Jump to content
  • Advertisement
sysads

Any hope for Indie developers?

This topic is 366 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone

I am new to this forum and hoping to add and gain from the community.

As the topic says "Any hope for Indie developers"?

I have been a game developer for about 2 years now and have come to realise that the number of indie developers have increased drastically. This had lead to lots of game templates been sold in market places, hence that lead to lots of duplicate games been released in the stores hence leading to an increase in number of games.

  • No matter how good your game is, without exposure it will get lost in the avalange of domant games in the stores
  • Without marketing, it becomes difficult to get a good game boost
  • Not many will agree with me on this point but sometimes you need LUCK. The guy that did Color Switch was the first guy I met in buildbox forum long before his game was released. The story on how his game came to be popular was both good game play and a bit of luck through multiple connections.
  • I have seen lots of non interesting games that are doing so well and most are paid advert hence they tend to get about a million downloads

If a thousand developers each release a very good game today:

  • Now only 1% may likely get featured. Maybe a few more may end up in the front page of each category. What happens to the rest?
  • Maybe 5% of the rest may have funds to invest in marketing
  • Maybe another 5% would have a friend that has lots of followers in social media hence showcasing it there and getting some boost

What hope does the rest of us have?

  • Are there any strategies we need to look at to help with exposure?
  • Most youtubers I have seen with lots of followers tends to only demo trending games
  • Is ASO really still works? Now a days, Apple reject games using trending keywords even when your game relates to it, while Google ONLY rejects when you try to update your game

Observation

  • I have observed that when something crazy starts trending like Fidget Spinner, a lot of developers rename their game to fidget spinner even when the game play does not depict a fidget spinning
  • Influencers appears to have some sort of impact on game becoming trending but you must know them or pay a lot

Final thought

A lot of developers have dropped along the way while some keep having hope for one break-through like me :)

I hope to gain something from your comments, as that would help me do better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

It's the same kind of endeavour as painting was in the 17th century. I think there's no hope now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't get into indie dev because you're hopeful for the future, you get into it because you have no hope left. Nothing matters. We're all going to die, specially you.

 

Make some games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Hodgman said:

There's also no reason to go it alone with the $132 in your bank account. Lots of cities have booming 'startup' scenes. You can go to silicon valley and come back with a million dollars (and a lot of contractual obligations) pretty easily, assuming you're taking your job seriously. Or even just getting a business loan from a bank (assuming you've got a serious business plan). Or applying for government (local/state/federal) grants and subsidies. Or just taking your business plan to friends and family and begging for startup capital... but again, this is what separates the business people from the hobbyists.

If you want to make games as a hobby, accept that it's a hobby.

If you want to make games as a self-owned business, accept that you're now an entrepreneur with a start-up business, not a game developer.

I don't disagree with this at all. But this is not the same as I completely agree. Why? Because of the exclusions

1. It is the quality of developers that matters, independent of whether they seek investment or not

2.  By using their garage (or working from their homes) they have effectively cut out around £2000.00 office rental per month plus other energy bills (depending on where you rent)

3. By using their old computers and laptops they have also saved £10,000 

4. By working as a group of friends and living in their garages (or with mum and dad), they have cut out the need for very expensive monthly salaries plus home rental expenses - and this can very easily run into several hundreds of £££

5. Not to mention that investors, banks and other loanees are business people and are involved to make money, so conservatively I will that cuts-out another 25% of your capital. As for the banks, you have to start paying back the loan bit by bit almost immediately

6. Time pressure is good... to some extent. But it could also be a serious distraction  which could adversely affect the development.  The burden of serious pressure - which is what you get from greedy investors these days could hamper development 

Lists of those who have created mega-companies, but started out in their garages is a long one. I'm not even going to start naming them because they are household names and we all know them

So I see no reason why the model you described cannot be bettered by cash-strapped developers. Not saying it not a good and workable model but I'm saying its probably wasteful and could be bettered with those working out of their garage

As for OP's original question 

2 hours ago, sysads said:

What hope does the rest of us have?

  • Are there any strategies we need to look at to help with exposure?
  • Most youtubers I have seen with lots of followers tends to only demo trending games

Despite my objection to Hodgman's post, the clue imho lies in his post.  Even if you start on your own or with a group of friends working from your homes or a garage,

1. think big, plan big (realistically big), work like full fledged professional(s)

2. be creative , find the special thing that would make your game stand out. If you don't find that special thing don't start. If that means writing your own in-house engine , please do

3. so that still some marketing strategy with little or no funds, here again you have to be creative. 

 

1 hour ago, TheChubu said:

You don't get into indie dev because you're hopeful for the future, you get into it because you have no hope left. Nothing matters. We're all going to die, specially you.

xD Funny enough those of us who have gotten to and have tasted that state of no hope, have become fearless. When nothing hurts you anymore, when nothing matters anymore... you just go flat-out

Edited by grumpyOldDude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, sysads said:

Are there any strategies we need to look at to help with exposure?

... A lot of developers have dropped along the way while some keep having hope for one break-through like me

So you're saying the reason you make games is not because you love making games. If you love making games, keep making games.

 

If you only make games in hopes that lightning will strike your game, well... you have to understand that the chances of that are slim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hahahaha I am loving some of the responses, very infomative.

@TheChubu no one is going to die, not me and I hope not you too :)

I hope others who might be reading this find some comments helpful and hopefully re-think about the foundation of why they took to game development and workout what will work for them and plan towards it with everything they've got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, sysads said:

no one is going to die, not me and I hope not you too

You must be really young.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of things I learn here on to board. I'm trying to sell and indie game maker but I realize something:

1. You're competing with many other people so your stuff must look better.

2. You're doing the project to pay bills and stuff - really gay.

3. People can criticize your stuff to the point where you feel like giving up.

So I'll use my experience as an example. Ok, here we go...

I'm developing a version of Mario Maker and Mario Paint that I find to be really cool. You can not only create graphics and levels but your own characters and program them. So what's so innovative about this? Nothing really but I thought it would be cool to do it because just like creating your own editor for your own needs creating my own Mario Maker is just plain cool.

So why did I go through the trouble to create Mario Maker again besides it being cool? Well, the thing is that I wanted to create my own games and play them and then create a small community of people to create levels for me so that I can play them. So the point is that hobby projects or indie stuff are mostly about you and it is hard to tell what people want. The average joe likes stupid stuff like mindless shooting and complicated game development tools that are hard to use. No simplicity anymore!

I've taken advice and am going with what my real passion is: make stuff that I can personally use and share it with people. So when it comes to money I think, well, this is to pay for stuff that is not cool like rent and bills and taxes. Food is cool so if I got payed in pizza I would take that!

Not trying to deter you from indie stuff but its hard. It's just those masses of people and how to please them and your passion is going into paying rent and utilities - doing it for some tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think main trap that most indies have fallen is "making yet another of a game" , most games around are in fashion of "hey we have unity so why not a game".

If I'm not mistaken , Stardew Valley is made by one person on a very average AMD laptop in few years but it was success from my POV with few millions of revenue. Because it wasn't yet another platformer with even cooler graphics or tower defence wonder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!