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To aspiring indie devs


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#1   Members   -  Reputation: 310

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:23 AM

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Hello, 

I didn't write this, but I just found it and thought it was interesting and slightly different to most other similarly titled posts.

http://www.sagacityapp.com/folmerkelly/To%20aspiring%20indie%20devs



#2 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -396

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:40 AM

Whoever wrote that is awesome. Really like point 2, 3 and 5.

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#3   Members   -  Reputation: 493

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:56 AM

Really like the whole article to be fair!

 

I've never given much thought to the types of articles he mentions - in other walks of life they'd tell you 'go to school and get awesome grades so you can be a CEO in 10 years time!'. Yeah, tell that to the likes of Richard Branson who dropped out of school with virtually no qualifications - and dyslexia to fight alongside it. 

 

Sadly many aspiring devs will read and listen to articles like that and although from time to time you might find legit advice, most of it is total trash that'll do more harm than good. 


BSc Computer Games Programming (De Montfort University) Graduate

Worked on Angry Birds Go! at Exient Ltd

Co-founder of Stormburst Studios


#4 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -396

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:17 AM

Really like the whole article to be fair!
 
I've never given much thought to the types of articles he mentions - in other walks of life they'd tell you 'go to school and get awesome grades so you can be a CEO in 10 years time!'. Yeah, tell that to the likes of Richard Branson who dropped out of school with virtually no qualifications - and dyslexia to fight alongside it. 
 
Sadly many aspiring devs will read and listen to articles like that and although from time to time you might find legit advice, most of it is total trash that'll do more harm than good.

Yeah.
@kiteflyingmonkey: Thanks for posting that

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I can do ALL things through Christ - Jesus Christ
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Logic will get you from A-Z, imagination gets you everywhere - Albert Einstein
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The problems of the world cannot be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. - John F. Kennedy


#5 slalrbalr   Banned   -  Reputation: 2005

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:48 AM

 

"10 tips for aspiring indies!"

"15 hard truths about being an indie dev!"

"8 things they don't tell you in video game school!"

These titles all sound like the authors are either just trying to sell me a book or something, or they have absolutely no idea about game development is really like. I wouldn't call them "people with experience".



#6   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2928

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:29 AM

Great article! I wish I knew him nineteen years ago when I first started and he had known all that at the time. I've read articles like that and sadly the guys at Allegro.cc (where I spent eleven years trying to learn) are like that. I had about five rocky years of experience in C++ when I joined A.cc and told them that my ultimate goal was to make a Chrono Trigger fan game and to make a RPG that combined elements of three of my favorite games. Immediately I was was told by members that it was impossible to do and that I should forget about those ideas all together. The A.cc admin even has the attitude of you can program or you can't and if you can't then you can't learn. He even gave me a lecture about how those who fail repeatedly ultimately get depressed and give up programming and how he had seen it time and time again. I listened because they all had made games.

 

Moosader's community was half way like this and half way not. They would tell you that you could do xyz game, but then when you asked questions you were either left with no response or they would talk down to you because you didn't ask the right question. I listened because they made games.

 

Because of people and articles like that telling me what I could and couldn't do for eleven years, I have no confidence in my abilities. I went from big dreams of being a game programmer as a career and even going to college, to now not caring if I ever become a game programmer because of the ideals that were placed in my head due to said articles and bad communities. Now I can help beginners and do the exercises in programming books like nothing, but when I try to make my own ideas I just seize up and can't break things down anymore. Those kind of sites, communities, and lists have made it so I don't like working in teams anymore, I don't like showing my code due to self-esteem and personal perception that it always sucks. 

 

My point, in case I lost some of you because I do have a knack for rambling and making my point less evident, is that the article is great advice for all those looking to becoming an indie game developer and that I am living proof that his points are valid and to not listen to all those involved in it because there are some that will mislead you.



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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:00 AM

What I think the problem could be (do note, this is pure speculation from my part) is that those lists were the truth at some point in time.

 

I see it like this, probably the people that make those lists were the ones that had to dig through piles of rubish, had to overcome 9 failed games and didn't have the information/platforms or whatever is needed that we have available to us now.

 

It has become significantly easier to make games with lesser effort over the years, large communities have risen from seemingly nowhere, the indie scene has been growing as well and right now, it's just a matter of downloading Unity3D, grab some nice looking assets from one of the many sites providing them, skim through some tutorials or copy paste some code and you can already have a decent game running without that much effort.

 

I also think many of those posts are meant for people that think "I'll just make my idea and become a millionair, just like notch did" and get bitter when their first game magically doesn't become the next minecraft. They also tend to forget that, taking notch and minecraft as another example, wasn't his first try.

