# STRAIGHT ASNWERS, What are the chances of making a successful indie game

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Go into law.

Frankly the fact you have to ask instead of just jumping in shows you are wrong for the field.

Then again, I have a number of lawyer friends and my god what a miserable profession that is too.

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If you can't spell answers correctly (or spend the effort to write a good question for something that should have such a dramatic impact on your life) I don't hold much hope for you in any profession.

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You can succeed in all kinds of fields but you have to be prepared to not have any (well as much as the 9-5ers anyway) fun anymore. It's a life choice.

Even gardening. I know someone that started mowing lawns and now has a nice landscaping business with employees. No spare time though!

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If you can't spell answers correctly (or spend the effort to write a good question for something that should have such a dramatic impact on your life) I don't hold much hope for you in any profession.

Aren't you the miserable fuck. I was rushing, I spelled it correctly in the description, so hats off to you.

I'm moving this to Business. Soap, you ought to read other posts in this forum.

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Straight answer? Odds are low you'll succeed, even lower that you'll get rich doing it, and the chances of becoming bankrupt while trying and losing a lot, if not all, are good - a solid business plan can help alleviate some of that, but no producer is omnipotent; things happen that are outside of our control all the time. Those are the hard truths. If you are comfortable with that, go for it. If not, don't try.
Either way, good luck!

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1. Straight shoot answers, if there's an indie development team, for example developing XNA for the Xbox 360, what are the chances they'll succeed and expand their team.
2. I have the choice to either go for Law and be well... a lawyer, or computer science, and go for something there, (obviously preferably game development).

1. You need to clarify the question.
- If you've managed to develop an XNA game, that's a measure of success right there.
- So what do you mean by "succeeding" exactly?
- And what's this linkage between succeeding and expanding the team? You mean growing a business? It's difficult to understand what you're thinking, since you haven't told us.
2. So you have to decide between game development and law? You should make a decision grid, and don't just include two options -- make a third: game law (in other words: "both"). Read here about how to make a decision grid. Read here and here and here (for starters) to learn about game law.

And let's watch the language.

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Hidden

[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312749676' post='4845888']
1. Straight shoot answers, if there's an indie development team, for example developing XNA for the Xbox 360, what are the chances they'll succeed and expand their team.
2. I have the choice to either go for Law and be well... a lawyer, or computer science, and go for something there, (obviously preferably game development).

1. You need to clarify the question.
- If you've managed to develop an XNA game, that's a measure of success right there.
- So what do you mean by "succeeding" exactly?
- And what's this linkage between succeeding and expanding the team? You mean growing a business? It's difficult to understand what you're thinking, since you haven't told us.
2. So you have to decide between game development and law? You should make a decision grid, and don't just include two options -- make a third: game law (in other words: "both"). Read here about how to make a decision grid. Read here and here and here (for starters) to learn about game law.

And let's watch the language.
[/quote]

Nope. You're an indie team, 4-5 dudes. 2 programmers, sound engineer, designer, artist. You're focused on selling indie games on the xbox. No titles have been released. At this point you're just looking for recognition, not money. But what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game and end up being recognized. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1312762183' post='4845968']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312749676' post='4845888']
1. Straight shoot answers, if there's an indie development team, for example developing XNA for the Xbox 360, what are the chances they'll succeed and expand their team.
2. I have the choice to either go for Law and be well... a lawyer, or computer science, and go for something there, (obviously preferably game development).

1. You need to clarify the question.
- If you've managed to develop an XNA game, that's a measure of success right there.
- So what do you mean by "succeeding" exactly?
- And what's this linkage between succeeding and expanding the team? You mean growing a business? It's difficult to understand what you're thinking, since you haven't told us.
2. So you have to decide between game development and law? You should make a decision grid, and don't just include two options -- make a third: game law (in other words: "both"). Read here about how to make a decision grid. Read here and here and here (for starters) to learn about game law.

