Game Dev 2

Alex Seropian, American video game developer a...

Alex Seropian, American video game developer and founder of Bungie, at Wired NextFest 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Famous Game Dev Vince Desi writes for our Weblog! He will write a series of articles, and this is the Part One of an article about being successful in Independent VideoGame Developer Art! Become a famous Game Dev now!

Game Dev (Part One)

Part 1. The 3 Essential Elements:

I started Running With Scissors in 1996. Desire, Focus, Commitment. I like things to be simple, so I will concentrate on what I believe are the most important Elements to be successful. While you may think these 3 Elements are general factors and would apply to any endeavor, your right. How you apply them is what determines how successful you will be.

Desire is the soul of life. It makes you who you are. It’s what drives you to get up in the morning, to work late into the night, and to do it all over again and again, as long as necessary. Desire is blind to failure. Desire is based in the question “What do you want?” Do you want to be a Video Game Developer? Do you have the skills it takes to make games? Are you creative? Inventive? Can you write, draw, program, build and lead a team, manage the ups and downs? How bad do you want it? Desire will deliver you to success if its true to who you are.

Focus is the roadmap for success. What type of game are you making? Is it a puzzle game, or a shooter, or a sportsgame, etc. What platform are you designing it for? Console or Computer? Handheld or Mobile? Is it a single player or multiplayer, is it time based or mission based? Who is the audience, male and female? How old? What languages? What cultural impact is there? Will there be a sequel or mods? The more you Focus in advance the more reliable your roadmap will be, and the faster you will become successful.

Commitment is what determines your priorities. Are you single? Or Married? Do you have kids? How much time are you willing to devote? Do you want a nice car now or later? Do you want to go on vacation this year or later? Do you want to go with your friends this weekend or work late? I didn’t say it would be easy or all fun, but if this is what you really want, then it will be fun, and easy and most important it will be natural to be committed to your project, and the project will come to you, just like success will follow.

I’m not here to waste your time, or mine, so unless you can honestly ask yourself and answer Do you have the Desire? Can you focus? Are you willing to make and keep the commitment? If you truly believe your answer to all these is YES, then congratulations you are have taken the 1st step in becoming an independent video game developer.

Part 2. Game Concept to Design
Part 3. Build your Development Team
Part 4. Create a Business Plan: Marketing, Publishing, and Distribution
Part 5. How to live after your game is a Hit!


I have been a creative person my entire life, from painting clam shells from Coney Island beach in Brooklyn to everyday parenting of my kids. When I was ten years old I met someone who could draw a lot better than me, so I started writing songs. When I was sixteen I met someone who could write better songs than me, so I started painting, then I wrote poetry, then short stories, and philosophy, all along I was living life, not looking for who I am, but living who I am.

At 28 I started in the video game industry as a Producer for the original ATARI. In 1982 my first big title was SPY vs. SPY for the C64. From then to 1996, I worked on over 50 titltes, including Alter Ego (1st game made in male and female versions), Ghostbusters (1st game to use software speech) and Tom & Jerry, for companies including Activision, EA, Disney, Hanna Barbera, Jim Henson and Sesame Street.

In 1996 I created Running With Scissors for the sole purpose of developing POSTAL. Now, in 2007, we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary with a feature film POSTAL-The Movie, a POSTAL mobile game by Russian publisher Ministry of Fun, a POSTAL BABES mobile game by Russian publisher HeroCraft and we are co-developing and publishing POSTAL III with Russia’s premier game publisher Akella.

Leave a Comment:
  • Deidrea 15 March, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Good piece. What happened to the other parts? I don’t see them.

  • Manuel Marino
    15 March, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Good question! I’ll send a reminder to Vince. He is very busy, but we can ask him to dedicate some time to complete the article!

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