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Looking to be an indie game developer, have questions


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#1 mathacka   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:04 PM

Hi, I'm trying to become an indie game developer. I'm learning directX atm and I'm trying to figure out what direction to take.

 

I'm wanting to develop intensive 2D and perhaps some simple 3D games.

 

I've looked into the windows store, but I'm not sure that's the place for me. Are the retailers to sell games for real, or are there a lot of scams out there?

 

How do I find a trusted retailer to sell my games? Should it cost money to sell my game? What programming API's should I be looking to develop with that will encompass 2D and 3D desktop games? What do I do if I want to go mobile, the API's seem unrefined for beginners?

 

I know these are a little bit scattered questions, I'm just full of questions, I really want to make games.



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#2 Kalner   Members   -  Reputation: 120

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

Well Steam is a huge one. Other than that you can make a website and do stuff from there with paypal or whatnot.



#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9483

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

I've looked into the windows store, but I'm not sure that's the place for me. Are the retailers to sell games for real, or are there a lot of scams out there?

 

How do I find a trusted retailer to sell my games? Should it cost money to sell my game?

 

Those particular questions are Business questions, and you'd be better off asking those types of things in the Business And Legal forum rather than For Beginners.  Your other questions are technical, and those do belong here in FB (and I can't answer your technical questions).  Just saying, it's best to compartmentalize your questions, and ask them in the forum best suited to those questions.


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 18496

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

Some digital retailers are scam-like, though they often keep themselves legal.

 

Just stick to the well-known ones: Steam, Impulse, Desura, Origin, etc... I have a list of about 40 or more, but those four and the main ones.


It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#5 mathacka   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Thanks for the list, I appreciate that!



#6 Dan Mayor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

How do I find a trusted retailer to sell my games? Should it cost money to sell my game? What programming API's should I be looking to develop with that will encompass 2D and 3D desktop games? What do I do if I want to go mobile, the API's seem unrefined for beginners?

 

I know these are a little bit scattered questions, I'm just full of questions, I really want to make games.

 

How do I find a trusted retailer to sell my games?

Google is your friend, look for reviews, try to contact other people that use the service and ask questions.  The internet is a very social place, if a retailer scams someone you will find it very easily.  It's very easy to get a bad rep, very hard to get a good rep.  Just do your research really, also make sure you protect (copyright) your game before submitting to a retailer you may or may not trust.

 

Should it cost money to sell my game?

YES!  If the vendor / retailer is offering to sell it for free it's a scam.  Why would they do work for you for free?  Why would they spend their time updating their online catalogs?  Why will they waste their money advertising and getting users so they can sell your game and not make anything?  Sorry to say it but money makes the world go around and NOTHING is free, there's always a catch.  You have to spend money to make money, even if it's commission or royalty based you MUST pay to sell your game.  If you don't pay the retailer they will get their money somehow maybe by fudging your sales numbers and keeping a couple copies sales themselves, maybe never giving you a penny.  NEVER EVER trust someone that says "Make money for free".

 

What programming API's should I be looking to develop with that will encompass 2D and 3D desktop games?

This is a much broader topic and the answer is "for what?"  If you are looking to reach just windows platforms go with Direct X.  Many will tell you Open GL is faster and they are right, unfortunately since Vista windows actively impairs the physical pipeline to the graphics card for anything that is not Direct X.  "It's for security".  Vista, 7 & 8 will actually make Open GL run slower than Direct X.  On every other platform Open GL will be faster.

 

What do I do if I want to go mobile, the API's seem unrefined for beginners?

No.  Not much else to say here, but the only way to cross between desktop and mobile seamlessly is HTML 5 / Javascript.  The easiest way to say this is Mobiles are NOT pc's.  That which works on PC does NOT work on mobile (in most cases) and vice versa.  Android runs java and a lite version of Open GL that does not respond in the same way as Open GL for PC.  iOS uses Objective-C (there are reports of Java soon but not yet) and a different lite version of Open GL.  Blackberry uses Java and to my knowledge just simple custom API's that only apply to the blackberry platform.  Windows Phones use C# and a lite version of Direct X 9 that has most of the same features as the PC DX9 but there are still some differences that can break major chunks of the game.

 

 

My Suggestion

For 2D games that you want the most portability with learn HTML 5 and javascript.  For 3D games....  Well learn to do 2D first, the only really safe way to go multi platform with a 3D game is to hire an expensive specialized coder for each platform (in the range of $85 per hour) to build the engine wrappers for you or to license a big name engine that already does it (Such as Unity or UDK).  Look into these license's VERY carefully before you just jump on board.  They are a hell of a lot more expensive than you would think.  The royalties add up, then your vendor royalties, paying the artists, devoting months if not years of your own time into the project and when it's all said and done maybe you get 10 - 20% of the sales...  What if it doesn't sell all that great?  Epic fail and it hurts... BAD!


Digivance Game Studios Founder:

Dan Mayor - Dan@Digivance.com
 www.Digivance.com


#7 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 18496

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:25 PM

Should it cost money to sell my game?

YES!  If the vendor / retailer is offering to sell it for free it's a scam.  Why would they do work for you for free?  Why would they spend their time updating their online catalogs?  Why will they waste their money advertising and getting users so they can sell your game and not make anything?  Sorry to say it but money makes the world go around and NOTHING is free, there's always a catch.  You have to spend money to make money, even if it's commission or royalty based you MUST pay to sell your game.  If you don't pay the retailer they will get their money somehow maybe by fudging your sales numbers and keeping a couple copies sales themselves, maybe never giving you a penny.  NEVER EVER trust someone that says "Make money for free".

