Review: GAMEDEV: 10 Steps to Making Your First Game Successful by Wlad Marhulets

Wlad Marhulets has an amazing story to tell here, not just relevant to aspiring game developers but to anyone that likes a good success story. Basically the author immigrated to America, with little to no skills in game development, and managed to teach himself and launch a somewhat successful indie game on his own. This is the dream and this book is proof it can happen.

It’s not just Marhulets’ story either, there are quotes and short sections from industry veterans on several important topics. You hear from people that worked on World of Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed, Cyberpunk 2077, and The Medium, as well as some indie developers from Axiom Verge, Super Crate Box, and Journey. There are 10 chapters here and we see everything from preproduction and development, to law, marketing, publishing and more. I especially liked the chapters on law and contracts (there are quotes from an actual attorney) as well as how to navigate getting funding and signing with a publisher. A good range of topics are covered here, and the author seems authentic.

Overall, if you are an indie developer (or want to be) this may be the most important book you read while you are starting out. It’s both an inspiring story as well as a guidebook for navigating the difficult terrain. While I had heard of DARQ before (the game the author made), it hadn’t really been on my radar. I instantly bought it on Steam, to support the developer, and I plan to play it to further understand the appeal. This book is great motivation and some of the info here is priceless. Well worth reading.