What I learned from GameDev

I am almost at the end of a project, and I thought it was a good time to share my experience :slightly_smiling_face:

In 2018 I decided to get closer to my passion, and to make video games. I went on Udemy and took two GameDev courses: Unreal Engine C++ and the Multiplayer Course

So, at that time I was trained by Ben Tristem and Sam Patuzzi and I started to get my hands on the Building Escape. As they always advise to go further than the course, I tried to personalize the project as much as possible, this led me to do an escape game, with puzzles all related to private jokes of my friends. For me it was the only way to test my skills effectively, with quick feedback.

A few weeks later, I did the same thing with the Battletank course, this time I combined the project with the multiplayer course presented by Sam to make a Golf game, with tanks… :upside_down_face: It wasn’t successful because replicating complex movements across the network like they do in Rocket League is very hard. But it was a lot of fun!

After other small personal projects, I was able to improve my rendering and animation skills. I tried to establish a workflow between Blender, Character Creator and UE4. It took me more than a year to set it up correctly.

And in the last two years I’ve decided to take the plunge, to make a compendium of all the skills I’ve learned, from GameDev to Unreal, on all angles. With a friend of mine we registered a small business, with the goal of trying to make a living out of our passions. This led us to creating the game Bonding Ambivalence,

a cooperative FPS game. It’s a sort of a legacy of the Building Escape! With a few pieces of coursework taken here and there, it is possible to have a solid enough knowledge base to go further each time. And this time this project doesn’t rely too much on replicating complex movements.

I don’t really know where this project will take us because we really start from scratch. We’re running on the savings from our previous jobs. But what is certain is that the rest of the story will be written again in UE4.

So, I’d like to thank GameDev and its community for providing astronomical amounts of knowledge about video games development every day. And who gave me the means to achieve what I thought was impossible at that time. I would never have gotten where I am without that spark.

Thank you all!


This is incredible. Can I share this on our showcase page so we might use if for future promotional videos?

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I am happy to hear about your experience with GameDev.tv. You have really went above and beyond. You really took the advice of challenging yourself to the next level. I would love to see the golf tank game. Sounds like an interesting idea. I sorry it didn’t work out but hey that’s part of the process of game dev. Your game looks really cool. I get a mysterious vibe with it. Keep up the incredible work and thanks for sharing.

Hello Kevin-Brandon, thank you! Yes, it’s a pleasure! Glad you like this showcase :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

For me GameDev really gave me a very solid grounding. The rest was built over the long term, this project was completed in two years but you can easily add two more years of testing and failing/learning on other personal projects.

In a few days we will open the free playtest, with the content almost complete, we are quite nervous because it is the first time we test the robustness of the game with players from other places.

I will try to convert the Tank & Golf project to the new Unreal engine, maybe make a workflow overview in video, I’m sure we can learn a lot from what didn’t work on that. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Wow you really put in the sweat and tears to make it come to life. To get to success to you need to fail over and over again to get to where you want to be.

How is the playtest go? I’m curious to hear about the results.

Did you ever convert the Tank & Golf project to the new Unreal engine?

Hello Kevin-Brandon,

The game was released on October 26th, and at the moment has generated approximately 1500 copies. As we are starting the company from scratch (only knowledge about unreal engine and FL Studio, no marketing budget) this is not that bad. But it’s still not enough to make a living out of our passion for the moment. But we have learned a lot through the precious feedbacks we’ve had.

I give here some highlights of our early experience; it might be useful to all those who are on the development of their project.

Since we are a two-person team, we have focused on the atmosphere and the originality of the gameplay, which is recognized and appreciated so far. For the rest, the overall quality of the game is often described as “jank”, but it depends on the subjectivity of each person, so it is very difficult to measure.

I can definitely see that the game is divisive, some have a great time throughout the adventure, and others are very frustrated after 30 minutes of play. It is very interesting to note that the feeling of a player depends on how he/she mixes with “the rules” or in other words " how the game wants us to move forward". Our design follows a succession of constraints that guide the player to solve the game in a certain way and we quickly realized that if the player doesn’t accept this design from the start, then the experience becomes unnaturally hard and frustrating. Our refund rate is approximately 12%, most of them come from the game being “not fun”. We concluded that the harder it is for the game to fit into a single tag, the higher the refund rate.

The Store page is never enough. Before they launch your game, it seems that players first have a rough idea of what your game may look like. They are just imagining your game by reconstructing a sum of the parts of the games they have already played in the past. For a game that tries to break the industry’s codes this can be challenging.

Twitch streams are incredibly useful. We have the ability to identify any weak points in the game by watching carefully how the experience unfolds for players. This is by far the most effective technique to improve the game.

Overall, we are satisfied with our work. We think we got the best result with the budget and time we had (about $5000 in production costs, one and a half years of work). The important thing is that our target audience enjoy playing our game, and that seems to be successful too.

Now, this was predictable, but the activity does not pay, we now have to find a job. So, our presence may fade in proportion to the time we give elsewhere to make a living. We will continue to patch the game regularly, just to keep the experience as smooth as possible for the current players.

In the meantime, the money earned by the company will be put back into marketing, to try to create a positive feedback effect on sales. Organic marketing via social networks has given extremely disappointing results on our side. So, we decided to focus on the community, the quality of the product, and word of mouth so that the target audience is reached in the long term.

But one thing is certain, we have made art!

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