How to Start a Game Studio

Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
Last updated on November 9, 2023

Starting a game studio is an exhilarating journey that blends creativity, passion, and entrepreneurship. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges and concerns. Whether you aspire to create indie gems or AAA titles, we’ll provide you with valuable insights to help you dive into the exciting world of video game development and explore the steps to launch your game studio successfully.

How to Start a Video Game Company

Starting a game studio is a dream many people in the industry share. This section will guide you through the essential steps of building the business foundation for your studio. From assembling a talented team to obtaining funding and developing effective marketing strategies, we’ll cover everything you need to kickstart your gaming venture.

Build a Team

Creating a successful game studio begins with building a team that shares your vision and passion for game development. Look for individuals with diverse skills, including programmers, artists, designers, writers, and animators. Experience is crucial, but also consider working with talented newcomers who bring fresh perspectives and creativity. Online game development forums, social media groups, and events are excellent places to find like-minded individuals interested in making an indie game.

Create a System of Workflow

An efficient workflow is the backbone of a successful game studio. Define a clear and well-structured workflow that outlines the game development process from start to finish. Consider the various aspects of development, including concept creation, design, asset production, coding, and quality assurance. For studios working remotely or with hybrid teams, embrace collaboration tools and project management software to streamline communication, track progress, and ensure seamless coordination.

Obtain Funding

Funding is crucial to bringing your game studio’s vision to life. Explore various funding options based on your studio’s needs and the scale of your game project. Some common funding sources include:

  • Publishers: Partnering with a game publisher offers financial support, distribution channels, and marketing expertise that can significantly benefit your game’s success.
  • Crowdfunding: Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow you to raise funds directly from your community and potential players. Engaging campaigns and compelling rewards can drive excitement around your game.
  • Investors: Pitching your game studio to investors who believe in your vision can provide the capital to get your project off the ground.

Find a Publisher

Even if your game has secured funding through crowdfunding or other means, working with a game publisher can still be highly beneficial. Publishers bring industry experience, established marketing channels, and global distribution networks to successfully promote and launch your game. They can open doors to larger markets and help you navigate the competitive gaming landscape.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Creating an outstanding game is only part of the equation; effectively marketing it is equally crucial. That is why you should develop a marketing strategy that encompasses a variety of channels:

  • Social media: Engage with your target audience through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Share regular updates, behind-the-scenes content, and engage in conversations with potential players.
  • Industry events: Participate in gaming conventions, conferences, and virtual events to showcase your game to industry professionals, press, and players.
  • Influencer partnerships: Collaborate with influential content creators and streamers to generate buzz and reach a wider audience.
  • Press coverage: Reach out to gaming media outlets, influencers, and journalists to secure coverage and reviews for your game.

How to Start Game Development

From crafting a comprehensive game design document to iterating on your game based on valuable feedback, this section will guide you through the technical aspects of creating a game.

Make a Game Design Document

A game design document (GDD) serves as the blueprint for your game. It outlines the game’s concept, mechanics, story, characters, levels, and more. The GDD acts as a reference document for the development team, ensuring everyone is on the same page throughout the production process.

It also helps potential investors, publishers, and stakeholders understand your vision. Include as many details as possible, but remain open to adjustments as development progresses.

Choose a Game Engine

Selecting the right game engine is crucial to bringing your game to life efficiently and effectively. Unity, Unreal Engine and Godot are some popular game engines to consider. Each engine offers unique features and capabilities, so consider factors like your team’s expertise, the complexity of your game, and the platform you intend to target. Choose an engine that aligns with your project’s requirements and allows you to bring your creative vision to reality.

Select a Version Control System

Version control is essential for maintaining the integrity and organization of your game’s code and assets throughout development. It enables collaborative work, tracks changes, and facilitates rollbacks if necessary. One excellent choice for version control is Perforce. With seamless integration, easy branching, and merging capabilities, Perforce ensures efficient and streamlined collaboration among your development team.

Develop a Prototype

A prototype is a simplified version of your game that showcases its core mechanics and features. It serves as a proof of concept, allowing you to gather feedback, secure funding, and attract potential players. Focus on demonstrating the unique selling points of your game and gather valuable insights to refine your vision.

Get Design Feedback

Before launching your game, seek feedback from playtesters, fellow developers, and industry peers. Objective feedback can help identify flaws, areas of improvement, and potential bugs. Creating new iterations of your game based on this feedback is crucial for creating a polished and engaging final product.

Practice Iterative Game Design

Game development is an iterative process. Embrace the feedback you receive and be prepared to make changes to enhance gameplay, fix issues, and optimize performance. Constantly improve your game to make it more engaging, balanced, and enjoyable for players.

Launch the Game

Launching your game requires careful planning and consideration. Set a release date that aligns with your marketing strategy and player expectations. Address any critical bugs or issues with patches and updates. Additionally, consider post-launch content, such as downloadable content (DLC), to keep players engaged and excited about your game.

Managed Perforce with Assembla

At Assembla, we offer managed Perforce, a comprehensive solution designed to streamline version control for game development. With seamless integration, robust security, and advanced collaboration tools, Assembla is the perfect choice for video game developers looking to optimize their workflow and focus on creating extraordinary games.

Start a Free Trial of Assembla

Embark on your game development journey with Assembla. Contact us to start your free trial today and experience the power of streamlined version control and collaboration tools tailored to game development needs.

Get Source Code Management Tips in Your Inbox
Get your monthly dose of Perforce, SVN and Git advice from the experts at Multi-VCS hosting in the cloud.
Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone is an instructor at Miami University in Ohio for the Computer and Information Technology department, specializing in process and DevOps. Prior to teaching, Allison worked at Microsoft for 18 years, first as a Technical Writer, then as a Program Manager and Director at Xbox. In her last role she was a regular contributor to
© 2023 Assembla - All Rights Reserved

Select AWS Region

Pick the region closest to your team for faster performance.

Select AWS Region

Pick the region closest to your team for faster performance.