Make Simple Game for iPhone; Proceed Directly to Bank

Matt Barton's picture

TrainyardTrainyardGamasutra has an interview up with one Matt Rix, designer and developer of a simple iOS game called Trainyard. Although he did all the work during his work commute, the game has already netted him enough cash to quit his day job and found his own game company. I love what he says here: "I’ve learned a ton of lessons, but the biggest one is to pick a goal then follow through till you’re done. You’ve got to be motivated and determined to finish your game, or else you just won’t. I see way too many people biting off more than they can chew, attacking huge games or just working on prototype after prototype ad nauseum. I think you’ll learn way more from finishing and releasing a single game than you’ll ever learn from working on dozens of prototypes." Touche!

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
print some money

learn to program for Adnroid or Iphone.. (android is free, not sure on Iphone) pick some simple game, copy it.. there are MILLIONS of clones people pay money for...

I been toying with a simple sniper game (have mock ups and some small code bits from way back) was a plan even before SILENT SCOPE (that game sorta stalled my work on it).. Mine was far simpler, but the ideas where roughly the same. I even had some Bonus rounds where you shot as many people (bad) as you could without shooting inocents.. i should post some old SS someday... everybody could get a laugh (gameplay with placeholder graphics was as far as I ever got). When i did it it was for PC, but Im sure it would run fine on a Phone now..

the real problem with programing is a simple one.. there is alot of boring stuff, for breif minutes of fun.. the ideas, the end resaults are all fun, but getting them is work.. and that is why so many fail at it.. Games are fun, ideas are fun.. implementing them is work..

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
iPhone bubble

Almost too good to be true! Making games is hard work. Good games are essential to keep the market alive and viable. The portable device market is saturated with enough crappy games as it is. It'll fold into itself at some point in the future if it continues like this.

n/a
Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
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Joined: 09/04/2006
Programming for the long term
Matt Barton wrote:

I love what he says here: "I’ve learned a ton of lessons, but the biggest one is to pick a goal then follow through till you’re done. You’ve got to be motivated and determined to finish your game, or else you just won’t. I see way too many people biting off more than they can chew, attacking huge games or just working on prototype after prototype ad nauseum. I think you’ll learn way more from finishing and releasing a single game than you’ll ever learn from working on dozens of prototypes." Touche!

I have about three different "Unity" projects that I've been alternating between for almost a year of off-and-on work. Two of the three SEEMED like simple ideas, but turned out to be harder than I expected, mainly due to my complicated control mechanisms. The one I've been working on recently is much more epic, but ironically easier to program because I reduced the controller issues.

It helps if you've had previous experience with 3D rendering programs (Lightwave, 3D Studio, Blender, etc.) since the interface is very 3D program-like. Then you can plug in your programming scripts. I suspect it's easier to learn Unity from the 3D down to programming, rather than if you're a straight programmer coming into 3D for the first time, but I don't know for sure.

Sticking with it is, as said, the hardest thing to do. I'm curious how these programmers do it, considering all the distractions in life!

Catatonic
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Joined: 05/20/2006
A friend of mine decided that

A friend of mine decided that his first iPhone project would be a 3D action-adventure game. One year later he keeps telling people he's going to finish it soon.
The developer forums are also filled with stories of quality games that did get finished but make only a few dollars a day (or less).
So I think it's very risky to spend more than a few weeks on a game. And don't quit your job.

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