SilentNegotiator (User)

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It Isn't Easy Being a New Indie Developer

SilentNegotiator | 351d ago
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I've wanted to be a part of developing games since I was about 13. Me and one of my best friends would always come up with game concepts in our free time, drawing covers for our games of insane ambition. As I got older, I started considering other careers, but it all came back to game development. I couldn't afford a great university (I was a ~3.6 GPA student with above average SAT scores, but I didn't do any extracurricular activities; dooming me from getting any scholarships), but my community college offered some game development courses and an associates degree and that teared it; I was going into game development.

Naturally, I have told several people about my ambitions to become an independent game developer. Unfortunately, the response is rarely positive. I've gotten confused looks and disgusted looks more frequently than I have people responding positively. I get confused looks because people don't understand how it works, even when I try to explain it. I get disgusted looks because people assume the stereotype that I'm just some loser that plays videogames 24/7 and only think I can make video games because I play them.

It's discouraging. I haven't completed my first project yet, so I can explain how the industry is so massive and lucrative, but no one can see how that can pertain to me.

I can't stomach the stereotyping. It has gotten so bad that I catch myself sometimes lying to people that I don't think will immediately understand. "I'm studying...computers [or software]" I'll say. Why am I so afraid to share that I'm working towards a career in the most lucrative entertainment industry in the world? I shouldn't be and I always regret it mere moments later. I just hate getting "that" look.

I received one of those disgusted looks from a co-worker. I have a miserable near-minimum wage job that fluctuates from being full time hours to part time. Trying to develop a game and work such an inconsistent job at the same time is rough.

Developing a game takes time. I work entirely alone on my project and that means creating art assets, programming, sound development, developing a marketing strategy...doing all of that and working on my job at the same time is torture. Most days I just want to come home and relax, but if I always did that, I would never finish my game and I would be stuck in that hellhole for the rest of my life.

I could try kickstarter or indiegogo, but I don't like the idea of owing people (even though it's clear from cancelled projects and Kickstarter's FAQ that legally, you owe no one anything for their kickstarter donations). I would use that funding to pay bills and then when the game's release came, I would need to pay for those persons' copies. But I just spent the money; how am I going to fulfill my obligations without waiting for a day that may never come when I sell enough OTHER copies to pay for it? The way I see it, I can't guarantee anything to anyone and I could ultimately end up back at square one. I don't feel comfortable putting others' and my own money at risk at the same time.

Between the time and the reactions from peers, sometimes it doesn't feel worth it. But I'm pushing forward and I'm going to finish that game. If it flops, I'm going to make another game and re-evaluate my marketing strategy and game design. It isn't easy, but come hell and high water, I'm going to do it.

NOTE: For anonymity's sake, I'm not going to share details about my game here. I appreciate that users have shown interest in the past in supporting me, but I feel that such a small time project could be derailed by petty persons that disagree with my views expressed on N4G, by means of initial negative reviews.

coolbeans  +   351d ago
For what it's worth, I hope your game turns out to be something mind-blowing and brings you financial success. It's great to see you're still powering through even with the stigma of being a game designer can sometimes bring with it.

“No man ever achieved worth-while success who did not, at one time or other, find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure.” - Napoleon Hill
PopRocks359  +   351d ago
I hope your game is successful. If it looks appealing, I'd pledge for it. Personal disagreements are irrelevant is far as I'm concerned, so long as your attitude is kept in check while addressing your crowdfunders.

Edit: As in don't have a meltdown like Phil Fish. All the respect for the guy, but he opened a lot of doors for criticism by being publicly outlandish at times.
#2 (Edited 351d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
SilentNegotiator  +   351d ago
When it comes to anything negative from reviews/twitter/etc, I won't even HAVE opinions. Everything I say in regards to the game will be in character of an overly appreciative indie developer.

Bad review? "Thanks for the chance to improve myself"
Negative comment? "I respectfully disagree"

I've studied how these indie folk work for some time. You need to be confident but not cocky, manipulative but not outright deceptive. A little controversy doesn't hurt, but only if you're established (and being my first game, I'm obviously not).
HonestDragon  +   351d ago
More power to you, dude. Hopefully your game will get it's time in the spotlight and then some. Just keep your chin up and you'll manage. Like PopRocks said, don't have a meltdown like Phil Fish. I will also add to not emulate his attitude toward peers and customers. That is what ultimately came back to kick him in the rear.
DestinyHeroDoomlord  +   351d ago
Good luck ;)
Bladesfist  +   351d ago
You're not alone. I am a hobbyist developer and I know there are several like me on this site and even some indie and professional devs. You seem to have the motivation down and that is worth more than anything. Good luck with your project.
HexxedAvenger  +   351d ago
I wish you the best of luck!! I hope it is successful!
zerocrossing  +   350d ago
As someone who's done exactly what you're doing, I wish all the best and hope you succeed.

Indie games are as good as any other and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Heck, maybe more so now since most of mainstream gaming is void of innovation and originality these days.
#7 (Edited 350d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ravinash  +   350d ago
If anyone has a negitive reaction to what you do, ask them what they have done to make their dreams come true?

There are so many people in the world who sit there wishing they folowed their dream but then just carry on with the same old job.

It sound to make that you have the motivation and the skills, and these things will take you to your goals.
Best of luck to you!
XabiDaChosenOne  +   350d ago
When your games become big time make sure it's a playstation exclusive, I mean it....
iceman06  +   350d ago
It sounds like you have everything that you need! You have the motivation, the drive, and determination. Whether or not you make the next big thing shouldn't matter. YOU are CREATING your vision, your dream! Don't be ashamed of following your dream because most people don't have the balls to do so and get stuck in negativity and envy. I could stop and quote Nietchze or Sarte, but instead I'll just quote some nameless marketing executive, who probably had a dream similar to you when he penned..."Just Do It!!!"
isarai  +   350d ago
Well i am currently graduating from my Bachelors course in game development, and i can relate. The thing is at the end of the day it's your life and YOU have to live with your decisions not them, so do what you want to do and be happy rather than doing what people expect of you and being miserable. One thing i found comfort in is my peers, and i would recommend you do the same, it takes a ...special kind of personality to want to be a game dev(we're all a bunch of oddballs)and in that common attribute we support each other.

I have gotten into full blown arguments with people about my career choice but they always shut their mouth when i tell them the salaries and successes that come out of it, and honestly even though the pay is good (to me) for a standard job in a studio, i'm not in it for the cash(though i do need it to pay off my student loans :/ )i just love the medium and the process, there's nothing else like

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