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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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I quit my job...

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Demosthenes

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...To make games full-time.

Yes, this is going to be one of those posts.

My name is Ricardo Moura, Once a Bird is made of myself and my cousin. I do the programming and "art" and he does the music and sound effects.

I quit my job at the end of July but only left it mid-September. It had been making me sick for years and seemed to be going nowhere. The job consisted of programming various pieces of the back-end of a stock-broker / bank, It was well paid but I very rarely did any interesting stuff.

If you have been following this journal, you're probably wondering at this point how can this guy quit his job when all his games so far were commercial failures. If you didn't, now you know all the games we made so far were commercial failures. smile.png

The answer is, I've been working as a programmer for 12 years now and for about 5 years I've been doing games in my spare time. I consistently enjoyed making games more than programming "corporate" software. When you reach a certain point in life you realize that it's very easy to spend most of your waking hours working on stuff that you don't like (and doesn't really matter much to you) just so you can make a living (this realization probably comes earlier for most people).

Also, I realized I could survive some time with the money I saved. smile.png

So, games. Fold was our latest and best-selling game, it was released in June for iPhone and sold 1016 copies so far. If you want to take a look, the app store link: https://itunes.apple.com/pt/app/fold/id645248522

Although it didn't sell much, Fold had very positive reviews, including a glowing review by tuaw.com: http://www.tuaw.com/2013/07/13/daily-iphone-app-fold-is-the-most-original-ios-puzzler-in-years/... smile.png

In September I entered the Ludum Dare 48-hour compo alone and made Twitchy Thrones, a real-time strategy game parodying Game of Thrones. Here's a link to the post-mortem: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/09/12/twitchy-thrones-post-mortem/.

For our first full-time game, we decided to remake Twitchy Thrones for iPhone. Right now I'm doing pixel art for it:

A map:

MapBackground.png

A knight's death animation:

TalbotKnightDeath.png

Thanks for reading, let us know what you think! Art critiques in particular would be very welcome. :)

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this is the way to go, although it sure seems scary at first. Thankfully you're nowhere near the first person to quit a job, live off savings and attempt to boot up their game dev career, so be sure to get searching for some good tips out on the interwebs. Best of luck!

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Yes I commend you for taking the leap and risk to do something you love.  Many people are not willing to take such risks and you can't succeed in business if you don't take the risk and try.  I wish your venture the best of luck.

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Man, I love seeing this kind of stuff. So much that I logged into my account for the first time in 4 years...
 
A job can be so frustrating especially if you acclimate to a certain level of income. Making the jump from steady income to chaos is a brave move for some, foolish for others. I was the foolish, but I am thankful I was stupid enough to do it.
 
Now that we're over the lofty stuff, here's some (hopefully helpful) perspective...
 
Unless you have a supportive family, significant other, VC money or have a ton of money just sitting in an account, then consider your next few years the learning experience of a lifetime. No matter what you do, you will fall flat on your face and probably eat shit at first! Thats fine though. If you're resilient then you will bounce back stronger than ever. Nobody escapes this trial by fire. Not me, not you, not an entrepreneurial A-type with a Harvard MBA. Don't be scared though. Just be prepared to run into roadblocks or sinkholes and be prepared to bounce back.
 
I have seen a lot of people make this jump to doing something they love. Its exciting. Sometimes they make a lot of money and that's pretty cool. Even so, 90% of them will go back to a regular, soul-sucking, shitty job. Most of the time they end up at a WORSE job than the one they left. Screw that. Don't be this person!
 
The ones that do make it are OK at big picture things, but super anal and nitpicky when it comes to how they run their business. They know what they want, exactly how to get it, and go out and do it within a timely manner. I could write a book on this, but a bunch of people already did. I'd recommend reading some books that are completely unrelated to programming and mostly related to business:
 
* Good to Great
* The Outliers
* Great by Choice
* Poke the Box
 
Will you make it? I hope so.
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Wow, a wild nes8bit appears! Thank you for the advice.

 

And thank you all for the encouragement! :)

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Wow...I applaud the risk.  At the end of the day it is truly about following one hearts and dreams. At least you were smart about it and socked away a few pennies to give it a shot.  Worse case, you just have to go back to work and save again....but at least you will have continued the building of your skill-set if that happens.

Good luck man, all the best!

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