The art of addressing source code
The path that leads to making a video game is, like all wish-fulfilling fantasies, fraught with perilously tedious real-world details. While it may seem like a quick hop; skip and jump from taping up the curtains to prevent screen-glare to releasing your own pixel-art wonder, rabid obsession is not enough to overcome the mundane necessities of releasing a playable game.
What kind of game is it going to be? What kind of aesthetic are you going for? How many players will it support? Who is going to write the scripts and music? Can you bribe your friends to help record them? All of these questions will take the lustre off your shining vision faster than birds will ruin a newly waxed car.
Tackling the issue of source code
While overcoming these challenges is part of the labour of love, and can even shape the final game in unexpected ways, there is one monolithic hurdle that renders all others obsolete: where is my source code going to come from?
The chances are, unless you're leaving a game development studio with years of coding experience to make your own game, you'll need access to something pre-written. While it is relatively easy to get access to game engine software, it can be tricky knowing how to insure against software trouble, particularly for small operations.
At this point, it is worth seriously considering a software escrow service.
Software escrow services act as independent mediators for providers of software and end users, taking the hassle and the potential for long legal disputes out of the standard end user license agreements.
There would be nothing worse than paying for engine software and finding out that it is broken, incomplete or leaves your carefully nurtured game unable to do anything but create dancing penguins.
Use an escrow agency, who will hold the version of the software provided in a secure account, and you have peace of mind should the worst happen. It can check the software in the account to make sure it does what the provider says it does and can decide who may have violated the software license agreement in the event of a dispute.
If the provider is deemed to have violated the agreement, the escrow agency may well hand over the contents of the account to you to make whatever modifications you need. This may well leave you having to code, but hey, your game is one step closer right?