Home How to stay productive as an Indie Game Dev

How to stay productive as an Indie Game Dev

Tip #1 - Consistency is key

Being an indepedent game developer you are constantly going to be fighting an internal battle. One that’s rife with procrastination, distractions, and nobody to keep you in check other than yourself. It will be up to you to ensure work gets done. Part of being a succesful game dev is having a plan. You need to write down small but actionable goals every day and then make sure it gets done. Something as simple as a task board with 1-2 daily goals is a great way to achieve this. Even if you only spend 1-3 hours a day on your games, 1-3 hours every day consistently implementing features in your game and finishing tasks you set for yourself is far better than 6-8 hours one day here or there.

Tip #2 - Get in your zone

Find what time works the best for you. Whether it’s morning, afternooon, evening etc. I recommend just picking a time every day and then STICK TO IT! This also feeds back into the first tip which is consistency. Once you get used to working on your games at a set schedule every day it will eventually become a normal routine for you. Again the goal is finding the time that works for you. So if you find that late night is when you are the most proudctive then go with that. If it’s in the early AM then go with that.

Tip #3 - Limit distractions

Let’s just face it you will be faced with many distractions. I recommend silencing your phone or turning it off altogether. Using headphones and fully immersing yourself in your work. This isn’t the time to be googling “Funny cat memes”, chatting with friends on Discord, or sifting through reddit posts. This time is sacred. Do not let anything distract you. The only time you should be googling anything is if you are stuck on a game development issue and you need help with implementing a feature of fixing a bug in your game.

Tip #4 - Know when to take breaks

You need to be productive but what you don’t need to do is spend 9-12 hours a day sitting behind a screen. Not only is that detrimental to your overall wellbeing but it could also lead to burnout and less productivity in the long run. Instead what I recommend is spending 1-3 hours every day or at least 5 days a week working on your game. This helps ensure you are consitently making progress while limiting the risk of developer burnout.

Tip #5 - Have confidence in yourself

When you are new game development can seem like such an uphill battle because it feels like there is so much to learn. I mean where do you even start? Do I learn Unity or Unreal? What about SDL or Pygame? Godot seems cool, but so does Monogame with C#. It can be intimidating. I recommend picking just one thing and stick with it. Here at gamedevsimplified we teach Godot and we highly recommend it if you are brand new to game development but no matter what you choose you need to just stick with whatever you pick and have confidence to see your projects through. That means when things get hard and you run into problems don’t quit. You can do it. Just break down the problem you’re having into smaller pieces. Get good at reading documentation, googling things you don’t understand. And know that it is okay to ask for help.

I hope these tips help you as you forge ahead in your game development journey. Remember you can do anything you set your mind too. So make a plan, stick to it, and get it done!

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.