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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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KingofNoobs

Free Rent + Gigabit Internet + Endless GameDev Time

23 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I am a stay-at-home game developer. I am considering purchasing a home in Kansas City, Kansas to take part in Google's new Google Fiber Gigabit Internet community. The real estate is very cheap out there and because geography *shouldn't* be an issue with game dev, I am seriously considering purchasing a house out there and putting up whomever wants to devote their life to game dev and all things geeky/techy.

 

Think of it like a school. At this school you would have the internet and your fellow housemates as instructors/fellow students. It would be ideally suited to very bright, self-started, young and eager game developers who don't want to worry about financial concerns, but want to focus all their time on game-dev.

 

I don't know how big that demographic is so I'm putting this post up as a ping to see if anybody would be interested. I would only ask that you pay for your own food expenses (and perhaps split the electricity, depending on the bill that all the kick ass hardware in the house would generate).

 

As a personal aside, if I decide that this investment is not worthwhile in the long run, I will be moving to San Francisco to be as immersed in the game dev community as possible. The upside of this as I see it is a built in community. I can't imagine another place with as many eager game devs in as geographically limited a space as SF. However, the game devs and other tech people in SF may all be 30's plus, and may all be firmly ensconced in a corporate environment, with no desire to "get more indy."

 

What do you indies out there think? Would building a home for the indie, devoted to the indie, and free for the indie, be something that you would take advantage of? How long would you like to stay there? How would you use it to kickstart your ideas and generally enjoy your life to a fuller extent?

 

If anyone has any thoughts or comments, please leave them here. I am very serious about this opportunity, and if it sounds like something you would also be interested in, please let me know. Feel free to also PM me or contact me at my number one email address:

 

dottley@ottleygroup.com

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Best,

 

Dave Ottley

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As a personal aside, if I decide that this investment is not worthwhile in the long run, I will be moving to San Francisco to be as immersed in the game dev community as possible. The upside of this as I see it is a built in community. I can't imagine another place with as many eager game devs in as geographically limited a space as SF. However, the game devs and other tech people in SF may all be 30's plus, and may all be firmly ensconced in a corporate environment, with no desire to "get more indy."

 

Seattle?

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I think it's one thing (and definitely intriguing) if I were the only person partaking of such a service, when I was at a point in life where I could partake. 

 

But get a few people together, and you're dealing with all the usual room-mate scenarios: shared bathroom space, kitchen access, recreation-space; divergent schedules, noise issues if you have a night-owl and an early riser...

With the right group I'm sure it would be nice for a while.  But I've had multiple room-mates before on less-than-ideal bandwidth scenarios, and we still didn't really have any issues (even with heavy MMO usage and data streams), so I don't see the gigabit pipe as enough of a draw to move there.

Also, unless you're all successfully funded indie developers (who could likely find their own apartment/flat anyway) you're going to have to find work to pay the food/utilities bills.  Reality quickly devolves this into a standard housing scenario.

 

All that being said, if this just nets you a few like-minded housemates, it might be worthwhile anyway.  Good luck!

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As a personal aside, if I decide that this investment is not worthwhile in the long run, I will be moving to San Francisco to be as immersed in the game dev community as possible. The upside of this as I see it is a built in community. I can't imagine another place with as many eager game devs in as geographically limited a space as SF. However, the game devs and other tech people in SF may all be 30's plus, and may all be firmly ensconced in a corporate environment, with no desire to "get more indy."

 

Seattle?

I was about to move to Austin before I moved to Canada.

 

i would not move to SF without a job offer. It is iirc the most expensive city in north america.

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Thank you for your responses. I also think that SF is far too expensive for what its worth, which motivates my desire to move to Kansas City. I truly believe that it will be worthwhile to own a home and devote it to gamedev and indies rather than spending all my hard earned cash trying to "make it" in SF and realize that everyone else is doing the same. Please let me know if you have any more suggestions as I am totally an open book right now.

 

-Dave Ottley

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Why are you moving just for fast internet? The vast majority of gamedev has no need for gigabit web in the first place.

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The decision is not made. I am trying to gauge interest in the idea. I think fast internet is invaluable for many gamedev and related activities, but I'm not sure if people will go out of their way to get it, even if it is free. Would you?

