Im not sure if this belongs here. But this is basically a rant about how hard it is to get a studio off the ground. When i first started at the beginning of the year, and i saw movies like "indie game: the movie" or "pixels and polygons: an indie developer story" i felt it was an overdramatisation. And i know that nobody said it was going to be easy the entire ride, i do have come to the conclusion that it i way harder then i ever dared to imagine.
First i want to start of with our newest screenshot!
Our main project is called Galactic Gladiators, this is supposed to be our flagship.
We also made two mobile games (one was just an exercise that i made in one week)
And another one that is a bit more advanced:
The game above, is now in beta and sheduled for release in 10 days.
I started with these projects with the hope that we could eventually start a studio, but reality teaches us something else.
The first problem (Finding people!)
People who work for free are crazy. Yet i found a few crazy people to help out, reality is still that in this world you need to make a living, besides me the rest of the team is stuck with jobs, sometimes even family and kids, and the weekly amount of hours they can put in is somewhere around 1-5 hours.
Im surpised we got this far!
But for me things are coming to an end. I was given one year to make this work, the year is almost over now. I have no job and i am still living with my parents.
The second problem (Finding money!)
Finding investors for the creative industry is very hard. You need to have a solid reputation before they even consider you! Also crowdfunding is nothing but an illusion for the delusional! You may hear about crowdfunding succes regulary, but they are just the happy few. Alot comes down to community building and marketing...sadly im a game dev, and being a socially ackward cave dwelling nerd, im not very good at community building! (although that should probably not count as an excuse!)
The third problem (Finding happyness!)
Keeping yourself happy. I feel the last past year has been one year of depression. As the year progressed it became more difficult to get up in the morning. I would often live at night and sleep at day. I went from 15 hours of sport each week to less then 3. Not only me, also the team is losing moral, we started out very ambitious...but things keep getting delayed and we are still not seeing any money.
As a last thing, while our project in general has gotten some positive replies. It has also gotten negative ones...and from all the shit last year that i got to endure, that was for me the hardest.
To have your game called, and i quote "A worthless piece of shit", it keeps you up at night. Game dev is not easy, its one of the most technical things i have done in my life, and there are so many different areas in developing a game like animation, 2d art, 3d art, programming, level design...each requiring a very different skillset, and either you spent alot of time doing tutorials or you find the people to do it..but really, few are crazy enough to work on a game over a long period of time without seeing any money.
You cannot expect a small indie studio to deliver triple A quality (with some exceptions!), which is what most people seem to expect, and without any budget at all, it is even harder.
Im proud about what we achieved with our team...i will try one more thing, which is to ask for government funding, if my case gets denied, i do not know what i will do..this is my dream and i cant settle with less, but at one point you need to earn money or it stops.
When your still young and doing school, you might find it funny to see this loser living with his parents while he is 24. But real life is a bitch. For me life is just not worth it if i need to spend it doing some dead end job.
Thanks for reading, i hope this does not discourage anyone from getting into the game dev field, at the same time its one of the most satisfying experiences, just make sure you have a back-up plan.