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Tips to Help Save Time and Money on Game Dev with Unity in 2024

If you are just starting out making video games, or ran into a slump throughout the year (I'm right there with you) and looking to help kickstart your year right I have a small list of simple tips to help you get your game built!


Not everything may apply to you, and you may very well be implanting most of them already, but regardless, give them a quick read.



1. Use Unity Personal Edition: Unity offers a free version (Unity Personal) that includes most of the features you need for game development. It's suitable for small projects and indie developers.


2. Asset Store: Take advantage of Unity's Asset Store to find affordable or free assets, such as 3D models, textures, and scripts. This can save you time and money on creating assets from scratch. If you are lucky, you can even score some great assets on a bundle sale or a weekly/monthly free promotion.



3. Open Source Libraries: Explore open-source libraries and plugins that can enhance your game development process without the need for costly alternatives.


4. Lean Development: Start with a minimal viable product (MVP) and gradually add features based on feedback. This approach helps you focus on essential elements before investing in complex and costly features.



5. Free Learning Resources: Utilize free tutorials, documentation, and community forums. Unity has a vast community where developers share knowledge and experiences, reducing the need for expensive training.


6. Optimize Assets: Optimize your game assets to reduce file sizes and improve performance. This includes textures, models, and other media elements. Efficient assets can save storage space and loading times.



7. Freelancers and Outsourcing: Consider hiring freelancers or outsourcing specific tasks if you lack certain skills. This can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time team for the entire project.


8. Cloud Services: Use cloud services for storage, hosting, and other infrastructure needs. Services like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud can provide scalable solutions without the need for a large upfront investment.



9. Cross-Platform Development: Develop your game for multiple platforms simultaneously. Unity allows you to export your game to various platforms, reducing the need for separate development efforts.


10. Version Control: Implement version control systems like Git to track changes in your project. This helps prevent costly mistakes and allows you to collaborate efficiently with team members. Even if you don't use it for a team, having version control is a great habit, you don't want to build a good portion of a game for it to crash. (Been there and done that!)



11. Free or Low-Cost Tools: Explore free or affordable tools for tasks like graphics editing, sound design, and project management. There are many alternatives that can match your needs without breaking the bank.


12. Plan and Prototype: Invest time in planning and prototyping your game before full-scale development. This can help identify potential issues early on, preventing costly changes later in the process.



13. Community Collaboration: Collaborate with other indie developers or join game development communities. Shared resources, knowledge, and experiences can contribute to cost savings.


14. License Management: Be mindful of licenses for assets, plugins, and tools. Ensure you understand the terms and costs associated with using third-party assets in your game.



15. Iterative Development: Adopt an iterative development approach. Release updates and patches based on user feedback to improve the game gradually, reducing the pressure for a perfect initial release.


By being strategic and resourceful in your game development process, you can create high-quality games with Unity while keeping costs under control.

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