And let's watch the language.
[/quote]

Nope. You're an indie team, 4-5 dudes. 2 programmers, sound engineer, designer, artist. You're focused on selling indie games on the xbox. No titles have been released. At this point you're just looking for recognition, not money. But what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game and end up being recognized. Also, WHY are the chances so low?
[/quote]

Why is any market hard to get recognized in? Competition. Or, more importantly, the superior competition - bigger development teams, more money and more time. As an indie, you will usually have less of all three - making it fiercely competitive to get recognized in any capacity. Also, recognized by who? I assume you mean the gaming population at large, otherwise it varies wildly - impressing family and friends would probably take no more than completing the project.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1312762183' post='4845968']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312749676' post='4845888']
1. Straight shoot answers, if there's an indie development team, for example developing XNA for the Xbox 360, what are the chances they'll succeed and expand their team.
2. I have the choice to either go for Law and be well... a lawyer, or computer science, and go for something there, (obviously preferably game development).

1. You need to clarify the question.
- If you've managed to develop an XNA game, that's a measure of success right there.
- So what do you mean by "succeeding" exactly?
- And what's this linkage between succeeding and expanding the team? You mean growing a business? It's difficult to understand what you're thinking, since you haven't told us.
2. So you have to decide between game development and law? You should make a decision grid, and don't just include two options -- make a third: game law (in other words: "both"). Read here about how to make a decision grid. Read here and here and here (for starters) to learn about game law.

And let's watch the language.
[/quote]

Nope. You're an indie team, 4-5 dudes. 2 programmers, sound engineer, designer, artist. You're focused on selling indie games on the xbox. No titles have been released. At this point you're just looking for recognition, not money. But what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game and end up being recognized. Also, WHY are the chances so low?
[/quote]

Not to put you off but it might be easier and better to pursue a degree in computer engineering instead and using some of your spare time to read books and papers on gamedevelopment. That way you have a fallback and more knowhow than someone with a degree in gamedevelopment. (People i know from gamedev programs in Sweden that are having a hard time making money and getting jobs.)

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On a side tangent, don't target Xbox Indy, the stories are absolutely horrific. Live Arcade, sure. Indy, no way. Target Steam instead.

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1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game
2. and end up being recognized.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

1. You still haven't defined "a successful game." What are your criteria for success? We're talking about an XNA game, remember.
2. What does it mean to "be recognized"? There are dozens of development groups who've made games, gotten them into the XNA arena, made perfectly nice games, maybe even made a little money -- but nobody's ever heard of them. What kind of recognition are you talking about? Your question still isn't very clear. If you have aspirations to the law, you need to express yourself more clearly.
3. Because so many people are doing it. That isn't obvious?
Because it's people, multiple people per team. It's very hard to get a group of people all on the same page about what game to work on, why work on it, what the end goal is, who'll own what, and still manage to maintain a working relationship through the months of working together.

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[quote name='Telastyn' timestamp='1312751912' post='4845907']
If you can't spell answers correctly (or spend the effort to write a good question for something that should have such a dramatic impact on your life) I don't hold much hope for you in any profession.

Aren't you the miserable fuck. I was rushing, I spelled it correctly in the description, so hats off to you.
[/quote]

Regardless, attention to detail is vital to success in law or developing games. Nobody's pressuring you to hit your deadline here either.

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Hidden

[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312763623' post='4845975']
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game
2. and end up being recognized.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

1. You still haven't defined "a successful game." What are your criteria for success? We're talking about an XNA game, remember.
2. What does it mean to "be recognized"? There are dozens of development groups who've made games, gotten them into the XNA arena, made perfectly nice games, maybe even made a little money -- but nobody's ever heard of them. What kind of recognition are you talking about? Your question still isn't very clear. If you have aspirations to the law, you need to express yourself more clearly.
3. Because so many people are doing it. That isn't obvious?
Because it's people, multiple people per team. It's very hard to get a group of people all on the same page about what game to work on, why work on it, what the end goal is, who'll own what, and still manage to maintain a working relationship through the months of working together.
[/quote]

Reason I'm not being so clear is probably cause I have no experience in this whatsoever. I'm just a self-taught C++/# programmer.
1. Well...my definition of success could either exceed or precede your expectations. I guess a successful game is... $5000-$20000 earned from sales in total?
2. Recognition being from PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot. I'm guessing this is pretty much hitting gold for indie game developers.
3. Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? Where I come from nobody likes to program heh? I know game design competition is ridiculous but, as far as teams go? I never new lol, I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?

