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This road seems too long and too dark

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Working on an indie project is a combination of really powerfull emotions.

I have been developing web applications professionally for the last 4 years. I'm 23, and graduated from college at 21, so I was working in college. In my last job, I didn't have much work to do, and it got boring fast. I spent most of my last months of employment wondering how good would it be to be sent home, got paid, and being able to work full time on my game for a few months.

Well, that happened 1 month ago. I was sent home and moved back with my parents to reduce my costs. With some money in the bank to live and invest in my game, and free time, I thought that this was my chance.

The project of Lotus started in 2008, when I was chatting with 2 friends I had known for the last 8 years and we decided to make this game. I was the only one that knew any programming and that knew how to actually create games. But I still had a really long way to go.

Cutting to nowadays, I have some experience, and have created an engine with my own hands, with several cool tools I can use, I have some money to fund the game and free time to invest.

But sometimes I do not feel like it can be done. Because I'm with this project for the last 5 years, and only on the last 2 years it actually became a real job. The problem, I see, and don't take me the wrong way, is that I have taken upon myself a big project, and teamed with 2 friends that couldn't actually contribute to the project in anyways other than having ideas. It's not their fault, the skillset is just missing, we can brainstorm stuff, they can help me solve conceptual issues, but I have to actually do the work. And it's hard.

I write stories, create names, draw maps, think about geography, politics, character interaction, character personality, work on the engine, contact artists, think about how to spend this money wisely, study game design, study what went right with other indie projects, what went wrong with other indie projects, but on the end of the day, things just get really depressing.

Its a really dark place out there when you have something you are really passionate about, and you feel like you have to walk that path by yourself.
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It sounds to me like you need to make the distinction - either you are going to work alone or you will have a team, but not somewhere in the middle.  Having friends on the team that don't contribute isn't fair to you, so my advice to you is to either push them to contribute or make the split.  You should know what you are getting into, and how much work you have to commit to for a project like this.


Have you considered changing the scope of the project to make it more manageable to your current work force?

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Hi Jason, thanks for the comment. I have been working on changing the scope of the project and battling the feature monster.


The biggest problem is exactly not knowing if you are actually alone in a project or not.

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I would say that if you don't know if you are alone in the project or not, that you are probably alone and the others are just pretending / skating.  Be realistic and have a frank discussion about where the project is, and what their commitment is to it.  If you need to make changes to the team, then think it through and go for it.  Don't let someone else derail your ambitions.

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Thank you again for the comment Jason, I really have to work on that. By the way, for some reason I can't upvote your comments ):

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I would say that if you don't know if you are alone in the project or not, that you are probably alone and the others are just pretending / skating. 


This is the number one reason that I am working alone. Hope it works out for you Arthur Souza.

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