So, I’ve been working on a game for about 18 months now along with a small team - 7 people total, but only four (2 devs, 2 artists) who are regularly working on actual game development. I can offer a few suggestions.
First and absolutely foremost, come up with an idea and scope appropriate to the size of your team and your skillset. If you plan to make the next Skyrim or GTA, you are going to get frustrated and fail, even leveraging an engine like UE4 that does so much for you. Games of that scale are made by teams of hundreds of programmers and artists… thousands of people when you include everybody contributing to the final product. You can’t do a game of that scope well with three people, even if those three are super-experienced unicorns*.
If you’re just getting started, you really want to scope out something very limited for your first game. Create something that takes place in a relatively small area. Do an endless runner, platformer, or top down shooter to get your sea legs, then think about doing something more ambitious once you’ve shipped something.
Shipping is hard and it teaches you a lot and you want to get a shipped game under your belt before you try and do something too ambitious. You will make some bad decisions trying to get your first one out the door simply because you’re anxious to get your game out into the world. You don’t want to do that with your magnus opus, so start small and shoot higher with each successive game. After you’ve shipped a few, you’ll feel much less pressure to ship prematurely
Be public. Small teams don’t have the luxury of a large advertising budget, so develop your game in public as much as you can to build interest. Do a dev diary, blog posts, forum posts here, and #screenshotsaturday tweets. Answer questions when asked and engage people who are interested in what you are doing. Even consider streaming some of your game dev sessions on Twitch. Don’t try and hide your mistakes, either. Do it all warts and all. People will not judge you less for it, and the type of person who’s interested in the nitty gritty details of how your game is being built can become a champion for your game later.
Make sure you have a website, a facebook page, a twitter account, and maybe an Instagram account for the game. Don’t just use your personal accounts. Give the game its own identity online.
Learn to deal with frustration. Game dev is hard, even for experienced developers and designers. You will paint yourself into corners, You will make bad decisions that haunt you months from now. It’s all part of the game, and you can overcome it all, but if you feel defeated when things go wrong, it’s very easy to sidetrack your whole development effort.
Communicate constantly with your other team members, and don’t try to restrict people to an area of expertise. If your artist has a story idea, listen. If your programmer has a suggestion on a model, listen.
I could probably go on for days, but I’ll stop here. Best of luck with your project.
Unicorn - a multitalented person capable of doing multiple jobs at a professional level