Okay I know this may sound like dreamer talk, but take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky? They we're competing with Konami and Capcom and such when they released combat racing 2 right? Or Infinity Ward.... LOL I don't mean to be one of those kids who go "kAyz so how duZ I mAke Teh CoD gamEz?"...I don't know, seems a little unfair.

[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1312765860' post='4845989']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312763623' post='4845975']
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game
2. and end up being recognized.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

1. You still haven't defined "a successful game." What are your criteria for success? We're talking about an XNA game, remember.
2. What does it mean to "be recognized"? There are dozens of development groups who've made games, gotten them into the XNA arena, made perfectly nice games, maybe even made a little money -- but nobody's ever heard of them. What kind of recognition are you talking about? Your question still isn't very clear. If you have aspirations to the law, you need to express yourself more clearly.
3. Because so many people are doing it. That isn't obvious?
Because it's people, multiple people per team. It's very hard to get a group of people all on the same page about what game to work on, why work on it, what the end goal is, who'll own what, and still manage to maintain a working relationship through the months of working together.
[/quote]

Reason I'm not being so clear is probably cause I have no experience in this whatsoever. I'm just a self-taught C++/# programmer.
1. Well...my definition of success could either exceed or precede your expectations. I guess a successful game is... $5000-$20000 earned from sales in total?
2. Recognition being from PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot. I'm guessing this is pretty much hitting gold for indie game developers.
3. Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? I mean how many people like to program? I know game design competition is ridiculous but, as far as teams go? I never new lol, I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?

Okay I know this may sound like dreamer talk, but take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky?

EDIT: Okay I guess that sounds kinda stupid^ I hope I gave you guys a good laugh aha...
[/quote]

How many people like to program? Was that a serious question? Well if it was, the answer is ALOT. Do you think that you have stumbled upon some unexplored field with only a few people dabbling in it? You cant possibly believe that, The competition is serious.

Simply put, if you have to make a career decision based on what other people tell you your chances of succeeding are, you really are most likely going to fail. NOBODY ever achieved anything truly special without taking risks. If youre not willing to take risks, then you should probably go with the safe career choice. Nobody can tell you the chances that you will succeed. If your goal is to get rich/make an insanely popular game.... statistically, you WILL fail. There are a hell of a lot more unknown development teams with no money than there are rich and popular ones. This is not a field of glamor... its very much like being an artist. You do it because you love it and you cant imagine doing anything else. If the money comes, thats a SUPER bonus. If you want money/fame/success, there are alot of other safer routes.

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I'm part of a two-man indie dev team. We released a game after many months of hard work and the returns (financially) was pretty poor. It ain't gonna pay the bills, that's for sure.

Long story short: Make games because you love it. Don't quit flipping burgers just yet.

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Hidden

[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312774289' post='4846037']
[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1312765860' post='4845989']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312763623' post='4845975']
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game
2. and end up being recognized.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

1. You still haven't defined "a successful game." What are your criteria for success? We're talking about an XNA game, remember.
2. What does it mean to "be recognized"? There are dozens of development groups who've made games, gotten them into the XNA arena, made perfectly nice games, maybe even made a little money -- but nobody's ever heard of them. What kind of recognition are you talking about? Your question still isn't very clear. If you have aspirations to the law, you need to express yourself more clearly.
3. Because so many people are doing it. That isn't obvious?
Because it's people, multiple people per team. It's very hard to get a group of people all on the same page about what game to work on, why work on it, what the end goal is, who'll own what, and still manage to maintain a working relationship through the months of working together.
[/quote]

Reason I'm not being so clear is probably cause I have no experience in this whatsoever. I'm just a self-taught C++/# programmer.
1. Well...my definition of success could either exceed or precede your expectations. I guess a successful game is... $5000-$20000 earned from sales in total?
2. Recognition being from PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot. I'm guessing this is pretty much hitting gold for indie game developers.
3. Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? I mean how many people like to program? I know game design competition is ridiculous but, as far as teams go? I never new lol, I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?

