan for 2019. I wish you good luck with your projects.


Thank you! I'm very excited about this project. Good luck in getting your own projects going in 2019! If you check out the Dancing Vikings Github page and see something you feel like working please do. :)


Great idea! Actually I am starting working with Monogame to create games and create my "company". I will write some posts about my learning and tutorials, so your post have inspired me a lot.


Monogame looks pretty cool. I'm glad I could provide some inspiration for you. I'm excited to see what you create. Writing about your process would be awesome!


Maybe you could try phaser.io. They have many tools and large collection of examples

Phaser looks pretty neat. I will check it out more. Thanks for the suggestion!


I’d love to contribute where I can. What language are you using?


I am starting with making games that can be played in a browser, so Javascript. I am going to try and see what I can get done with React since that I something I want to learn.


I like this idea and am excited to see what comes of it.


Thanks! I'm really excited for it too!

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