Hello. Today I'd like to tell you, about the mistakes that I've made and things I've learned after making games in Unity for 1 Year. I hope this will be helpful to some of you. One year might not seem like a lot, but I thought I'd share my experiences with you guys. In the last year, I've made 7 games in total. Some where smaller projects, created in a weekend, and on others I've been working on for multiple months (part time, because I have school).
Here's what I'd like to tell you:
1.When learning a new game engine, don't approach a big project right away. My first Unity game was made in 1 week. It wasn't anything special, it was just a simple 2D Platformer, you've probably seen tons of them before. I did not publish the game, but it was a great learning experience for me, because I've learned incredibly much about the Unity game engine in that one week. I recommend doing this to anybody learning a new game engine.
2.Take breaks, especially during game jams. I had to learn this the hard way. I participated in a one Week game jam. It was really fun, but I made a huge mistake: The HTML just didn't work. However, I really wanted to get it working, because many people don't download game jam games and I feared that nobody would even play my game. I spent 7 hours straight trying to fix the bug (and yes I asked google and stackoverflow but they couldn't help me). I didn't solve the issue in these seven hours and I felt ill afterwards and I even needed to puke. The next morning, I solved the issue in a couple of minutes. Just don't do too much, I was burned out. Take a break, go outside. It's the most important thing this game jam has taught me.
3.Participate in bigger game jams. The game jam I participated in had only 100 participants. I got one feedback comment, so it was really not worth it to risk my health for that. While there is more competition in a bigger game jam, there are more people and if you play other peoples games, they will also play your games (like in Ludum Dare).
4.Don't compare yourself to others. This is one of the worst things you can do. You will always envy other game developers on reddit or youtube doing lots of incredible stuff. It might be hard but don't compare yourself to them. Especially when you don't have that much experience with an engine (in my case Unity). You're just starting, you can't be the best game developer in the world right away. There will always be people better than you. Be proud of what you are creating and keep going! My games are not the best as well and I even hate some of them I've made. You'll probably agree that they are nothing compared things you see on Reddit sometimes: (I made a little documentary of the games I've made in the last year. (It's 4 minutes long) https://youtu.be/5GMxYyk8kfM). But you'll always improve. One year ago, when I made the 2D Platformer Game, I couldn't have guessed that I'd be making a 3D game right now.
You guys are probably way more experienced than me, but I hope these tips where helpful to some of you. What did you learn in your first year of using the game engine you're using right now? Please tell me in the comments. :-)
Have a nice day!