Okay I know this may sound like dreamer talk, but take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky?

EDIT: Okay I guess that sounds kinda stupid^ I hope I gave you guys a good laugh aha...
[/quote]

How many people like to program? Was that a serious question? Well if it was, the answer is ALOT. Do you think that you have stumbled upon some unexplored field with only a few people dabbling in it? You cant possibly believe that, The competition is serious.

Simply put, if you have to make a career decision based on what other people tell you your chances of succeeding are, you really are most likely going to fail. NOBODY ever achieved anything truly special without taking risks. If youre not willing to take risks, then you should probably go with the safe career choice. Nobody can tell you the chances that you will succeed. If your goal is to get rich/make an insanely popular game.... statistically, you WILL fail. There are a hell of a lot more unknown development teams with no money than there are rich and popular ones. This is not a field of glamor... its very much like being an artist. You do it because you love it and you cant imagine doing anything else. If the money comes, thats a SUPER bonus. If you want money/fame/success, there are alot of other safer routes.
[/quote]

Honestly that is what I believed. I live in a city where there's a lot of fucking idiots in my school and they don't develop any other hobbies other then what's provided at school. I don't even live in a small town, I live in Toronto. I'm probably the only kid who can program in my school. People here still believe they can make it to the NHL or become Hollywood actors and shit. Sure, dream if you want, but when you're sitting on your ass every day smoking weed, playing video games and shit, you're not really working towards a life long dream? I try to dedicate a minimum 2 hours every day every day excluding weekends on programming, even though it's my summer break. Now after a couple years I see the competition, but I believe I developed programming as a passion, I don't know, I don't look at code being JUST CODE which is why my friends lost interest in programming. I never really wanted to have a job for the rest of my life... I always looked towards business, my father and mother worked their asses off for 30 years, 7am-6pm jobs and are still struggling with their bills and what not. My father hasn't taken a vacation for 3 years. Seeing mobsters and criminals riding around in Ferrari's and what not, while there's people doing 4 times the honest day's work yet not getting shit compared to these thieves... I guess that's democracy for you...

Okay I'm going a little off topic, what are these "other safer routes" you speak of?

Soap wrote:
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game... $5,000-$20,000 earned from sales in total?
2. and end up being recognized [by] PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low? Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? ... I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?
4. ... take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky?
5. ...I don't know, seems a little unfair. [/quote]
1. Very very very low. But why ask what the chances are? If you love making games, the experience will do you good. And you'll enjoy the journey.
2. Very very very low. But why ask what the chances are? Just try!
3. Okay, so if your chance is 1 out of 2K, that's certainly better than one out of 4M. But 1 in 2,000 is still "very very very low" odds, eh? And there's no guarantee that one of those 2,000 developers will make money on their game and get a publisher deal. So the odds aren't really 1/2,000.
4. It wasn't luck at all. It was many years of hard work and being smart and not being whiny. I worked with Blizzard in 1993 or 94. They worked as a developer for a port of an Activision game (I was the producer). I had no idea then that they were going to become what they have become today.
5. Now you sound like a whining high school kid. Life is NOT fair. You have to make your OWN fairness in this world.

