A few weeks ago a friend of mine linked a article from Gamusutra that is a top 10 list of things to do to become an Indie Developer. I innitally thought the list would give some real cool pro tips but it is just supper practical. Below is the original list by Christian Allan with my hot takes on each point.
1. Get the most powerful rig you can afford. Use NewEgg to build it to save dough. -This step is very important if you plan on making games for consoles, mobile or pc. This is your fondation for your development. You don’t want to be at the half way point when your 5+ year old rig craps out for the last time.
2. Buy a solid state backup drive. Hook it up and set it up to auto-flash the HDD. -Back up all the things.
3. Get a cloud backup solution like Carbonite. -Back up all the things again in case your your place burns down or your computer is stolen. I personaly like Backblaze for my cloud based backups.
4. Set up a Google office account for document management.-Staying organized makes game development a lot more fluid than trying to remeber everything. It also can prevent redundant work if you are on a team.
5. Get the following programs: Unreal Engine (free), Perforce (free), Paint Shop Pro ($70), Trello (Free). Learn how they work and what they are for. -I personaly use the Unreal Engine and GitHub.
6. Download the appropriate Unreal Template for your game.-You can also use Unity3D, CryEngine, RPG Maker, GameMaker: Studio
7. Watch tutorials on youtube on Unreal Blueprint Scripting and asset importing.-Repeat step 6 with your prefered engine.
8. Browse the Unreal Asset store for an appropriate starter asset kit. Buy it.-Even though I prefer UE4 the Unity3D asset store is much more expansive at the moment.
9. Start building your game, starting with the most basic player interactions. -Just make something, anything. Just do it.
10. Recruit a group of gamer friends that you can send your game to and provide you feedback. Prototype, integrate, test, iterate, repeat. -This, all day long.
Another thing that I would like to note is that if you plan to make video games you should remeber that the process is not a sprint but a marathon. The larger the game, the longer it will take to finish. So in the begining start with a small game that can be finished in under a month. Building something and then finishing it will boost your confidence. Always shoot for small victories.