 

I get where he's coming from and where he's going with this, though I do not fully agree with every point. It's something that is also to be seen from the eye of the beholder and a matter of how you interpret it and like I said, most of those points are probably stated by people that had to go through these points that are not fully valid anymore.



#8 Nathan2222_old   Members   -  Reputation: -396

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:30 AM

What I think the problem could be (do note, this is pure speculation from my part) is that those lists were the truth at some point in time.

I see it like this, probably the people that make those lists were the ones that had to dig through piles of rubish, had to overcome 9 failed games and didn't have the information/platforms or whatever is needed that we have available to us now.

It has become significantly easier to make games with lesser effort over the years, large communities have risen from seemingly nowhere, the indie scene has been growing as well and right now, it's just a matter of downloading Unity3D, grab some nice looking assets from one of the many sites providing them, skim through some tutorials or copy paste some code and you can already have a decent game running without that much effort.

I also think many of those posts are meant for people that think "I'll just make my idea and become a millionair, just like notch did" and get bitter when their first game magically doesn't become the next minecraft. They also tend to forget that, taking notch and minecraft as another example, wasn't his first try.

I get where he's coming from and where he's going with this, though I do not fully agree with every point. It's something that is also to be seen from the eye of the beholder and a matter of how you interpret it and like I said, most of those points are probably stated by people that had to go through these points that are not fully valid anymore.


Sure, the failed game part may be wrong but the part about indie devs should not make big games like the pros and forum members feeling like you shouldn't doing that because I was told not to or because I couldn't is right

UNREAL ENGINE 4:
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GREAT QUOTES:
I can do ALL things through Christ - Jesus Christ
--
Logic will get you from A-Z, imagination gets you everywhere - Albert Einstein
--
The problems of the world cannot be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. - John F. Kennedy


#9   Moderators   -  Reputation: 12293

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:10 AM

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You want to know what all those lists (including the one being discussed) have in common? They were all made by somebody who just shut the hell up and made a game. It's the same in pretty much every walk of life. There are people who make games (or who make movies, or who write novels) and then there are people that sit around on the Internet all day, browsing reddit, checking gd.net, looking up 1001 inspirational articles to help them get all fired up and thinking "f yeah, I'm gonna make a game and these guys that made this list totally told me that it's possible!" and pretty much doing everything except making a game.
 
You don't need some list maker to tell you it's totally possible for you, yes you, to make a game.
 
I have this sneaking feeling that somewhere along the way, people have gotten lost. Once upon a time, just getting together the right tools to make a game was a challenging proposition. At some point, though, compilers and art tools became readily available for free, APIs sprang up that made it a veritable dream to make games, and yet it didn't seem to actually get easier to make a game for a lot of people. I think the problem is now that there is such a glut of information and time-wasting. You get on the net with the intention of making a game, and you end up instead reading a list of 15 awesome things you just totally have to not fucking give a shit about, because you are not here to read about that stupid crap, you're here to make a game. So download your tools, shut your browser, and make a game.
 
I know, I know, I need to practice what I preach.

#10   Members   -  Reputation: 339

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

Great article! I wish I knew him nineteen years ago when I first started and he had known all that at the time. I've read articles like that and sadly the guys at Allegro.cc (where I spent eleven years trying to learn) are like that. I had about five rocky years of experience in C++ when I joined A.cc and told them that my ultimate goal was to make a Chrono Trigger fan game and to make a RPG that combined elements of three of my favorite games. Immediately I was was told by members that it was impossible to do and that I should forget about those ideas all together. The A.cc admin even has the attitude of you can program or you can't and if you can't then you can't learn. He even gave me a lecture about how those who fail repeatedly ultimately get depressed and give up programming and how he had seen it time and time again. I listened because they all had made games.

 

Moosader's community was half way like this and half way not. They would tell you that you could do xyz game, but then when you asked questions you were either left with no response or they would talk down to you because you didn't ask the right question. I listened because they made games.

 

Because of people and articles like that telling me what I could and couldn't do for eleven years, I have no confidence in my abilities. I went from big dreams of being a game programmer as a career and even going to college, to now not caring if I ever become a game programmer because of the ideals that were placed in my head due to said articles and bad communities. Now I can help beginners and do the exercises in programming books like nothing, but when I try to make my own ideas I just seize up and can't break things down anymore. Those kind of sites, communities, and lists have made it so I don't like working in teams anymore, I don't like showing my code due to self-esteem and personal perception that it always sucks. 

 

My point, in case I lost some of you because I do have a knack for rambling and making my point less evident, is that the article is great advice for all those looking to becoming an indie game developer and that I am living proof that his points are valid and to not listen to all those involved in it because there are some that will mislead you.