 

Note that there is a difference between "Taking a percentage of sales", and "Charging you a fee to put your game on their store".

No, it should not 'cost you money' to sell your game. The retailers make their money by taking a percentage of each copy of your game sold, before they send the rest to you.

 

Some do charge a upfront or annual "membership fee" beforehand, like Microsoft and Apple, but unless it's a very well-known company, any up-front fees are a big smell of scams.


It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#8 Dan Mayor   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

Should it cost money to sell my game?

YES!  If the vendor / retailer is offering to sell it for free it's a scam.  Why would they do work for you for free?  Why would they spend their time updating their online catalogs?  Why will they waste their money advertising and getting users so they can sell your game and not make anything?  Sorry to say it but money makes the world go around and NOTHING is free, there's always a catch.  You have to spend money to make money, even if it's commission or royalty based you MUST pay to sell your game.  If you don't pay the retailer they will get their money somehow maybe by fudging your sales numbers and keeping a couple copies sales themselves, maybe never giving you a penny.  NEVER EVER trust someone that says "Make money for free".

 

Note that there is a difference between "Taking a percentage of sales", and "Charging you a fee to put your game on their store".

No, it should not 'cost you money' to sell your game. The retailers make their money by taking a percentage of each copy of your game sold, before they send the rest to you.

 

Some do charge a upfront or annual "membership fee" beforehand, like Microsoft and Apple, but unless it's a very well-known company, any up-front fees are a big smell of scams.

 

 

Should it cost money to sell my game?

YES!  If the vendor / retailer is offering to sell it for free it's a scam.  Why would they do work for you for free?  Why would they spend their time updating their online catalogs?  Why will they waste their money advertising and getting users so they can sell your game and not make anything?  Sorry to say it but money makes the world go around and NOTHING is free, there's always a catch.  You have to spend money to make money, even if it's commission or royalty based you MUST pay to sell your game.  If you don't pay the retailer they will get their money somehow maybe by fudging your sales numbers and keeping a couple copies sales themselves, maybe never giving you a penny.  NEVER EVER trust someone that says "Make money for free".

 

Note that there is a difference between "Taking a percentage of sales", and "Charging you a fee to put your game on their store".

No, it should not 'cost you money' to sell your game. The retailers make their money by taking a percentage of each copy of your game sold, before they send the rest to you.

 

Some do charge a upfront or annual "membership fee" beforehand, like Microsoft and Apple, but unless it's a very well-known company, any up-front fees are a big smell of scams.

 

Agreed, I should have clarified that better.


Digivance Game Studios Founder:

Dan Mayor - Dan@Digivance.com
 www.Digivance.com


#9 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 18496

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

Naw your post was fine, it was a lack of clarity in the original question and we both interpreted the question differently not knowing which the OP meant. smile.png

Fantastic response, by the way. Upvoted it.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 09 January 2013 - 12:43 PM.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#10 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:06 PM

Look into these license's VERY carefully before you just jump on board. They are a hell of a lot more expensive than you would think. The royalties add up, then your vendor royalties, paying the artists, devoting months if not years of your own time into the project and when it's all said and done maybe you get 10 - 20% of the sales... What if it doesn't sell all that great? Epic fail and it hurts... BAD!

 

Don't come down too hard on royalty-based engines.  As an indie developer, this is still a very lucrative way to go: quicker development of your game on time-tested platform-spanning engines means an earlier release and less time spent in negative-income development.  And many indies won't necessarily have "artists" or other team members to pay (especially solo developers), depending on their skillset.  The only thing you can guarantee is that no two developers will take the exact same path to that first paycheck, but I wouldn't throw out the Unity/UDK idea altogether.


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#11 Rorakin   Members   -  Reputation: 618

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

Look into these license's VERY carefully before you just jump on board. They are a hell of a lot more expensive than you would think. The royalties add up, then your vendor royalties, paying the artists, devoting months if not years of your own time into the project and when it's all said and done maybe you get 10 - 20% of the sales... What if it doesn't sell all that great? Epic fail and it hurts... BAD!

 

 

Don't come down too hard on royalty-based engines.  As an indie developer, this is still a very lucrative way to go: quicker development of your game on time-tested platform-spanning engines means an earlier release and less time spent in negative-income development.  And many indies won't necessarily have "artists" or other team members to pay (especially solo developers), depending on their skillset.  The only thing you can guarantee is that no two developers will take the exact same path to that first paycheck, but I wouldn't throw out the Unity/UDK idea altogether.

Unity does not charge royalty / per title fees only a flat license fee and only for revenue in excess of $100,000 or for Pro version obviously

http://unity3d.com/unity/faq



#12 Greg Quinn   Members   -  Reputation: 151

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:15 AM

Hi, I'm trying to become an indie game developer. I'm learning directX atm and I'm trying to figure out what direction to take.

 

Personally, I'd suggest you rather learn a visual game engine like Unity3D. The learning curve is much more gentle and you can publish games to a wide variety of platforms quite easily. 

 

Learning DirectX and C++ is great if you want to get into a AAA studio, but if you want to go the indie route and put out games quickly, you need something like Unity3D where all the plumbing has been taken care of for you and you can focus more on actual game development than the nitty gritty technical details.






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