What Does It Take To Build a Video Game?

What Does It Take To Build a Video Game?

by Heavy Cat Studios contributor Theodore Jefferson
Author of the Million Dollar Artistâ„¢ Series, The Incredible Untold Story of Sailor Moon and Repeal the 17th

I believe we are experiencing a creative renaissance here in the United States and around the world. Never before have so many productive tools been put into the hands of so many people.

As an author, I like to say there has never been a better time in human history to be a writer. I can write and publish a book practically worldwide in a matter of weeks. Authors couldn’t do that as recently as ten years ago.

But the creative renaissance isn’t limited to books. Animation, films, manufacturing and video games have grown in both appeal and revenue. The entirety of television has changed. The movie business has changed. 3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing. Tools like Unity, Linux, the Adobe Creative Suite and Blender put industrial-class productive power in the hands of game developers willing to learn how to use them properly.

But what about the other half of the equation? With all this power, surely someone ambitious enough and hard-working enough could build and sell their own video game? Of course they can, and they have! But as those developers know, there is a lot more to designing, building and marketing video games than programming.

The interactive industry is littered with the remains of the many thousands of game projects that never made it to market. Some of them were promising and some even made it to a release date. Some even made money. But they failed anyway. The reasons for their failure often fall into a few common categories.

That is why I’m writing this new series. I have tremendous experience in merchandising, licensing and animated television. I’ve worked with and interviewed some of the most accomplished executives in Hollywood, Japan and Europe. I’ve had the privilege of being considered to lead marketing initiatives for billion-dollar properties.

Heavy Cat Studios has developed or co-developed more than 40 games ranging from mobile apps to PC titles to online role-playing games to pen and paper RPGs. Together, we’ve seen projects succeed and we’ve seen them fail. There are few companies with the sheer volume of experience in the interactive market. Our production staff learned a lot about what gets a promising developer from design to sales, and we’ve also learned to filter out a lot of the noise.

Together, we’re all going to learn to make better games. We’re going to show you how to avoid wasting time and money, and we’re going to examine the reasons our approach has succeeded more often than it has failed and why. If you follow along, hopefully you will be able to benefit from our experience.

I think your next game project will be a winner. I’d like to wish you my kind of success.