Game Dev Tycoon has been out on PC for a long time now, meaning many of the guides out there are complex and tailored toward experienced players looking to optimize. Now that the game has hit mobile, you’re probably just starting out, and you might be struggling to get your studio out of your garage. Here are some quick tips and tricks for beginners to help you get past the 1M mark (yes, that’s the threshold) and succeed at Game Dev Tycoon.
Topic, Genre, and Audience matter
The first step to making a good game is a winning combination of topic, genre, and audience (unlocked a short while in). You also want to make sure you’re developing for the right system. There are a ton of topics and you’ll unlock them in a different order every time, so it’s best to experiment to see what works. We recommend running a Game Report for every single game, as it will tell you if the genre/topic combination was good or if it was the reason your game flopped.
As for systems, here are the genres that work well on the earliest five available platforms:
- PC: Adventure, Simulation, and Strategy are great. Action and RPG are okay. Casual is terrible. Focus on Mature audiences.
- G64: Adventure and Strategy are great, Action, RPG and Simulation are okay, Casual is terrible. Focus on Mature audiences.
- TES: Casual is great, Action, RPG, and Simulation are okay, Adventure and Strategy are terrible. Focus on Young audiences.
- Master V: Casual is great, Action is okay, RPG and Simulation are slightly less okay, Adventure and Strategy are terrible. Focus on Everyone.
- Gameling: Casual is great, RPG and Simulation are okay, Action is less okay, Adventure is bad, Strategy is the worst. Focus on Young audiences.
In general, PC is a very safe, cheap platform to use for just about everything and will persist through the entirety of the game.
Keep an eye on the events happening outside your garage and take advantage of them. Accept interviews when offered, and decline investments–they never work out. And keep an eye on the news. When a new console is about to debut, prepare to get a license for and develop for it if you can. Licenses are a one-time cost and you will have time to develop multiple games for the platform while it’s popular.
- Don’t develop the same topic/genre twice in a row. It doesn’t count as a “sequel,” you unlock that option later. Keep trying new things early on to learn what works and what doesn’t.
- Try to stay out of the red, but if you do fall in, don’t panic. You can go as low as 50k before your bank gets mad, and even then they’ll loan you money. It’s not a great place to be, but it’s not Game Over.
- Wait for the Casual genre to unlock before making games on TES and Master V, since it does so well on them. Before that, it’s good to develop for G64 consistently.
- Don’t make a game right away after finishing another. Pick up a few contracts and wait for reviews and Game Reports. Taking time to analyze your game will benefit you in the long run.
- Always take time to fix bugs.