How to turn from hobbyist to pro?

  • Hi, I've been using Scirra's Construct2 quite more than a year, I'm a 14 years old hobbyist if you don't know men. So in those year I gained lots of experience in Construct 2 and made couples of test and mini-games for practice. Every time I make a game and share it to people, I get bad responses and That is bringing me down. So there are two question if you can answer it please:

    1) Should I quit developing game and find another hobby?

    2) How can I turn from hobbyist to pro and make successful (at least good) games?

    Hope you respond cause I'm in need to your replies.

    Note: From all my published games people liked only 3 of them. My latest games are getting bad responses.

  • Hobbyist is someone that designs games hoping that people like them.

    Pro is someone that designs games knowing tha people like them.

    Hobbyist is someone that copy pastes code in an attempt to make a product.

    Pro is someone that makes the game game that other people want to copy paste.

    Hobbyist codes when he feels like it.

    Pro codes full stop (whether he wants to or not)

    Difference between a hobbyist and a pro is 1,000 billable hours.

    A pro would say...

    1) I don't care if you quit or not - what do you want to do?

    2) Market research / Luck / but above all make better games. Flappy Bird is a 1 in a billion chance - not very good odds. Don't make junk games - make engaging, entertaining games that people want to lose themselves is for a long time.

    Oh, spend $$$ for the best graphics you can. People buy good looking games, people continue to buy entertaining, challenging, funny, etc etc etc games

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  • Well, the main difference between a pro and a hobbyist is that the pro makes a living out of making games.

    At 14 years old, you have still to reach maturity in life, but on the other hand, by starting young, you are building a lot of experience.

    Nevertheless, one year of "toying" with C2 is not much. Keep making games as a hobbyist, work well at school and put dedication into your making game craft. This will get you on the correct tracks.

    Also you say you have bad response/feedback. Then address this feedback to improve the games.

    If people are just saying "this is bad" ask for precisions, what's bad according to them and why. How they think you could improve the game.

    Make the modifications in the games, publish, and ask for more feedback.

    And sometime, don't make the exact modifications people are talking about, but understand where the issue is between what you want the player to feel, and how the people actually do and work your games so that they trigger said feelings.

  • There are game designers that get budgets for AA games ans still make games that people think suck. I actually disagree with a loto f DUOIT's opinion on the difference between Pro and Hobbyist. Though my favorite and I feel has some truth to it.

    "Hobbyist is someone that copy pastes code in an attempt to make a product.

    Pro is someone that makes the game that other people want to copy paste."

    I may actually use this in a sig

    I wish it were true though. I've met programmers who programming by copy/paste based programming.... and they get 3k+ a month

    I think Kyatric nails the difference between Hobyist and Pro. Pros get paid, pros try to address the weak points of their games. Hobyists are more like fans and tent to but heads with good opinions.

    But heck that's just my personal take on the difference

  • I actually disagree with a loto f DUOIT's opinion on the difference between Pro and Hobbyist. Though my favorite and I feel has some truth to it.

    "Hobbyist is someone that copy pastes code in an attempt to make a product.

    Pro is someone that makes the game that other people want to copy paste."

    I may actually use this in a sig

    Sure you can steal it, and off course you are allowed to disagree I might join you on that tomorrow.

    Hard to pinpoint pro vs hobbyist (entire books are geared towards being a pro).

    But I will stand that pro = 1000 billable hours under your belt. That means you are making money which means someone thinks you're good enough to pay.

  • Hi Naji, if games are something you are passionate about, than don't give up just because of some bad experience. Take it on and grow from it. Keep thinking of how to improve your games. As Kyatric mentioned, you are still young. You will gain lots of experience from this and it will help you.

    Haha I won't partake in the pro vs hobbyists debate! I absolutely won't!!

    There is one piece of advice I will offer. Build games that others would want to play, not what you would want to play. This is the general rule for any successful business. This is something that you will gain with experience. So hang in there!

  • Here is an interesting video on the matter of creativity over years.

    Can be worth checking out the original even if it is about a guy doing radio announcing, the philosophy still applies to game making.

  • 1) Only if you truly want to. You mentioned that people liked 3 of your games, that means you're at least doing something right. Find out what it is and build on it

    2) Improve your skills, look at other games and see what works and what doesn't - then incorporate them into your own ideas.

    Hope that helps somewhat, good luck!

  • Thanks for your advice all of you, I'm surely have learned a lot from you. And as you say, I'm still young and I have time to build my skills. I'm only doing all of this, because game development is my passion and I want to grow up and make some living from it.

  • Yeah and also, they once heard "You can learn from losing as much as in winning". Is this true? Can it be applied in the gaming world?

  • Yes it's true and can be applied to game making world.

  • Naji of course it is true, for every game you make that fails you should learn why it failed so that next time you can do it better.

  • My belief is that pros make games for mostly money, while hobbyists just make games for fun. I used to want to make money off of my games, even though I was a hobbyist. Now I prefer making games for practice and enjoy publishing games people can play as much as they want for free.

  • Pro = Full-time

    Hobby = Part-time (after they finish their IRL full-time job).

    Whether either one is successful and make money or not is not dependent on their status as pro or hobbyist. It's all about the dedication and hours you put into it each day.

  • Naji

    Yes, if you lost at making a good game then you learned there are elements in your game that are bad. Get feed back over what they don't like.

    If your game is slow and near unplayable then you lost at performance. Go through your code and find out what was causing the impact. You win by learning to be better.

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