3 Lessons Bill Gates Taught Me About Building a Successful Video Game
In the mid-1990s, video games were in a deep slump. It felt like every year there was a new genre or a new rule that you had to follow if you wanted your game to be successful. In other words, every year it felt harder and harder to create a great game. But not everyone saw this coming doom and gloom in the gaming world. Bill Gates did. When he first visited Nintendo’s headquarters in Japan back in 1994, he saw something in Nintendo’s games that made him think ‘ That’s the future of gaming! ’ And so he set out on a mission to find anything and everything he could about how video games are made . And as it turned out, his insights were spot-on. Use these 3 lessons from Bill Gates to build your own successful video game
You can’t build a successful game without a solid foundation.
When you start designing a video game, you have to have a solid foundation to build on. You know who your target audience is, you know what features and functions those people will require from your game, and you have an idea of what is feasible and what is not. But the more important aspect of this is to know what your game isn’t. And what your game isn’t is what people want. Do you know what people want? Absolutely not. And you have to accept that and build your game around that. That’s how you build a successful video game.
Provide people with unlimited value. It’s the only way to build an engaged audience.
People will play your game if they get value out of it. You can’t just give them a game and then wonder why no one is playing it. You have to provide people with unlimited value. But how do you do that? You do it by creating an engaging and fun game for your target audience that’s also exciting and challenging. Think of the best video games. What are the things that you remember most about them? Chances are, it’s the excitement, the edginess, the difficulty, and the challenge.
It takes more than just working hard. You also have to work smart.
When you’re building a video game, you’re putting all your blood, sweat and tears into it, right? Well, there are two things you can do to make sure that you don’t burn yourself out. First, don’t be too goal-oriented. You can’t just focus on making a certain amount of money or bringing in a certain number of players. You have to take a step back and look at your game from a wider perspective. What is the purpose of your game? Why are you making it? Why did you choose that particular theme and style? Why did you choose these particular features and functions? Why did you choose to make your game a certain way? Those are the things you need to keep in mind.
Be wary of hype. Don’t get caught up in it. And know when to cut your losses
Hype is tricky. You have to appreciate that it’s a big step forward for your game. You need to appreciate that the people who are playing it now are the first people to experience this step forward. But you also have to be aware that hype is not just a one-way street. You cannot just cherry-pick what you want to hear and tune out the rest. You have to focus on the overall vibe of the game. If it feels like the hype is getting out of hand, then it probably is. So be wary of it, don’t get caught up in it, and know when to cut your losses.
Now that you know how to build a successful video game, it’s time to get to work.