Making your first video game is extremely hard to do. You not only have to figure out what kind of game you want to make, but you also have no experience making a game before. Many of the problems you will encounter will be new and challenging. Luckily, I can answer one question for you. How big should my first game be?
Small. Way too often beginner game developers make their first game their dream MMO RPG 100+ hour long game. In reality, making a game that size would take your entire life to complete, as games like World Of Warcraft are made by hundreds of people putting in hundreds of hours. That’s not to say you should never make your dream game, but just not as your first. Think about the first level in Mario or the gameplay of Flappy Bird. Your first game should be relatively short and simple, even if it’s only 5 minutes long. Here’s why.
The first reason is that your goal with your first game is not to make a great game, but to actually finish a game. Finishing a game is one of the most difficult things to do, so if you start small it is a much easier task. Once you have a completed game under your belt, you now know a lot more than you did before. Maybe you didn’t know the importance of late stage marketing or had trouble distributing your game. After you’ve been through the entire process, your second game should be much easier because you have a better idea of what to expect. This allows your second game to be bigger, but that’s a different topic.
The second reason is that your first game will most likely stink. Hey, that’s not very nice! Well, I’m sorry, but it’s true for most people. It’s not because you are bad at making games. It’s just because this is your first time. Everyone fell off their bicycle the first time they rode it, and the same can be said for game development. Because you don’t know what to expect, you are going to run into problems that will impact your game. I don’t want you guys to start making your dream game as your first, only to have you get discouraged when it crashes and burns. I want you to make a simple game that you might not care as much about, that you’re okay with not being massively successful. The opportunity to make your dream game will come later, but your main focus with your first is to complete a game.
You are going to run into loads of problems during development of your first game, which is perfectly normal. My goal here is to lessen those problems by telling you to make your first game small. You need to actually complete a game before you make your dream one, so making your first game small is the best way to do so.