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[quote name='Joe P' timestamp='1312774722' post='4846039']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312774289' post='4846037']
[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1312765860' post='4845989']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312763623' post='4845975']
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game
2. and end up being recognized.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

1. You still haven't defined "a successful game." What are your criteria for success? We're talking about an XNA game, remember.
2. What does it mean to "be recognized"? There are dozens of development groups who've made games, gotten them into the XNA arena, made perfectly nice games, maybe even made a little money -- but nobody's ever heard of them. What kind of recognition are you talking about? Your question still isn't very clear. If you have aspirations to the law, you need to express yourself more clearly.
3. Because so many people are doing it. That isn't obvious?
Because it's people, multiple people per team. It's very hard to get a group of people all on the same page about what game to work on, why work on it, what the end goal is, who'll own what, and still manage to maintain a working relationship through the months of working together.
[/quote]

Reason I'm not being so clear is probably cause I have no experience in this whatsoever. I'm just a self-taught C++/# programmer.
1. Well...my definition of success could either exceed or precede your expectations. I guess a successful game is... $5000-$20000 earned from sales in total?
2. Recognition being from PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot. I'm guessing this is pretty much hitting gold for indie game developers.
3. Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? I mean how many people like to program? I know game design competition is ridiculous but, as far as teams go? I never new lol, I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?

Okay I know this may sound like dreamer talk, but take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky?

EDIT: Okay I guess that sounds kinda stupid^ I hope I gave you guys a good laugh aha...
[/quote]

How many people like to program? Was that a serious question? Well if it was, the answer is ALOT. Do you think that you have stumbled upon some unexplored field with only a few people dabbling in it? You cant possibly believe that, The competition is serious.

Simply put, if you have to make a career decision based on what other people tell you your chances of succeeding are, you really are most likely going to fail. NOBODY ever achieved anything truly special without taking risks. If youre not willing to take risks, then you should probably go with the safe career choice. Nobody can tell you the chances that you will succeed. If your goal is to get rich/make an insanely popular game.... statistically, you WILL fail. There are a hell of a lot more unknown development teams with no money than there are rich and popular ones. This is not a field of glamor... its very much like being an artist. You do it because you love it and you cant imagine doing anything else. If the money comes, thats a SUPER bonus. If you want money/fame/success, there are alot of other safer routes.
[/quote]

Honestly that is what I believed. I live in a city where there's a lot of fucking idiots in my school and they don't develop any other hobbies other then what's provided at school. I don't even live in a small town, I live in Toronto. I'm probably the only kid who can program in my school. People here still believe they can make it to the NHL or become Hollywood actors and shit. Sure, dream if you want, but when you're sitting on your ass every day smoking weed, playing video games and shit, you're not really working towards a life long dream? I try to dedicate a minimum 2 hours every day every day excluding weekends on programming, even though it's my summer break. Now after a couple years I see the competition, but I believe I developed programming as a passion, I don't know, I don't look at code being JUST CODE which is why my friends lost interest in programming. I never really wanted to have a job for the rest of my life... I always looked towards business, my father and mother worked their asses off for 30 years, 7am-6pm jobs and are still struggling with their bills and what not. My father hasn't taken a vacation for 3 years. Seeing mobsters and criminals riding around in Ferrari's and what not, while there's people doing 4 times the honest day's work yet not getting shit compared to these thieves... I guess that's democracy for you...

Okay I'm going a little off topic, what are these "other safer routes" you speak of?
[/quote]

Well I wont reply to that first paragraph. The cards your dealt are the cards your dealt... anyways I dont see how that pertains to your question.

You said you wanted to study law... that's a safer route. I dont know the statistics, but Im pretty sure that your chances of being financially secure as a lawyer/judge are a hell of a lot higher than being a game programmer. Now on the other hand, if you get a CS degree thats a different story. Im talking about you and a few friends independently developing games. As far as potential income goes, youre on the bottom of the ladder with the other artists/musicians/creative people.

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[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312775825' post='4846044']
[quote name='Joe P' timestamp='1312774722' post='4846039']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312774289' post='4846037']
[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1312765860' post='4845989']
[quote name='Soap360' timestamp='1312763623' post='4845975']
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game
2. and end up being recognized.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low?

