How to develop video games without dying in the attempt

Developing video games can be an exciting job for those who are fans of the medium and those who grew up with a console. And with virtually free tools to get started, like the new and powerful Unreal 5 graphics engine, it seems like it just takes a good idea, will, and work to come to fruition.

However, perhaps something more is needed, and who better to tell than the minds behind Hyperbeard Games, a Mexican study that went from having two employees and a game published in 2014 to more than thirty workers and just over a dozen video games with millions of downloads. How they did it? These are the keys to your success.

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month — which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and celebrates the contributions of people of Hispanic origin in the United States — we present this interview with Aldo Turati, chief operating officer, and Juan García “Master”, social media lead from Hyperbeard Games, one of the most successful video game development studios in Mexico and Latin America.

Have passion for what you do

Para Aldo Turati, chief operating officer At Hyperbeard Games, the first key to succeeding as a video game developer is having a passion for the game you’re making. But don’t lose the floor. “Do not romanticize your game, it is just a product and as such it will never be perfect”, he says in an interview with Digital Trends in Spanish.

Consistency is also key. “If for whatever reason you leave it to have a freelance, or for this or for the other, you will never finish it ”.

Look at the trends

Aldo Turati, Chief Operating Officer de Hyperbeard Games
Aldo Turati, chief operating officer the Hyperbeard Games.

“People, in general, are not looking to try new things, but something known,” says Turati. “If you’re just starting out in the industry, your best bet is to work on well-known game genres, so avoid trying to reinvent the wheel. That doesn’t mean you can’t ambition, just be focused on your expectations. Do you want to create a clone of Animal Crossing? If you think you can have it by when Nintendo releases the new Animal Crossing, ahead. You probably won’t sell 12 million copies, but if you do it right, 500,000 sales would be a smash. “

Don’t forget to promote your game

“This is a common mistake when starting out in the industry,” says Turati. “We tend to be so immersed in development, in polishing the game, that sometimes your mom doesn’t even know you put out a game. So put together social media pages, if possible share gameplays of your game and don’t forget to call the press. Without promotion, a good game will be a good game that nobody played. “

And don’t forget to pamper your players

Juan García "Master", Social Media Lead of Hyperbeard Games
Juan García “Master”, social media lead the Hyperbeard Games.

“You always have to take users into account,” says Juan Carlos García, social media lead by Hyperbeard Games. Juan is a Nintendo fan who contributed to the magazine Club Nintendo, so he knows what a happy fan and an angry fan are capable of. “Sometimes it is enough to answer a message thanking them for the feedback they gave about the game, I mean, is that what the early access, no? That makes a bond, it makes people hook for good. And of course, do not lose sight of the fact that the essential thing is that your game be entertaining ”, he adds.

And if you were successful … exploit it!

Of the 15 games published by Hyperbeard Games, more than half look the same. Graphics with pastel colors and characters kawaii. The studio had its gold mine with Kleptocats and since then it has a sequel and two other similar games, but with dogs and unicorns. “How many movies of Fast and Furious Are there? How many Mario Bros.? There are 6 billion people ready to download your game, so if it works, squeeze it out, ”says Turati.

Kleptocats It could be a product that came out, made money and that’s it. But instead of that we grew it with dogs, unicorns, we even had stuffed animals and books, it is an example of how a brand can continue to grow ”, he explains.

You can seek help (publishing)

“Saying ‘find a publisher’ may sound like selling your soul to the devil, but there are devils to devils. Hyperbeard Games now not only develops video games, but publishes them as well. That, in addition to relieving you of some of the pressure to promote your game and ensure good distribution, can give you access to the expertise of other professionals. The first external game we published was Monkeynauts, which was to be pixel art. We put our know how and we made several changes, starting with the graphics, which are no longer pixel art. In the end that did not change the essence of the game, but it made it more attractive, and therefore downloadable, “says Turati.

And finally…

and global

Aztech Forgotten Gods and Mulaka, two video games made by the Mexican studio Lienzo, are based on Mexican pre-Hispanic cultures. “It seems incredible to us that they make video games based on indigenous cultures, but what if you made a video game of the ball game, do you really think there is a market for that?” Asks Turati. And remember: “In a Google developer forum, dozens of Indians wanted to develop a game of cricket. It was strange, but cricket is like the national sport of India, there are millions of spectators, so the moral is, whatever you do, think about the market. And the market for free mobile games is 6,000 million people ”, Turati concludes.

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