• Gamedev

  • 10 Steps to Making Your First Game Successful
  • By: Wlad Marhulets
  • Narrated by: Yong Yea
  • Length: 6 hrs
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you know nothing about game development, you're basically me before I started working on my first game, DARQ. This book is for beginners and assumes no knowledge of game development on the listener's part.

As a first-time developer with no prior experience in coding, modeling, texturing, animation, game design, etc., I managed to launch DARQ to both commercial success and critical acclaim. With zero dollars spent on marketing, it was featured in major media outlets, such as IGN, Kotaku, PC Gamer, GameSpot, Forbes, and hundreds of others. DARQ won numerous awards, such as The Best Game of the MIX/PAX, and received a user rating of nine out of 10. DARQ was in the top 50 of the most wish-listed games on Steam before launch. It made it to the "Top Selling", "New and Popular", and "Featured and Recommended" tabs on Steam. Ultimately, DARQ became the number 42 Most Shared PC Video Game of 2019 (Metacritic). 

In this book, I describe how I did it. If you're an aspiring developer wanting to make a living from making games, this book is for you.

The book guides you through a step-by-step process of making a commercial game. It teaches you how to learn all the necessary skills and covers various aspects of game development: mindset, preproduction, funding, business, law, development, marketing, PR, publishing, distribution, as well as pre-launch, launch, and post-launch strategies.

©2020 Wlad Marhulets (P)2020 Wlad Marhulets
  • Unabridged Audiobook

What listeners say about Gamedev

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The bible of modern game development.

I wish I would have found this book sooner. I am in the middle of releasing my first indie virtual reality game, ROTU.com, and this book affirmed and helped align key areas of my marketing and deployment strategies.

Also, the author, Wlad, personally followed up with me after minutes of reaching out. You can trust a film composer turned game developer. Understanding how to write music for film instills a creative work ethic and determination that leads to success.

If you are at all interested in learning more about the intricacies of game development from the perspective of someone spearheading everything involved from conceptualizing to releasing a game this is the book for you.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

The narrator is someone I've followed on YouTube for years. This is his first narration of a book to my knowledge and wow. Well done, very easy to understand and just the right volume to where I can hear it easily with background noise around. great book also. Haven't played his game, about to give it a shot later this week.

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Very Very informative!

The author is very aware of the fact that luck had a lot to do with his success and that it was not all due to hard work.
Which is very refreshing.
However he does make it clear that luck usually materializes more often to those that work hard.
With the info in this book, the only thing between you and a at bare minimum a moderately successful game is you!
The author's story is also very inspiring and could probably warrant a book of its own.
The narrator also does a stellar job throughout the book with a few chuckle inducing French name pronunciations that don't deter from the material at all.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will revisit it many times while I develop my own games.

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The best book for an aspiring indie developer

The tittle gives cheap feel to the book. Most the 10 steps to this or that books are nonsense - also here I didn't at any point think the content as a 10 step program. But luckily the book is much better than the tittle and totally worth the read.

I am a a solo-developer with some game company and entrepreneurial experience (and a decade+ long career in game related visual field). This book is really good for getting a relatively thorough coverage of things to consider when developing a game and in planning its marketing and general appeal strategy. Of course one book can't go very deep in any particular topic but I found just the marketing part to be more valuable than several (admittedly terrible) social media marketing books I have gone through lately.
The book has a lot of information about choices you need to make for your game but it doesn't make them for you. Also the parts about pacing your work, legal considerations etc. raise topics that easily get ignored.

My review doesn't quite do justice, the book really is great.

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Fantastic

I was looking for a book to get a good overview of what it's like and how to create a video game, and I have to say I couldn't possibly be more satisfied with my purchase. The book covers all aspects, from technical to creative, from marketing and business, without ever feeling too long or too short. I feel like the title doesn't give it justice, so don't let it fool you, this book is the indie developer's Bible. Props to the narrator as well, very pleasant to listen to and spotless performance.

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Motivating and informative

Wlad has an incredible personal story to tell in this book. It’s quite amazing what he was able to accomplish. The book provides a lot of good insight into the game industry. He is highly motivating and gives realistic advise. And even though at first when he starts discussing how to handle publisher deals and launch day prep it seems a bit much to tell someone just starting game dev, it becomes apparent that you need to consider these things as early as possible which I found very interesting.

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10\10 would be my favorite book to listen

10\10 would be my favorite book to listen. Yong is great and Wlad is awesome,nothing to say more. Buy and listen!

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Awesome resource for a first time indie dev

This book includes an overview (or maybe more a framework) of how an indie dev might go about producing and marketing their first game. It's incredibly clear and feels comprehensive.

It also includes Wlad's own personal story, and how he eventually came to create Darq. It was surprising, but inspiring. Kind of makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.

I'm grateful for this book, and I'll be hanging onto it for reference as I put together my first game.

Recommended if you're building a game, definitely.

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Great book!

This book was very informative and inspiring. I will be listening again as I go through my game dev journey!

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valuable game developer tips

Overcoming hardship and stuttering at youth...
Inspiring story from a very resilient & blessed game developer.

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  • Martin Malmer
  • 01-24-22

A little brash, but provides a timely overview

I'm not exactly the main target group. I've worked in the industry for some years, and I've sometimes been toying with the thoughts of my own side project. I'm curious listener. That framing may explain my coming thoughts.

I nearly returned this book at some point, when I encountered yet another absolute disposition. There are several observations throughout that seems a bit... young. Like announcing that it is always better for a game to be long, without considering the target group. Claiming that red always signifies attention, without considering that red often has a useful contrast, and that it's this contrast, and not the color red itself that is a catch-all. The position that there is little joy to be had in mobile development comes off as a bit idealist.

So yeah, a bit young in its overall feel. But it may also be its strength. The younger audience, and the ones likely to need this book, doesn't always have time to decipher what some old cryptic elephant has to offer in terms of wisdom. They want a cheat-sheet, or there's a reddit thread that explains it quicker.


This book is very contemporary, which is very useful right now. It may need to change several times over, as game dev resources and the social media landscape changes. I could see this book exchanging zeitgeist elements over the years for tried and true observations, and in the end become timeless, just in time for the author to become an old elephant himself.

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  • Zara
  • 11-13-21

Excellent book

Highly recommend this book for its inspirational messages, practical advice and tips. A must read !

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  • Hedgehog
  • 12-10-20

Essential Gamedev reading

One of the best and most useful books I have read on game development.

Has provided me with lots of great advice and inspiration to persevere.

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  • Santtu Kähkönen
  • 10-13-20

Very insightful and relevant

Very well written and narrated with tons of contemporary hands on knowledge about game development