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#1 Toadill  Icon User is offline

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Indie game development

Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:20 AM

Hello everyone I just learned about indie game development and I am now curious if anyone here is a indie game developer. I am trying to decide if this would be a realist goal of mine or if I am just wasting time researching this topic. I realize that developing games requires many artists and programmers. My questions are how would I go about joining a team of indie developers, and would it be possible to make a living doing so? :gunsmilie:
So far in my research many suggest that it is possible to make a living as a indie game developer. Has anyone actually ever tried this? :detective:

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Replies To: Indie game development

#2 blindstone  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:44 AM

what are you researching now? Technically speaking you dont need a huge team to be an indie developer. Take Minecraft for example. Technically up untill it went into beta it was developed by 1 guy. Terraria on steam was developed by two guys. One of them was only a programmer.

Im currently working on a game engine(soon to be working on a game based off that engine) with a friend of mine and a graphics artist.

Pick a language your good at, it will take heavy amount of determination and work. But it can be done. Its been done in the past and it will continue being done.
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#3 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

The term 'indie game development' is a pretty broad term that has different interpretations in professional and hobbyist circles. Let's put it in some perspective to get the meaning across.

When games are normally produced it is a collaboration between two entities:

1. The developer.
2. The publisher.

Of course, the developer is the one responsible for getting the game from concept to finished product. This is normally a team of programmers, designers, artists, producers and testers (QA). The publisher is the one responsible for providing the financial budget to see the project through to completion. The producer is the one responsible for project management and liaising between the development team and the publisher. The producer will be ensuring that the publisher is always happy with the project's progress in order to prevent the publisher pulling the funding for the project putting the studio and everyone's jobs at risk. This is often a big reason why crunch is sometimes employed to get project milestones completed to schedule.

For indie game development it is the responsibility of the developer to put up the finance in order to complete the project, cutting out the involvement of the publisher. This is a much bigger risk in terms of things like bankruptcy and studio closure. Because of this risk you will also find indie developers will be even more picky when choosing members of the development teams - looking for a higher level of a broader skill set. As they say, 'a chain is as strong as its weakest link', and they have little room to afford carrying a weak link during critical project milestones.

So, what comprises an indie developer? As pointed out above it is and team who have produce marketable games without the involvement of a publisher. Just because you make a game or two, it doesn't make you an indie - you become an indie when you develop a marketable game off your own financial resources. Remember, this will include licensing software, being a registered game developer (in order to get the dev kits for the various closed console platforms), and finally paying all team members a good salary in order to keep them on the team. Indie developers never do well if they have a high staff turnover.

So, indie game development is actually more challenging than studios with the backing of a publisher. I have spent most of my years in the industry working for indies and the demands can be higher since the teams are generally smaller.
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#4 DivideByZero  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:38 PM

What I'm doing is making a game on the side while working.
I don't expect it to make money, and I definitely won't rely on it making money.
An indie developer career is way too risky!
Maybe consider taking this approach :)
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#5 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:45 PM

Exactly. What you're doing is 'hobbyist game development' whereby you manage your own time on a project that has no financial impact on you if you don't even get it started. :)
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#6 sparkart  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:20 PM

I think that being an indie game developer is similar to being an entrepreneur. You're basically an entrepreneur that develops video games.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with entrepreneurship in regards to the risks as well as the rewards.
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#7 Toadill  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:45 AM

Thank you all for the input ButchDean :batman: thank you for so much insight on indie game development. I think I would rather be part of a team rather then run the team, especially just starting out as a game developer. :wank: It does sound rather unrealistic, but according to what I have been learning from College it is becoming more popular. I was just curious what it really took to make this happen. Of course things always sound easier then they actually are.
DividebyZero has a good concept, and I have also thought of doing things this way. I could build software for a company like riteaid... or whatever on the side and do my own projects as a hobby. :hammer:
Thank you all for your responses. :rockon:

Also it does seem more logical to have multi streams of income anyway!!! :shuriken:

This post has been edited by Toadill: 04 April 2012 - 06:45 AM

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#8 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:50 PM

No problem, Toadill. What makes it happen for those who really are successful is raw talent and great luck, also the availability of relatively cheap tools to make games for the major platforms like for iPhone and XBox 360.
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#9 StandupGuy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:58 AM

Yeah its a huge misconception that I was even guilty of believing that you needed 20 ppl to complete an indie project, most seem to range from about 2-8 ppl.
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#10 Toadill  Icon User is offline

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Re: Indie game development

Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:18 AM

View PostButchDean, on 04 April 2012 - 02:50 PM, said:

No problem, Toadill. What makes it happen for those who really are successful is raw talent and great luck, also the availability of relatively cheap tools to make games for the major platforms like for iPhone and XBox 360.

I believe you are referring XNA development for iphone and even XBox360

XBox360
iPhone

View PostStandupGuy, on 05 April 2012 - 03:58 AM, said:

Yeah its a huge misconception that I was even guilty of believing that you needed 20 ppl to complete an indie project, most seem to range from about 2-8 ppl.


This is good to know thanks
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