As an indie developer, life is tough. It is better to start well than to make mistakes as an indie.
I think these 7 points will help you and give you a better idea of what you are getting into.
1. Get Real
The biggest problem of a newbie is that they want to make the biggest and best game of all time by sitting in front of a computer that might not even run on max setting with just their pocket-money or part- time job to support them.
What is your experience? How much risk can you take? Are people around you supportive? Is your team organized?
How much risk can you take? Are people around you supportive? Is your team organized?
Are people around you supportive? Is your team organized?
Is your team organized?
Yes, these things are important to consider.
After you realize all these factors you will naturally start with a small and quality game (that is, if you haven’t any inheritances to give you a kick start!!).
However, a drawback of starting small could be that you have a higher chance of failing. But, in this business, a lot can be learned from the mistakes one makes in the initial phases. So, don’t be afraid to take the risk and immerse yourself completely in indie game development even if you don’t have a big enough setup or experience.
It’s all about proceeding up that learning curve gradually, driven by your passion.
How many failed games must have been made before the biggest success?
|The Backup Files||2001|
|The Lonely Hermit||2001|
|Dead Baby Dressup!||2001|
|12 uses of dead babies||2001|
|Dead Baby Dressup 2!||2001|
|6 more dead baby uses||2001|
|Dead Baby Dressup 3||2001|
|Stile man Dressup||2001|
|WWF baby dressup||2001|
|8 More Dead Baby Uses!||2001|
|Dead Baby Dress up 4||2001|
|The Boy who QuestionedGod||2001|
|Dead Baby Dressup X||2001|
|Dead Baby Super Hero Dres||2002|
|Dead Baby Dressup best of||2002|
|Clubby The Seal||2004|
|Carious Weltling 2||2005|
|Cerebral Discharge iii||2005|
|Holiday Snow Wars||2006|
|Weltling 2: Regurgitated||2007|
|Blood Car 2000!||2008|
|Blood car! 2000! Delux!||2008|
|DeadBaby VG Dressup||2008|
|Twin Hobo Rocket||2008|
|The C word||2008|
|Clubby: Killing Season||2008|
|Meat boy (map pack)||2008|
|Super Meat Boy||2010|
Super Meat Boy is the 45th game and not the first of the guy you aspire to become like!!
Learn to survive your first few games and accept it.
Don't give up on your dreams; it’s okay to think up wild ideas and pursue them if you know what you want.
3. Simple but complex
Most successful indie games share the common mantra that they are all simple at the outset and get deeper as you progress. The same simple mechanics become complex and fun progressively. This gets the player hooked and hungry to find out more, thus maintaining their interest throughout the game.
What can you do is you can start with a simple game and ask - Is there a way to make it better?
Make a simple game first and then work towards making it complex and challenging.
But remember a simple but complete game is always better than an unfinished and complicated one.
If you completed your first game: "Yes you made it! Now play again in hard mode!"
4. Accept that you don't know anything but be willing to learn
It’s common knowledge that the money that follows in this business once you make it big is not a joke. Thus, everyone has dreams of getting to the point where you are hugely successful and money just flows in. But it’s hard to make your indie business work if this is your sole motive.
At an initial stage, it is very important to forget all perks and delve in for the love of making games, which will also push you to learn the skills required to become a good developer.
Once you reach a level of being a good programmer, artist or developer only then can you start selling your games.
There are a ton of developers out there who are better than you and have plenty of amazing ideas to work on. But, getting intimidated by this will only slow your progress.
If your passion is to make games and become an industry leader, then just keep going.
Falling flat on your face a few times will only make you stronger and wiser.
If you can learn to keep yourself motivated and focused for long, you might end up with an amazing game.
There was a research done by vision mobile which showed that when you make your first three games you have a 3% chance of getting more than 25k, but once you make more than 50+ games you have a 27% chance of make 25k on your game.
1/30 (without experience) vs 1/3 (with experience) chance of being successful.
Another interesting statistic is that 70% of developers make less than 4 games. Maybe the problem is that people give up easily. They don't try hard enough or stay long enough in the game.
So keep learning and developing games as it will reward you if you stay put long enough.
5. GDD: his only job is to keep you on track
Your Game Design Document should give you a clear picture of what your game is about, but nothing more. Don't write your whole game in the game design document.
Game development is a gradual process, where ideas are often subject to change and you arrive at end result only after many bouts of piggybacking on ideas. Just mention a brief outline and keep it dynamic. Learn and improve as you go.
Main purpose of a game design document is to give you clarity on your goals, break down your work and help you to maintain deadlines.
6. It's not just game development
Indie game development is not just restricted to making games but also includes making websites, business cards and professional pages, channels, writing blogs and giving game reviews.
IT IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS; so treat it like one!
Along with game development, it is equally important to learn the skills of project management, accounting, business management, SEO and social media marketing.
Build your studio and make your website, portfolio etc.
Indie game development is like fine dining, not fast food hubs!! So, go for main course only after a round of appetizers.
For main course we have:
⦁ Art (Includes sound)
⦁ Producing (overseeing and funding development of a video game)
You will need to learn a lot! It's hard but fun too!
7. Make your game around people
It is important to know your audience aka different types of gamers that you cater to. With this knowledge, you can either make a game for an exclusive group or for a broad spectrum of people. We have:
I don't want to explain because Extra Credits has done an amazing job on that: What Type of Player are You? - Extra Credits
To summarize all the tips above, we made a cool infographic for you:
Now go and work on your game!