Simple games for funding.

Hi guys.

Some time ago i had an idea to create games (simple games) to help get money for university. At this stage i am studying IT . I seem to grasp the basics of programming as i already created a basic arcade type of game in unity and c#.

Now i have ideas for 2 games. {1} a simple arcade game that you play as a ball and must avoid obstacles while trying to complete levels. {2} a simple horror game (story driven since i suck at making game objects) using the prefab fps controller in unity and hopefully other characters from the makeHuman program. I'll be using inspiration from half life and slender man for this.

But now comes the real questions. Will this yield a desired outcome for the amount of time that i am spending on it? Is there a better way to make a little bit of money with the skill i have?

I am aware that i won't sell a lot of copies , and since i am a solo designer and my games won't have the replay value compared to games with online multiplayer, thus keeping the price low. (I only aim to use the money for little stuff like fuel).

I do not intent to make a quick buck by making a low quality game , since i will want game making to be a hobby of mine in the future.

I am over my head for what i want to achieve.

Best case scenario : i find a game studio willing to help me make these games.

I am unsure as to how to proceed.
Please give advice.


  • If the primary goal is to make money, then making video games is a highly risky way to get there. You can't compete (only) by offering a smaller/simpler game at a lower price; larger studios of skilled game developers are already offering their games for free/very cheap, so that you can't rely on that to get sales/eyeballs. If you're hoping to make any money at all, an important consideration would be how someone might see or hear about your game, and what might encourage them to even check it out in the first place, in the giant sea of (often free) video games that are out there. Even seemingly simple games, when making them polished enough to release, require a fairly significant amount of work, and typically end up needing things that people don't think about (UI, marketing/storefront material, a web page, support, a convenient way for players to pay you). You'd need to make a fairly large number of sales to be able to match the time you put into it, even compared to (fairly low-skilled) side jobs like tutoring maths.

    A more stable way to make money would be to freelance or contract services to others who're trying to make their games or game-like experiences, because then you're guaranteeing returns on the work you're putting in. You'd obviously need some evidence (like a portfolio of games) to show potential employers that you're worth hiring for their jobs in the first place.

    This isn't to say you shouldn't make video games anyway, because it's both super fun and can help improve your knowledge in a bunch of related subjects; it's just not something I'd recommend someone try to do for money unless they're prepared to (and able to) invest a significant amount of time and energy, and only see financial returns in the medium-to-long term. But you know your own situation best!
  • So as someone who was both outside the university sphere and now inside it I would say that you should not focus on the financial gains at this point, but absolutely finish the game.

    Most places that will want to hire you when you have completed your degree are going to put you into one of two camps - graduates that have just finished their degree and will need significant training before they are fully fledged staff members, or junior staff member that has some experience but can already be given productive and billable work. The main thing that is going to differentiate you here is a portfolio. It is also super useful for freelance work as @Elyaradine said above but I cannot tell you how much a CV stands out if you can say something like:
    "I have done well in my studies (see marks attached), and I have completed the following projects: Project A, Project B and Project C" with screenshots and a link that the person can look at.

    You could try putting it on the marketplace since we now can do that in South Africa, but at this point in time in your studies (assuming you are in your 2nd year entering 3rd year if you have covered C#), I would say that it is a lot more important to show your potential employers (be they inside or outside of the gaming industry) that when you were faced with a problem you couldn't solve, that you methodically went through the steps to actually work out how you would go from "I am over my head for what i want to achieve." to "I was worried at first, but I used the following resources to upskill myself to the point that I could solve the problem". This will be what they are looking for in someone that will join a team - not someone they need to train up, but someone who can train themselves.

    I would say don't neglect your studies either - especially if you have a shot at a cum laude graduation - there are quite a lot of people entering the job market with a Bsc IT, but very very VERY few of them have a Bsc IT (Cum Laude). It isn't something anyone would specify on a job ad, but I will say that when I look through packs of CVs that is something that stands out to me.

    This is also a really good community that is really willing to help, so if you do get stuck and bring your game through to a community night or one of the game jams you will find a ton of people that are more than willing to give you some of their time to help you out.

    Good luck!

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