Games are a part of our daily lives. They are an escape from the humdrum of our everyday routine; a moment for us to delight in world of fun and relax, if only for a second. Many of us are passionate about games, but with the busy schedules of our day-to-day lives it’s difficult to find time to do anything, let alone develop a game of our own.
That’s why here at Vungle we are so impressed by one of our publishers, Electricseed Games. Electricseed Games is a studio made up of three friends who are so passionate about games and game development that they’ve carved out a space in their lives to code in the hours between taking care of their families and working full-time jobs. We love the hustle guys! Read on for tips on how they balance work and life with their passion for games and how you can too.
Guest Post by Emanuel Amler, Electricseed Games
Here at Electricseed Games we develop games for the love of game development. We’re a group of three friends with a true passion for games and several years of experience in the gaming industry.
Somehow along the way we all ended up in professions outside of the industry: a medical device programmer, a security systems programmer and a 3D artist/character animator. Although we all have families and devote most of our time to our day jobs we’re all still extremely passionate about games, which is why we decided to start up our own after-hours studio, Electricseed Games, back in 2012.
It’s been a long journey figuring out how to balance life, work and passion. Here’s what we’ve learned about developing games while maintaining a balanced lifestyle:
Set out with a goal in mind
Because we don’t have the luxury of devoting all of our time to game development, it is essential to have a clear goal in mind when we begin developing a new game. When we decided to create Electriseed Games back in 2012, the three of us got together to discuss the kinds of games we like, our capabilities as developers and to set realistic expectations for what we wanted to achieve. You have to remember, we are three guys with families and full-time day jobs — we don’t have a lot of manpower and developing games is a LOT of work.
Together we came up with three key things we wanted for all of our games:
1. We wanted to develop games that were fun2. We wanted our games to be easy to use — a way for people to relax, and 3. We wanted to generate a bit of revenue (if we were lucky). Our intention was never to get rich from our games, but being able to afford a Mac Mini to release our games on iOS would be pretty cool.
With these three things in mind we created our first game: Chicken Blast, an arcade shooter. It’s a simple game aimed at children, or adults who don’t want to spend a lot of time playing but rather enjoying a quick little gameplay whenever there is time. The game has done well so far, with 250,000 downloads and very good ratings in both the App Store and the Google Play Store.
Push yourself to exceed previous milestones
With our second title, we wanted to push ourselves and test our skills. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve just released our second game — something a bit more sophisticated and challenging than our first. It’s a dinosaur bunker defense game called, Dino Bunker Defense — because, honestly, who doesn’t love dinosaurs? It has only been a few weeks since we released the game, but we already have more than 2,000 downloads, along with tons of positive feedback from our users. It looks like we’re not the only ones who love dinosaurs!
Map out a gameplan to maximize efficiency
Before you create any graphics or write any code, it’s important to map out the game you’re developing from start to finish. Visualizing the flow of your game will allow you to see all of the dependencies and drastically reduce the amount of surprises and mistakes you make along the way. This is obviously important for any game developer, but when you are a game developer with a family and a full-time day job, this time saved is more time you get to spend with the ones you love.
Develop a monetization strategy early in the development process
Although money is not our primary goal, every game developer should have a monetization strategy. Together with Vungle, we’ve figured out the best plan to fit our needs — in our case, rewarded interstitials have been the way to go. With Vungle, the publisher has complete control of when/where ads appear and how they behave. The fill rates and revenue are great and the the SDK is extremely easy to implement. This is our first time using Vungle, and it will definitely not be our last. We plan on implementing Vungle into the next Chicken Blast update, as well as all of our future games.
Whether you are a professional game developer, a passionate hobbyist or just love playing games, remember to take time out of your schedules to do the things you love. We hope you enjoy playing our games as much as we enjoyed creating them!