 

That's sad to hear. The only person you have to prove your abilities are you! There's a lot of this going around the Unity forums, "You can't do it".. "Keep it simple", "never strive to be the best!!".. Screw that smile.png, I swear down I spend half my time now going out of my way just to prove people wrong (Which I need to stop and focus).. I built half a game engine in two weeks just out of principle, I'm half way through a massive RPG because they said I couldn't do it. 

 

I started in games development 5 years ago, I've been coding for 12 years in API development, so I suppose I'm inexperienced but I don't let that stop me. Don't let your own emotions cripple you, everyone can do it! You just have to spend your time A) learning the most effective method B) Implementing it. 

 

Some people get hung up on re-inventing the wheel, which is fine until it becomes a financial burden. I'm a little OCD, games are never finished.. Learning to reign it in and accept it's as finished as it's going to be. Just get something out there, put in the time and just get it out there.. Even if it get's slammed to the wall, you pick yourself up and do it better the next time from the feedback and experience you've gathered.

 

Also don't try and learn anything and everything, there is simply too much.. Don't be excessively proud and use other libraries, languages (whatever it takes) to help you get to where you need, small teams  / one man bands can't afford to be proud.. Oh and save at least some money for marketing, you have a great product which means sweet nothing if only you and your partner know about it.

 

End of the day, do what makes YOU happy not what others say and the dev in Unity selling his game might not be a game creation Guru or even know anything about c++.. But at least they are making something out of it!


Edited by ShadowKGames, 10 January 2014 - 11:16 AM.


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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:25 AM

You want to know what all those lists (including the one being discussed) have in common? They were all made by somebody who just shut the hell up and made a game. It's the same in pretty much every walk of life. There are people who make games (or who make movies, or who write novels) and then there are people that sit around on the Internet all day, browsing reddit, checking gd.net, looking up 1001 inspirational articles to help them get all fired up and thinking "f yeah, I'm gonna make a game and these guys that made this list totally told me that it's possible!" and pretty much doing everything except making a game.
 
You don't need some list maker to tell you it's totally possible for you, yes you, to make a game.
 
I have this sneaking feeling that somewhere along the way, people have gotten lost. Once upon a time, just getting together the right tools to make a game was a challenging proposition. At some point, though, compilers and art tools became readily available for free, APIs sprang up that made it a veritable dream to make games, and yet it didn't seem to actually get easier to make a game for a lot of people. I think the problem is now that there is such a glut of information and time-wasting. You get on the net with the intention of making a game, and you end up instead reading a list of 15 awesome things you just totally have to not fucking give a shit about, because you are not here to read about that stupid crap, you're here to make a game. So download your tools, shut your browser, and make a game.
 
I know, I know, I need to practice what I preach.

 

Never wiser words spoken.. I'm guilty of this also, spend less time thinking about the subject and more time learning / doing.



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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:16 PM

I didn't like that article. I haven't launched a successful indie game, but I don't think the author of that article did either.

I have however launched several very successful windows and mac software programs and run a great software company.

I agree with all of the advice he was complaining about.

 

1.  My first game sucked so bad!!!!!!!!!  It is normal.  Your first game won't be GTA, it will suck.  And you get better from there.

Anyone whose first game didn't suck please correct me.  

 

Getting a sponsorship on FGL doesn't mean a game doesn't suck.  I love FGL.  I think FGL is awesome because it gives the small developer

a chance to get a few bucks for writing a game.  The guy who sponsors it basically gets the right to upload it to all the big game

sites, and almost always makes back his money and a profit in ad revenue.  Only because new games are always on the top for

a little while and get a bunch of ad views.   But Look at the stuff that gets sponsored there.  These arcade

sites will buy almost anything the prices starting at $50 and the biggest deal ever there was like $10,000 or $20,000.  How is

getting a guy with an arcade site to give you a few hundred or thousand bucks for the rights to your game a measure of not sucking.

 

I am not the slightest bit interested getting a sponsor on FGL And I don't know of anybody making a living through FGL sponsorships.

 

2. 

 

Start small is good, everybody here will say the same.  But yes if you are 100% sure you can complete it in your timeframe then go for it.

 

3. 

 

What works for us might not work for you?  I see about 1,000 candy crush imitators and only candy crush is making $1 million a day.

 

4. 

 

Marketing is Important

 

5. 

 

On this one I really agree with the old standard.  Prototype first.  Block Out First.  make a game that is fun to play with just boxes.  That is

the foundation for something great.  Graphics won't help you if your gameplay sucks.  Start with the foundation.  Graphics are the finishing touch.


My Projects: - www.repulse.com

 


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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:52 PM

 

What I think the problem could be (do note, this is pure speculation from my part) is that those lists were the truth at some point in time.