1. You still haven't defined "a successful game." What are your criteria for success? We're talking about an XNA game, remember.
2. What does it mean to "be recognized"? There are dozens of development groups who've made games, gotten them into the XNA arena, made perfectly nice games, maybe even made a little money -- but nobody's ever heard of them. What kind of recognition are you talking about? Your question still isn't very clear. If you have aspirations to the law, you need to express yourself more clearly.
3. Because so many people are doing it. That isn't obvious?
Because it's people, multiple people per team. It's very hard to get a group of people all on the same page about what game to work on, why work on it, what the end goal is, who'll own what, and still manage to maintain a working relationship through the months of working together.
[/quote]

Reason I'm not being so clear is probably cause I have no experience in this whatsoever. I'm just a self-taught C++/# programmer.
1. Well...my definition of success could either exceed or precede your expectations. I guess a successful game is... $5000-$20000 earned from sales in total?
2. Recognition being from PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot. I'm guessing this is pretty much hitting gold for indie game developers.
3. Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? I mean how many people like to program? I know game design competition is ridiculous but, as far as teams go? I never new lol, I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?

Okay I know this may sound like dreamer talk, but take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky?

EDIT: Okay I guess that sounds kinda stupid^ I hope I gave you guys a good laugh aha...
[/quote]

How many people like to program? Was that a serious question? Well if it was, the answer is ALOT. Do you think that you have stumbled upon some unexplored field with only a few people dabbling in it? You cant possibly believe that, The competition is serious.

Simply put, if you have to make a career decision based on what other people tell you your chances of succeeding are, you really are most likely going to fail. NOBODY ever achieved anything truly special without taking risks. If youre not willing to take risks, then you should probably go with the safe career choice. Nobody can tell you the chances that you will succeed. If your goal is to get rich/make an insanely popular game.... statistically, you WILL fail. There are a hell of a lot more unknown development teams with no money than there are rich and popular ones. This is not a field of glamor... its very much like being an artist. You do it because you love it and you cant imagine doing anything else. If the money comes, thats a SUPER bonus. If you want money/fame/success, there are alot of other safer routes.
[/quote]

Honestly that is what I believed. I live in a city where there's a lot of fucking idiots in my school and they don't develop any other hobbies other then what's provided at school. I don't even live in a small town, I live in Toronto. I'm probably the only kid who can program in my school. People here still believe they can make it to the NHL or become Hollywood actors and shit. Sure, dream if you want, but when you're sitting on your ass every day smoking weed, playing video games and shit, you're not really working towards a life long dream? I try to dedicate a minimum 2 hours every day every day excluding weekends on programming, even though it's my summer break. Now after a couple years I see the competition, but I believe I developed programming as a passion, I don't know, I don't look at code being JUST CODE which is why my friends lost interest in programming. I never really wanted to have a job for the rest of my life... I always looked towards business, my father and mother worked their asses off for 30 years, 7am-6pm jobs and are still struggling with their bills and what not. My father hasn't taken a vacation for 3 years. Seeing mobsters and criminals riding around in Ferrari's and what not, while there's people doing 4 times the honest day's work yet not getting shit compared to these thieves... I guess that's democracy for you...

Okay I'm going a little off topic, what are these "other safer routes" you speak of?
[/quote]

Well I wont reply to that first paragraph. The cards your dealt are the cards your dealt... anyways I dont see how that pertains to your question.

You said you wanted to study law... that's a safer route. I dont know the statistics, but Im pretty sure that your chances of being financially secure as a lawyer/judge are a hell of a lot higher than being a game programmer. Now on the other hand, if you get a CS degree thats a different story. Im talking about you and a few friends independently developing games. As far as potential income goes, youre on the bottom of the ladder with the other artists/musicians/creative people.
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Well no, if I were not to go into law it would be Computer Science, yes.