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I really don't see gigabit as invaluable for gamedev, 20MB/sec is just fine no need for 100 or 1GB, it's nice of course, but definately not something that should affect where you go

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As a personal aside, if I decide that this investment is not worthwhile in the long run, I will be moving to San Francisco to be as immersed in the game dev community as possible. The upside of this as I see it is a built in community. I can't imagine another place with as many eager game devs in as geographically limited a space as SF. However, the game devs and other tech people in SF may all be 30's plus, and may all be firmly ensconced in a corporate environment, with no desire to "get more indy."

 

Seattle?

I was about to move to Austin before I moved to Canada.

 

i would not move to SF without a job offer. It is iirc the most expensive city in north america.

 

I remember talking with someone on how his friend decided to just up and go to SF with no potential job and just a few month's worth of savings. He's gonna be in for one rough awakening, I thought. That would just scare me, and you can't even guarantee other non-programming related job offers to come up within that span of time.

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I could live in SF comfortably for years with no job.

 

-Edit: But could not afford to buy property there.

 

I hope that didn't sound snobish, but I would like your enlightened opinion on the importance of geographical proximity to other developers and industry talent magnets compared to the cost of said proximity.

Edited by KingofNoobs
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I remember talking with someone on how his friend decided to just up and go to SF with no potential job and just a few month's worth of savings. He's gonna be in for one rough awakening, I thought. That would just scare me, and you can't even guarantee other non-programming related job offers to come up within that span of time.

I decided to just up and go to Thailand from America with no potential job and 2.5 months’ worth of savings and no prior experience.
That’s why I now have a nice game-development job here in Tokyo and have lived/worked in 3 different countries around the world making video games.

Things always work out, or else you would see a lot more bums than you do. Nothing comes to those who take no risks. Everything comes to those who do.

You should probably find out how that guy is doing right now. He is likely much better-off than you think.


L. Spiro
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L. Spiro,

 

But Japan is an anomaly of easy money for Americans. Can you comment on how important proximity to major gamedev hubs is to the act of making games (independently) and if the proximity is a great creativity/productivity booster, or more of a job acquisition asset?

 

-Dave

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Firstly, my experience took me far out of natural waters when I moved overseas and got a game-development job there (Thailand).  This in itself has nothing to do with Japan.

 

But its location (Bangkok) allowed me to make contacts, and whether you are an indie or just a person or even a professional this is what you need to survive.

Bangkok is a tourist trap and I used that to my advantage in order to meet people from around the world.  My company was French and so I naturally met a lot of French people, so I ended up working in France later.

But my goal was Tokyo so I had also used all of that time to make contacts in Japan, and it finally paid off when I was asked to head the iOS division of a Japanese company that had no prior experience in games.

 

I am not an indie, and even though I am from Kansas (Wichita) I would not move to your Kansas City house.

Mainly because what indies and businesses alike need to survive is to make contacts.  You need to be located in a hotspot where that can happen, and that is all there is to it.

 

Major cities are more expensive, but that is where the contacts are, so you have to go there to branch out, period.

Anyone who goes for your idea should know this as well, or else it is a sign of that person’s severe lack of experience.  In other words, even if you set yourself up in a cheap location, any tenants who actually moved in would just be a sign that they have no idea how to be successful.

 

There is no cheap way to win.

Your tenants have to be in a spot where they can make contacts.  Period.

 

 

L. Spiro

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L. Spiro,

 

But Japan is an anomaly of easy money for Americans. Can you comment on how important proximity to major gamedev hubs is to the act of making games (independently) and if the proximity is a great creativity/productivity booster, or more of a job acquisition asset?

 

-Dave

What do you mean by independant? If you mean strictly by yourself + some outsourcing then i don't see why location would matter at all, i'm outsourcing work to artists i've only met by skype and it's very easy working with them from the other side of the earth.

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I remember talking with someone on how his friend decided to just up and go to SF with no potential job and just a few month's worth of savings. He's gonna be in for one rough awakening, I thought. That would just scare me, and you can't even guarantee other non-programming related job offers to come up within that span of time.

I decided to just up and go to Thailand from America with no potential job and 2.5 months’ worth of savings and no prior experience.
That’s why I now have a nice game-development job here in Tokyo and have lived/worked in 3 different countries around the world making video games.