I see it like this, probably the people that make those lists were the ones that had to dig through piles of rubish, had to overcome 9 failed games and didn't have the information/platforms or whatever is needed that we have available to us now.

It has become significantly easier to make games with lesser effort over the years, large communities have risen from seemingly nowhere, the indie scene has been growing as well and right now, it's just a matter of downloading Unity3D, grab some nice looking assets from one of the many sites providing them, skim through some tutorials or copy paste some code and you can already have a decent game running without that much effort.

I also think many of those posts are meant for people that think "I'll just make my idea and become a millionair, just like notch did" and get bitter when their first game magically doesn't become the next minecraft. They also tend to forget that, taking notch and minecraft as another example, wasn't his first try.

I get where he's coming from and where he's going with this, though I do not fully agree with every point. It's something that is also to be seen from the eye of the beholder and a matter of how you interpret it and like I said, most of those points are probably stated by people that had to go through these points that are not fully valid anymore.


Sure, the failed game part may be wrong but the part about indie devs should not make big games like the pros and forum members feeling like you shouldn't doing that because I was told not to or because I couldn't is right

 

 

That is also simply a matter of perspective and aim. There's a difference between doable and feasible.

 

If for example, your aim is to make a living from game making, you will need to invest money in it and preferably make more money with the game you just made. Taking risks and such into account, it is better to have smaller games/projects where failure will have a lower impact than to start on a big project where failure can result in a lot of debt and perhaps take away your dream.

 

Doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve, but it's just a matter of accepting the opportunities and risks of your project size.



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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:54 PM

I know, I know, I need to practice what I preach.

Not mentioning that the "Back in the day things weren't this easy!" thing is kinda the big elephant in the room don't you think?

 

Besides, "once upon a time" there weren't as many games as they are made today. While many people are "lost" with great tools, there are a lot of motivated people who can jump on the game making train whenever they feel like, something that simply wasn't possible before.

 

It isn't that "people is lost", its just that right now the barrier of entry is so low even "lost" people can have the cake and eat it too. In exchange the people that do have motivation but that lack the 500 grand to spend on a UnrealEngine 1 licence simply don't exist anymore, today they also can have a slice of the delicious cake (yes! I'm hungry).

 

I'd rather have a guy that doesn't knows what to do with all the options available than a guy that knows exactly what to do but can't do it because all the doors are closed. Difference is that no matter how high or low the barrier of entry is, the former is hopeless whereas the later isn't.


"I AM ZE EMPRAH OPENGL 3.3 THE CORE, I DEMAND FROM THEE ZE SHADERZ AND MATRIXEZ"

 

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:28 AM

You want to know what all those lists (including the one being discussed) have in common? They were all made by somebody who just shut the hell up and made a game. It's the same in pretty much every walk of life. There are people who make games (or who make movies, or who write novels) and then there are people that sit around on the Internet all day, browsing reddit, checking gd.net, looking up 1001 inspirational articles to help them get all fired up and thinking "f yeah, I'm gonna make a game and these guys that made this list totally told me that it's possible!" and pretty much doing everything except making a game.
 
You don't need some list maker to tell you it's totally possible for you, yes you, to make a game.
 
I have this sneaking feeling that somewhere along the way, people have gotten lost. Once upon a time, just getting together the right tools to make a game was a challenging proposition. At some point, though, compilers and art tools became readily available for free, APIs sprang up that made it a veritable dream to make games, and yet it didn't seem to actually get easier to make a game for a lot of people. I think the problem is now that there is such a glut of information and time-wasting. You get on the net with the intention of making a game, and you end up instead reading a list of 15 awesome things you just totally have to not fucking give a shit about, because you are not here to read about that stupid crap, you're here to make a game. So download your tools, shut your browser, and make a game.
 
I know, I know, I need to practice what I preach.

While I agree with that comment, there are two things that stood out to me after reading it (both bolded above). GD.Net is a life line for game programmers so of course we check it. Shutting our browsers is extreme, I'd say open tabs for Google.com and GD.Net and leave it in the background until you hit a snag you can't figure out on your own. Then google it, and if you can't find a solution, then post to GD.Net for help, but above all else fight the urge to look at other sites like Youtube, reddit, etc. I also always have books I can reference in my amazon reader (http://read.amazon.com) and a physical reference book (The C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrup) by my laptop. I need to get a new reference book though that has the C++11 standard.

 

Side Note: Honestly, I don't care for reddit and only posted to it when I was helping promote a Kickstarter project a friend had made. I didn't pay attention to it before that and don't pay attention to it after that.

 

This quote feels appropriate: "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."  --Henry Ford


Edited by BHXSpecter, 11 January 2014 - 11:37 AM.





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