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Soap wrote:
1. what are the chances that you'll actually release a successful game... $5,000-$20,000 earned from sales in total?
2. and end up being recognized [by] PUBLISHERS that are willing to give you a shot.
3. Also, WHY are the chances so low? Heh, well we're not talking about being a hollywood actor or anything here. Is it really THAT bad? ... I thought there could be a couple thousand teams at most. Even that isn't that bad as to say 400,000,000 people who want to be rock stars right?
4. ... take in comparison to... Blizzard! They were a couple of nerds living off credit right? How'd they manage to get so lucky?
5. ...I don't know, seems a little unfair.

1. Very very very low. But why ask what the chances are? If you love making games, the experience will do you good. And you'll enjoy the journey.
2. Very very very low. But why ask what the chances are? Just try!
3. Okay, so if your chance is 1 out of 2K, that's certainly better than one out of 4M. But 1 in 2,000 is still "very very very low" odds, eh? And there's no guarantee that one of those 2,000 developers will make money on their game and get a publisher deal. So the odds aren't really 1/2,000.
4. It wasn't luck at all. It was many years of hard work and being smart and not being whiny. I worked with Blizzard in 1993 or 94. They worked as a developer for a port of an Activision game (I was the producer). I had no idea then that they were going to become what they have become today.
5. Now you sound like a whining high school kid. Life is NOT fair. You have to make your OWN fairness in this world.
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Shoulda made friends with them eh

Well that's a totally different thing. Your first post made it sound like it was law vs. A small game studio independently. Computer science is not game development... its not even truly programming at heart. Its theory, math, logic, etc... being implemented through programming. A regular non game related programming job is decently secure and the pay is good more times than not.

In the end its what you're passionate about. Sitting at a desk writing code for 8 hours a day can be a drag if you don't truly enjoy it. Chances are that if you have to ask... its not your passion. You really need to think about it. College degrees aren't cheap.

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if I were not to go into law it would be Computer Science, yes.

Have you done a decision grid, and considered studying both? You could major in CS and minor in Law...

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If you want to be an indie, and be successful, can you...
a) ...work long hours? 9-5 won't cut it. To give an example, I start working around seven or eight and work until around 20-21. There's a lunch break in there somewhere. That's about 12-13 hours on a normal day (with weekends being about half that). This is not breaking the norm; there are a lot of better work hours, there are a lot of worse.
b) ...(following up on the above); work crunch a lot? Crunching as an indie is almost essential; if you can't handle it, you'll fall by the wayside far too early.
c) ...keep yourself motivated? Motivation is usually provided in form of monetary compensation (pay) and by your boss breathing down your neck; in the indie game biz you've got neither - you're on your own.
d) ...keep your team motivated? Same as the above, but much harder - especially when missing deadlines or losing team members/staff.
e) ...work smart? Working long hours won't be enough - you have to know when to cut stuff and features and when not to. You have to know where your limit is for productive work and when you need the rest; when working more will provide you with less.
f) ...manage the business side? When you're an indie, you're on your own in all things - that includes business. Do you know how to register and set up a charter? Taxes? Employee contracts? This requires you to have prior knowledge, or hiring a lawyer.
g) ...acquire money for all the above? Starting a business requires a large amount of initial investment; even a small standalone indie business. It ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand and the sky is the limit. With contacts and industry experience it becomes easier to get loans and investments; without it, you'll need to get someone who trusts you to make you a loan (I got 10,000\$ from a friend when starting out for a part in the company; now, three years later, he's the CFO).
h) ...make a solid business plan? Hardest part of being an indie is deciding what you want to work with and what will make you money and balance all of that out. Even harder still is taking a loss and keeping on moving; it puts everybody down and doesn't exactly make for a moral boost when nobody gets paid or the company is getting hit.

These are just some of the things you need, there are many more. This is not to discourage you; simply to give you some perspective on just how hard and unforgiving going solo in this business can be! If you go it alone you can avoid much of the above; but it will take you even longer and you will have to work even harder to accomplish anything. Even for a relatively simple game, that could be 1-2 years. If this is your route, go study CS and take a minor in law - get some experience and contacts - and make sure you have a business plan. Then, and only then, will you be really sort of ready.