I think you are taking SF out of context. SF is bad because it has a cost of living almost twice the average US city and apartments are in high demand because of all the silicon valley new hires that want to live in the city. It's a great city otherwise, but if you don't have a plan you're showing up with half the purchasing power you'd have almost anywhere else.

That said, I feel like it would be easy to get a job at a tech start up pretty quickly there. When I've gone for GDC I've run into people (unrelated to GDC) on the street who tried to get me to come in to interview.

@King: Geography probably isn't that important. It's nice to be in hubs because you can visit/socialize with other developers, but the day to day isn't really that different regardless of where you are. I would rather live somewhere awesome than somewhere less awesome with a lot of game developers; game developers tend to cluster around awesome places though.
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Wow, so many good replies. Thank you all. I have pretty much ruled out KC as an option at this point. After doing some more research on Google Fiber I have found that it may not be all that its cracked up to be anyway, I'll be it , it is the best home internet connection available atm.

 

I am now really considering Austin, because, as other posters have mentioned, it is far and away cheaper than SF and I can afford to buy a home there which will allow me to expand (my life and family) for the foreseeable future, and will isolate me from downside financial risks. I am still considering SF, but the base rents I could expect to pay for anything comfortable would be $1500 - $2000 / month, and if I save that cash I can just buy plane tickets to/from SF when needed, if needed.

 

From what I hear and read Austin also has a nice game dev scene, even a nice indie game dev scene. Can anyone else speak for this?

 

L. Spiro: Interestingly, I was born near where you were, in St. Louis Missouri, although I have no memory of ever being there. Maybe I'll run into when I go to Tokyo next :)

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I remember talking with someone on how his friend decided to just up and go to SF with no potential job and just a few month's worth of savings. He's gonna be in for one rough awakening, I thought. That would just scare me, and you can't even guarantee other non-programming related job offers to come up within that span of time.

I decided to just up and go to Thailand from America with no potential job and 2.5 months’ worth of savings and no prior experience.
That’s why I now have a nice game-development job here in Tokyo and have lived/worked in 3 different countries around the world making video games.

Things always work out, or else you would see a lot more bums than you do. Nothing comes to those who take no risks. Everything comes to those who do.

You should probably find out how that guy is doing right now. He is likely much better-off than you think.


L. Spiro

 

I probably should, a few others and I were mostly under the impression that he wanted to only apply directly for his desired profession instead of additionally trying simpler, shorter-term jobs like a grocery cashier as a stepping stone for living within his means.

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I considered doing something like this a few years back, though to Ohio, rather than Kansas City. The internet speed wasn't a draw, but the low cost of living was: at that time, during the mortgage crisis, I could have bought a bank repossession (4 bedroom, in an decent housing development) outright for ~$15,000 cash. Food and other living expenses are between 1/4-1/3 of what we pay in Boston.

 

Ultimately, though, Spiro has a point about networking. While I could have covered living expenses by working remotely part time, and spent all the rest of the time on gamedev stuff, I would have been living in the arse end of nowhere, and getting back out again would have been a nightmare...

 

I think that at this point, if a really good idea for a game strikes, I'd rather go broke in a co-working space in Boston or New York.

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Just curious:

 

How would you guys sustain yourself and pay monthly expenses? Im sure you guys would have to do indie game dev as a part time gig for the first few years and hold other jobs to make some money untill your games start generating revenue. Also when people live together, disuputes can make ventures go sour.

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Long time no post. 

ISDCaptain01: I, personally, would not work, and I would hope those working with me would not work on anything other than the games. Well, I do have an online translating business which is demand based, so when there is a demand, I would be doing that. However, I have actually made some progress on this issue and think that I am going to go out to KC for 1) the internet, and 2) the really cool tech and startup community there that just makes things feel "nicer." I am NOT going to invite random ppl to live with me as I was considering because this would end up being a bad move on a number of personal fronts, as mentioned above.

 

The great thing about going somewhere cheap (and btw, KC is not middle of nowhere anymore, its surprising but it does have a tech scene and even a small gamedev scene) is that I will have enough cash to travel anywhere I want to, anytime I want to i.e. for conventions, which I would not have the luxury of doing in, say SF.

 

Still no decisions made here, but after much ado I have come to the conclusion that, like anything else in life, choosing where to live is a very personal decision and there really is no "right" answer. It just requires one to know ones self and to be true to said self :D

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