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I did it - I quit my job and started to develop fulltime

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Hi, After two years of part-time development of my game Avenger, I decided to quit my daily job and start working on games fulltime. I took a loan for 12 months of living costs, during which we plan to release 5-7 shareware games based on my engine. However, it is possible only because also my modeller Martin quits his job too (next Thursday) so that he shall handle the modelling of worlds. I have been thinking of this for very long time, especially since last August when my wife born me a wonderful son - so I want to give them everything possible. That`s why the development of Avenger has been paused so many times during last year. If I should count the time it took me to create this game during last two years in my free time, if I would be developing full-time, it would take me about 3-4 months. But I was promoted this January in my daily work (economics- not related to programming at all) and was expected to sign a agreement stating that I`ll be working there for another 5 years or I`ll pay the costs of training aboard that I was expected to take part in during January. Since the costs of the training are worth 2 years of my salary , I decided it was right time to quit. Currently,the game is about a week or two before the betatesting that is going to take place at Betashare. During the time of betatest, my modeller shall start creating the worlds for two other games in paraller so that we are able to test them early from the gameplay standpoint. We plan on distributing our games through shareware channels like RealArcade, Gigex,Shockwave, TryMedia and others. I believe their traffic shall make up more than enough for those 50-75% they take from each copy sold. I do believe that ~6 games should secure some cash-flow that can keep us afloat with bread on the table for the family. I should mention another fact, that plays well for me and that is my location - I live in Slovakia which means that the prices here are lower than in US. True, a TV costs the same, and the same holds true for cars and other commodities. But, unlike in US, we`re able to make a good living from 700 USD per month for a family of 5 members. Therefore, if I manage to sell 350 copies per year of each game, I`ll have covered costs of living for another 12 months. I don`t think 350 copies are that unrealistic high number. You see - I`m not talking about thousands of copies, I`ll be OK if the game sells few hundreds of copies. Even if each game would sell only 200 copies, I`d still have money for another half year during which I`ll make another 2 small games which hopefully bring some cash-flow too. You may ask what about backup plan ? Well, I think that after I`ll have released 5-7 different small games I shouldn`t have a problem to find a job as a game programmer in UK-London. If during first 9-10 months I don`t sell a single copy, I`ll start applying for jobs and working in other jobs while I find a programming job. True, I`ll be paying the loan another 5 years, no matter what and I may be forced (if I don`t find good-paying job) to prolong this loan for longer time. But then again, I wouldn`t forgive it to myself till the end of my life if I didn`t try. VladR Avenger 3D game (Last update FEB-04)

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Good luck to yer!

I wouldn''t bet my horses on finding a job in the UK though. Development studios here have been dropping like flies of late. France, Canada and the US are probably better bets.

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley

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Thanks to All for positive comments ! I didn`t expect it here at all.

quote:
I wouldn''t bet my horses on finding a job in the UK though. Development studios here have been dropping like flies of late. France, Canada and the US are probably better bets.
Well, it is true, but I`m checking regularly Recruit Agencies web pages and it seems that there are many positions each day in London and nearby towns. True, there might be 100 candidates for one position, but I think my chances to get at entry-level position with several games under my belt are significantly higher than of those people who just finished school and have no real experience.
Besides, who knows what situation shall be like in 12 months ?
As for Canada, it seems favourably as of now. At my last visit to ECTS in 2003 I was offered an opportunity to work for a well-known company in Canada, but I decided not to go (yet) and try the indie route even though just for about one year.

Also, I have two strong and fit&healthy hands and enough physical power, so I could temporarily work on some construction site as a worker (have some skills in this area already) to feed the family till i find my job if it eventually fails. There is a paying work out there albeit not always the dream one. But I`ll do as much as possible to survive - it`s a great responsibility when you`re not alone and have a family, so this shall always push me forward.


