Ever hear the inspirational saying shoot for the moon, if you miss you will land among the stars? Sure! You’ve seen it posted on Facebook by millions of social ‘media poets’ as if they wrote it themselves. Well, I think it’s a bunch of cockshit and so did another great man: Neil Armstrong. Because if that old school G missed the moon on the Apollo 11 he too would be among the stars……hurtling forever in the unforgiving and uncompromising vacuum of space. If you want to land on the moon you plan for it, you don’t la-di-fucking-da your way to it like a dumb fucking asshole.
This same principle applies to your game development. Many of us say crap like oh this is just a hobby or I just do this for fun. The reality is you’re all a bunch of lying ass clowns that fib because you’re afraid of failure. Well here’s a news flash: EVERYONE DOESN’T WANT TO FAIL!!! This isn’t a new concept. Yes, trying to run your game dev like a business can be scary and go against your ‘indie 4 life fuck da AAA shit’ image but I’m pretty sure you like to eat on a daily basis too. Don’t act like a hippy dipshit thinking you’re too chic because…
Art is Subjective
You know why there are so few huge successful artists out there? Because they’re fucking rare and so is their work. I’ve got news snowflake, you’re not special! I know it! Tyler Durden knows it! And I know for a fact you fucking know it! In most cases you’re either making something generic people have played before or something so obscure it’s completely unplayable. Either way whatever you’re making, it’s subjective.
Your creativity will most likely not be for everyone but it will appeal to someone. As a business you need to focus on the people in the latter. They’re your bread and butter, but more importantly, your game ambassadors. These are the people that will spread word on how great your game is. So don’t be doing any of that monkey marketing. What is monkey marketing?
Monkey Marketing: When a stupid primate fuck enjoys bananas and thinks everyone else will love it as well. Said stupid primate fuck spends all day throwing bananas at panthers, cheetahs, and lions expecting monetary return. Stupid primate fuck is eaten by (choose any predator) for their efforts.
Nobody has ever woken up and said I want less and I don’t mean less as in terms of fancy cars, big houses, or stupid bling that rappers wear who eventually go bankrupt making bad life decisions. So why would you want a large surge in money?
Money Helps Your Passion Grow
Tell me oh dear reader. When you were young what did you want to be? I’m sure you would say a policeman, a fireman, or a doctorman (I was a slow child). No kid ever said I want a job that pays at least $50,000 a year with dental benefits or I see myself getting kicked out of my house for my raging cocaine addiction….I better consider selling my body; that industry is always booming. Basically you were always focusing on a purpose or a passion.
Performing robo-tasks while being micromanaged by an insecure fat cow boss who eats their feelings (all of them, happy, sad, mad, stressed, melancholy) was never your dream. Doing something meaningful and getting paid for it is everyone’s desire in life. True we don’t all get it, but it doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t want satisfaction in their job.
Getting paid for your craft feels amazing. Not only is it money you get but it’s money you decide how to manage. This capital can be used to build another game by investing in new equipment, hiring talented employees, renting office space, etc. This allows you to continue to do what makes you happy. So how the fuck is that selling out?!!!
You’ll Gain More Recognition
Let’s paint a wholesome scenario here. You’re a singer, and I love your work so I ask you to write a song for me. You reply in kind by politely telling me to go fuck myself (I forgot to mention that you’re playing the role of Kanye West rapper/whiny bitch extraordinaire while I’m David Duke Imperial KKK Wizard/racist extraordinaire…there, proper context). So I propose a counter offer; a picture of Kim Kardashian bound and gagged to a chair surrounded by bright red sticks of TNT. I don’t want to spoil it but I can assure you in the end seven Grammy paperweights are won, Kanye is relevant for good music again, and Kim has more than enough money for psychiatric treatment. Power win!
This fantastic fable of extortion is the type of pressure you need to apply to your gamedev venture. Being hungry forces you to market your game making more people aware of it. This in turn introduces you to new people in the industry. These people get you hooked into the industry pipeline forcing you to polish your game to meet industry standards. Criticism emerges forcing you to hire beta testers to give quality assurance. This type of activity forces your creation into the community making your game a *gasp* product while making you a *heaven forbid* brand therefore making your game dev a…you guessed it…a business!
Gaining more recognition will amplify your chances for increased monetary gain and also future success of other games you may decide to develop. It will also give you the option of making the happiest decision of all…
Leave Your Day Job/Become Self Employed
Have you ever felt the urge? You know, to walk up to your boss; launch your foot right into their gut and while they’re hunched over, wrap your right arm around their neck and drop them with a Stone Cold Stunner? And then you drink beer over their lifeless body while stapling your letter of resignation to their forehead? Well now you can! Um…metaphorically (the subtitle of this section is leave your day job/become self-employed, not assault your manager/go to jail). A successful game that gives you a bigger paycheck then your humdrum job will allow you to switch careers.
What’s better than having the ability to make all the decisions, set the hours, and set the pace while not having to answer to Captain Dickhead Superior? Nothing…well, unless you’re Bill Cosby. He’s always been passionate about promoting J.E.L.L.O. (Jacking Each Ladies Little Orifice).
Now, now don’t let it go to your over-eager cranium. You may have left your phallic-headed dictator but it doesn’t prevent you from becoming one. If you see yourself exhibiting these traits here it’s time to call a proctologist or at least dial the cunt-o-meter back. Cause if you don’t, someone will Austin 3:16 your ass!
Registering Your Business
I’ve always said an idea is meaningless unless its written down on paper. You wanna build that incredible game? Write it down! You wanna create that great marketing strategy for its release? Write it down! You wanna rob that bank across the street in broad daylight? Write it…….um…….you better write a fool proof plan down!
Registering your business makes you official and will show the people who work for, or with you, that you’re more committed than Charles Manson. This will keep your team in focus and unite them under a common goal.
The best part is you can form a partnership or a corporation set with rules, on paper of course, to prevent yourself from getting screwed by your teammates. Don’t get excited asshole, you won’t have full control over them either. These rules will also apply to you as you can’t screw over your teammates in return. That’s right, a well written contract is the corporate condom that protects everyone from that one nasty creature who comes in charming but leaves you dying in a puddle of your own tears.
Like anything in life if you want something to work, you don’t go half ass and hope you won’t get hurt. You go in full ass and accept the severe pounding reality is going to give you. And yes that pounding is hard and it hurts, at first. It comes in the form of internet trolls mercilessly cutting up your work, friends telling you that you can’t do it (fuck, you have friends that suck), and relatives who think you’re wasting your time…..and keep saying you should take that secure job as a beetroot picking line cleaner.
But over time you become numb and you can take the pain; and that’s where the rewards come in. No one who was successful just sat on their ass and received it. They ventured out into the world for it. These fighters fell time and time again, they got up stronger, wiser, and more determined. Miyamoto scrapped to create a universe where we could take on the role of a plumber battling a giant lizard to save a princess. Kojima went against the grain with his auteur style to bring us one of the most badass characters we’ve ever played in Solid Snake. Tajiri turned down a secure job at the Tokyo Electric Power Company to share his hobby of insect collecting with the world….in what children and adults alike affectionately call Pokemon.
Building a game as a business is no different than building your character. It’s a painful but highly rewarding career if you put 100% of yourself into it. Being vulnerable is scary but it also makes you a much more interesting person as well. I can’t remember who quoted this but bravery isn’t the absence of fear but the resistance of it. I can only imagine what incredible journey that man went through to come up with such a revelation. Now get out there, show us what you’re worth, and get yours!