Should I keep a public development blog for a game I'm creating?

What are the benefits and issues of this activity?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Josh Jun 2 '14 at 0:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How is this question not "too broad"/"oppinion based"/whatever? \$\endgroup\$ – NPS Jun 1 '14 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NPS This question is from 2011, before all the "too broad"/"opinion based" bull$$$$. \$\endgroup\$ – API-Beast Jun 1 '14 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @API-Beast Oh. Good times, it seems. \$\endgroup\$ – NPS Jun 1 '14 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this question is opinion based. Look at the answer: it provides a specific list of pros/cons, making it quite useful. I'm not asking for anyone's opinion, I'm asking for concrete consequences of this. \$\endgroup\$ – jcora Jun 2 '14 at 11:04

You'll hear from a lot of people that ideas are worthless. Execution and passion are what matter.

There are a lot of good reasons to run a public development blog.

  • It builds exposure for your game.
  • It can start a community around the product.
  • It builds exposure for you as a developer.
  • It gives you exposure to people who might be interested in contributing.
  • Blogging about what you're doing forces you to teach whatever concept you're trying to give to others, which is a really good learning tool.
  • It forces you to finish something good enough to the point where you're willing to show it off on a regular basis

But there are also some bad ones

  • You might give into bad critique too early if you have a special vision for what your game is going to be
  • If you can't pull off what you're trying to accomplish, your failure is public.
  • It takes time. If you are trying to build a community you need to provide a constant stream of content to keep people interested. That can take away from your development time.
  • Somebody who has access to more resources (talent, money, etc) could "steal your idea".

Worrying about somebody "stealing your idea" isn't worth it. Once your game is finished, if it's any good, somebody's going to borrow from it. Even if it's an unabashed rip off they may do a better job than you can. The only thing hiding your idea gives you is a theoretical head start. It's better to just release something good and give it to an audience that wants it than trying to hide it away.

But at the end of the day you have to ask yourself why you'd want to start a blog. Can you actually pull off what you think you want to do? Are you focusing on the product itself or are you thinking a bit more ahead about what happens after the product is finished (either by shipping or getting shelved)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, sir, that's an awesome post. My goal is quite big, and I would really like to push through it! The game will be played in a browser, so basically it's open source by default. Although, major part of the game will run on the server. \$\endgroup\$ – jcora Sep 5 '11 at 23:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very good advice indeed! I had a very similar question in mind, but I decided I was too lazy to keep up a dev blog even if I was interested, so I decided against it. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy Sep 5 '11 at 23:06

I maintain a blog for my game, and I did wonder this same thing in the beginning. Although I wouldn't call my game original, there isn't another game just like it. Like many games (or even ideas in general), it's built on the shoulders of the giants before. It's all about how you implement your idea, not the idea its self. No one will be able to implement the idea like you can, especially since it's your idea and only you know all the details. If you're in development for the joy of making your ideas a reality, I think you'll find maintaining a blog very rewarding.

I find that blogging about features as I add them really makes me understand the features better. It's fun to get feedback about the game as you're making it. When people say how cool your game looks or that they want to play it, it really motivates you. Good luck!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh wow man your game is quite popular with some of my friends, they showed me a video of it or something! Awesome to meet you :D \$\endgroup\$ – jcora Sep 5 '11 at 23:10

I've asked myself the same question a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try. I've started a small blog. It's more about game development in general and not so much about my game.

I'm a hobby game developer and indeed maintaing a blog takes a relevant part of my available time. Even worse sometimes writing blog posts makes more fun than continuing with my game.

On the other hand writing blog posts forces me to divide my projects in smaller components and keep focus on one problem at a time. A result was also an improved code quality and architecture.

Not sure if this blog will help me promoting my game, if it is finished. But a least it is fun.


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