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lucidimage

Member Since 02 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Jul 22 2013 08:49 AM

Topics I've Started

How do you determine the ROI of "Going Big" vs. "Keep it Small" Develop...

17 June 2013 - 12:35 PM

Hello, my name is Micah. I'm pretty much the classic definition of an indie developer. Self-taught. No professional game development background. Self-funding. Boot-strapping. A nobody.

 

Today I'm looking to find out what drives an indie developer to "go big" verses keeping it small? And what are the benefits/ROI that made you make that decision?

 

A little background for you.

 

I was the founder of a small indie studio who developed "Dawn of Fantasy" for the PC. It was originally published by 505 Games after a VERY extended (and self-funded) development process (around 5 years) then was eventually greenlit by the Steam Community.

After a small break from game development, I jumped back into an epic new fantasy based FPS for the PC. After a very "mild" taste of success and development, I wanted to go HUGE! The problem with these epic projects is that they can also be epic time-sinks or worse, and epic-disaster.

 

After around 10 months of development on this project, we found we could NOT maintain a self-funded project with AAA visuals without another dramatically huge dev cycle (5+ years). Putting our mega project on hold, we've moved onto a much smaller 2D platformer called "Tesla Breaks the World!" for the PC, Mac and Linux. We're developing it on Unity 3D and have spent the past 5 months developing out our prototype and nailing down the "look and feel" of the game.

 

We're currently on Kickstarter, where we're struggling a bit but have a realistic shot of trying to hit our small goal:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1660691250/tesla-breaks-the-world

 

We feel we can wrap up development on this project by the end of this year (with or without the Kickstarter- KS obviously allowing us to add additional polish & features).

 

Pro's of a small project:

-Much smaller budget

-Dramatically fewer resources (team members, tools, assets etc)

-Smaller timeline = quicker to market = potential revenue faster

-Smaller games = More games

 

Cons of a small project:

-Limitations on fleshing out your story or technology

-Sacrificing features to meet self-imposed deadlines

-How do you standout from thousands of other small titles?

-How do you price your small project when selling it?

-How can you market an indie title that isn't breaking down design barriers or impressing with AAA visuals?

 

So the question is: Right now, we're developing out a small title and have yet to really hit the point in our journey to know if this is a better business plan for our indie studio verses dumping large amount of time and effort into a larger scale project.

 

So how do you develop? Is it a mistake to go small? Is attempting a AAA indie game impossible in the current market or easier with the availability of more technology?

 

We would love to hear other developers thoughts and feedback on this topic and how they're currently structuring their business plans. I realize team size, talent, budgets etc all weigh in. But I'm very curious what drives an indie developer to take the risk of "going big" verses keeping it small. Thanks for reading!

 


Nikola Tesla + 2D Platformer! Feedback is appreciated!

10 June 2013 - 09:05 AM

Hello,

 

We've recently launched our game on Kickstarter and Greenlight called "Tesla Breaks the World!". A 2D Puzzle-Platformer for the PC, Mac and Linux.

 

You play as Nikola Tesla, battling hordes of 1800's-era undead and of course, Thomas Edison!

 

Our Kickstarter got off to a nice/small start but we're already experiencing a slow-down just 1 week into the project. We've sent out updates to almost 200 gaming sites around the globe but only 3-4 posted articles on the game (smaller gaming sites). I'm curious what other indie developers are doing to attempt to market their games? We've leveraged our own personal and developer social network, but as a small developer, that is very limited.

 

You can check out our Kickstarter here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1660691250/tesla-breaks-the-world

 

Any feedback you guys have would be much appreciated!


Fantasy FPS Announced on Kickstarter

30 October 2012 - 08:23 AM

A new fantasy based FPS project launched on Kickstarter:
http://www.kickstart...les-fantasy-fps

I'm not looking to solicit, but the pitch is community driven game development. The question is: Is that really possible?

i.e. community driving what new maps, new weapons, new features, what gets updated next etc. It sounds good on paper, but do you think it can actually work?

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