VladR
Avenger 3D game (Last update FEB-04)

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I hope one day I myself will be willing to do something similar if the situation arises, and that I actually see such a situation when it arises. In fact, I''ll probably have to make the situation arise myself. Way to go, and good luck/skill/fun and everything else that goes with it. You give me hope! :D

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I sincerely wish you and your team good luck!
I have been in a similar situation myself, making a difficult selection between a secure 8:00-16:00 job and becoming an enterpreneur. I chose the enterpreneur (own business), and I have not a single reason to regret my choice.
If you need any help with technical issues, especially graphics-related, mail me

-Nik

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Hey Vlad,
I did excatly the same two weeks ago (quit my job).
I am still at the work place as part of the 1-month period I have to wait before I can actually leave this place.
It''s a risky thing, but as you say, we will never forgive ourselves if we don''t try.
Good luck to us all, may our balls never shrink!

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Ha ! That makes us 3 I''ve quit on friday but I still have some days to go before I can start working at home.

Metron

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quote:
Original post by adiash
Hey Vlad,
I did excatly the same two weeks ago (quit my job).
I am still at the work place as part of the 1-month period I have to wait before I can actually leave this place.
It''s a risky thing, but as you say, we will never forgive ourselves if we don''t try.
Good luck to us all, may our balls never shrink!
So you`re going to make games too, right ? Or is it some other business ?

And what about you Metron ? Game Programming or other business ?
(I know we`re on GameDev site, but one can never know for sure...)


VladR
Avenger 3D game (Last update FEB-04)

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Yeup I want to set up my own business some time too, but am unsure whether to take a new job, or start to work for myself right now.

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You did something very dangerous , a sure day of pay , against a jump into a black hole, anyway i hope everything will be fine for you now that you have a wife and a son to sustain , code hard, very hard.

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The very, very, VERY best of luck to you!

You shouldn''t have any need for that backup plan from the look of that engine you got brewing !

I wish I could do somthing like that, but then again I''m still in school !

Have fun, and good luck!
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Best of luck to you. I really hope you do make it, because if you do, you prove that it can be done for when I do it some day.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by VladR
And what about you Metron ? Game Programming or other business ?
(I know we`re on GameDev site, but one can never know for sure...)


Game Programming... that''s for sure. Besides that what I''ve been doing for the last 7 years. But due to some unfortunate matters I''ve found myself working outside game business.

Here''s what I''ve done before : <a href="http://www.sun-a-moon.org/" target="_blank">Stefan Maton</a>

Metron

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I''m going to do game programming also Vlad.
It''s amazing, it''s like a plague (a good plague, that is). A good friend of mine who has been talking about quitting his job for something like 3 years, also did it last week.
Is this the chineese "Big balls" year?

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Hey Vlad,

Best of luck mate, I hope it goes well!
Just thought you might be interested in reading these articles, if you havent seen them before - they give some very useful hints and insights into starting full-time shareware indie development.

Again, best of luck to you!
Kyle

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quote:
Original post by adiash
I''m going to do game programming also Vlad.
It''s amazing, it''s like a plague (a good plague, that is). A good friend of mine who has been talking about quitting his job for something like 3 years, also did it last week.
Is this the chineese "Big balls" year?
There must be something true about it. I know, it may seem like coincidence, or like something absolutely not related from rational point of view, but there are rarely many such coincidences in life. When I was at work last week of January a coleague showed me a Chinese Zodiac/Horoscope or whatever it is called in English. She showed me that the change I was doing is exactly covered by those signs. I know, Signs of Zodiac are always like that, they always seem to be tailored to many people, but anyway...
And when I checked back last 12 months, all important situation of my life have been mentioned there - marraige, birth of son, change of workplace - all in correct weekly timeframe. Definitely something to consider...




VladR
Avenger 3D game (Last update FEB-04)

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quote:
Original post by Kyle N
Hey Vlad,

Best of luck mate, I hope it goes well!
Just thought you might be interested in reading these articles, if you havent seen them before - they give some very useful hints and insights into starting full-time shareware indie development.

Again, best of luck to you!
Kyle

Thanks, I `ve read them long time ago, maybe like 2 years, but they were always an inspiration for me when I was down and felt like I`ll never see the game to completion, because everyone of us has such moments when he is not sure if it ever is going to see the light of the day.


VladR
Avenger 3D game (Last update FEB-04)

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