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ldmn

What it takes to become an Indie?

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Greetings.

I have a few questions, about indies life:

What it takes to become an indie?
I am curious how much investment in time / efforts is needed to become a self-employed, pay-earning Indie Game Developer.
To become One, who is professional, needs no other income than what he gots from selling his own (little teams') games.
Currently I am in the belief that one who is successfull at creating games, needs to grow up as a diligent programmer, needs to code since younghood, and must do it for long years. I hope it can be learnt as an adult, although this is a very competitive market. But success for indies depends not only on coding skills, rather on ideas.
Does it really needs a few years' coding to be an indie when one is already good at 1-2 (easy, high-level) programming languages?
Is game programming really so hard that it needs years of practice?

2D or 3D games?
I'd think of an Indie who creates 2D games firstly, as he targets casual players' market firstly, and it is simpler than the 3D world. And I hope and think 2D is not dead yet, it has a market and will always have.
I hope learning to code 2D games is not that extremely hard?

What tool?
Yes, depends on scope of project, target platform, etc, but hopefully it is enough to be proficient in 1-2 languages and engines/ libraries.
As for the work language / solution, I think of one which is not too complicated, but mature enough to create indie games - so not C++ at first place, as one can choose his own codebase. Perhaps C# with XNA would be a viable tool, or even Python with Pygame, and flash, which are much easier than C++ and some engines. Maybe Game Maker is also a good indie tool for creating fine 2D games.
Or these very high level tools/languages are just good for prototyping? XNA is not that complicated, can it be considered an indie tool?

Thanks if you have some helpful thougths.

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Greetings.

I have a few questions, about indies life:

What it takes to become an indie?
I am curious how much investment in time / efforts is needed to become a self-employed, pay-earning Indie Game Developer.
To become One, who is professional, needs no other income than what he gots from selling his own (little teams') games.
Currently I am in the belief that one who is successfull at creating games, needs to grow up as a diligent programmer, needs to code since younghood, and must do it for long years. I hope it can be learnt as an adult, although this is a very competitive market. But success for indies depends not only on coding skills, rather on ideas.
Does it really needs a few years' coding to be an indie when one is already good at 1-2 (easy, high-level) programming languages?
Is game programming really so hard that it needs years of practice?

2D or 3D games?
I'd think of an Indie who creates 2D games firstly, as he targets casual players' market firstly, and it is simpler than the 3D world. And I hope and think 2D is not dead yet, it has a market and will always have.
I hope learning to code 2D games is not that extremely hard?

What tool?
Yes, depends on scope of project, target platform, etc, but hopefully it is enough to be proficient in 1-2 languages and engines/ libraries.
As for the work language / solution, I think of one which is not too complicated, but mature enough to create indie games - so not C++ at first place, as one can choose his own codebase. Perhaps C# with XNA would be a viable tool, or even Python with Pygame, and flash, which are much easier than C++ and some engines. Maybe Game Maker is also a good indie tool for creating fine 2D games.
Or these very high level tools/languages are just good for prototyping? XNA is not that complicated, can it be considered an indie tool?

Thanks if you have some helpful thougths.


You don't need years of practice or experience to make it, you do however need to work hard, Even simple flash games can be profitable, the hard part is making something fun and polished and getting people to actually notice it among all the competition and then getting them to buy it, more limited tools such as Game Maker or flash do restrict your design slightly but no matter how good you are or what tools you use there will always be limits to what is possible (developer time and client hardware resources are limited).

You don't have to start at a young age to be good at something, not even programming, the sooner you start the sooner you'll become good at it though so don't hesitate, just go for it, While being younger makes it easier to switch career its never too late.

Just don't quit your job until:
1) You got enough spare money to survive with no income for an extended period of time.
2) Your games are generating enough income for you to live on.

Its perfectly possible to run a little indie game development business during evenings and weekends (Just keep your projects at a reasonable size)

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ldnm, do you mean a "lone wolf" indie developer, as opposed to a full indie development company?


SimonF, Thanx for your answer.

Mr. Tom Sloper, I mean a "lone wolf" indie developer firstly, or a group of 1-2 programmers and 1-2 artists, so a very small scale company.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1304276906' post='4805149']
ldnm, do you mean a "lone wolf" indie developer, as opposed to a full indie development company?

Mr. Tom Sloper, I mean a "lone wolf" indie developer firstly, or a group of 1-2 programmers and 1-2 artists, so a very small scale company.
[/quote]
To be a lone wolf developer, you need to learn programming, game design, art, sound, music, business, and marketing.
To become the owner of a small development company, you need to get a job in the game industry, and learn business, management, finance, law, and marketing.

Any follow-up questions about learning programming can be asked here at For Beginners.
There are separate forums for audio and visual arts questions, and there is a business/law forum for business questions. All forums have FAQs you should read as your first step before posting questions on a forum.

Good luck!

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There are other option too. You can be lone wolf and outsource other things. This way you don't have the problems of "company", constant salary etc (since you pay contractors per job). Music, for example.

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