Making your own game is not that hard these days, although it does require several skills. Learn what roles you and your teammates have to take on to make a game.

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What Are the Required Skills?

If you have a team, you should think about who will take on which role. However, if you are a solo developer, you may need to wear multiple hats, so to speak.


Indie Game Dev Team Roles

Game Designer

The game designer is the visionary of the project. Some of the tasks of a designer are planning the gameplay, user interface, environment, characters, and storyline.

Game designers are likely to be creative people rather than technical. They can work with as little as a pen and a notepad but using a tool like Miro can really make a big difference. A project management tool helps the members of the team stay on the same page about the project’s vision and it also increases productivity, as everyone knows what tasks needs to be done at what time.

Artist

The primary duty of an artist is creating 3D art as in 3D models like characters, buildings, and props, or 2D art like sprites, textures, and concept art. The artist also takes care of animations.

Like game designers, artists are also creative but they usually need more equipment for their work. Instead of drawing or sculpting with a mouse, artists use drawing tablets to work more precisely.

The most popular 3D graphics software among indie game developers is Blender. Blender has everything you need to create 3D art. Learning to use the software can be a little challenging but it’s all worth it in the end.

3D Character in Blender

If you are planning on creating 2D art, Krita is one great option for that.

Level Designer

A level designer is a person who creates levels for the game with the assets made by the artist. The level designer builds a level in a way that it provides the right challenges to the player. They also set up the lighting for the game world and optimize its graphical performance.

Being a level designer requires both creative and technical skills. They usually work solely within the game engine that the team uses to make the game. The most popular game engine is Unity.

Audio Specialist

The main duties of an audio specialist include music composition and making sound effects for the game.

Music allows you to set the right tone for a scene in your game. One of the most popular music software for indie game developers is LMMS.

With great sound effects you can make the player feel like they are part of the game world. Sounds can be used to reward and punish the player. Making sound effects can be as easy as recording yourself hitting objects together. Audacity is a simple but powerful audio editing software.

Programmer

The programmer glues everything together and brings the game to life. The programmer writes scripts that tell the game objects what to do and when.

Coding is purely a technical skill. The programmer writes the scripts in an IDE (Integrated development environment) but also works a lot with the game engine.

Game Tester

The game tester’s job is to test the game to make sure the game works as it should. The tester also purposely tries to find bugs in the game.

When it comes to an indie game development studio, everyone on the team should be a game tester, because people play games differently and the more feedback you can get, the better. In addition to this, it’s also worth getting feedback from people outside your development team, for example, on game development forums.


Outsourcing Game Dev Skills

A lot of tasks like graphic design, music compositing and voice acting can be outsourced by hiring people on freelance sites.

I have been buying and selling services on Fiverr since 2018 and in my opinion it’s the best freelance site out there. The site always seems to be on the customer’s side, so if you are not satisfied with the work provided by the seller, you can cancel the order and get your money back easily.

Fiverr is also great for translating your game into multiple languages.


Using Third Party Assets

Besides outsourcing tasks, you can also download assets from sites like Unity Asset Store.

On Unity Asset Store you can find, for example, 3D asset packs, effects and plugins that speed up your game development process.

There’s absolutely no shame in not doing everything by yourself. I used to have a mindset that I had to do everything by myself but nowadays I rather spend 10 dollars on an asset pack than waste a week making something similar by myself.

3D Game Asset Pack on Unity Asset Store