Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

236

One of the major pitfalls is focusing too much on developing the framework / tools / engine, and too little about making the actual game. You risk to get all entangled up into that and to lost focus. Never forget you are first and foremost making a game not making a middle-ware component. i.e. You should not start by coding the math library but instead by ...


86

Don't burnout early. You don't want to get started an awesome game idea and then burnout after a couple of weeks because of poor planning. Games take a long time to make, so make small, realistic goals.


72

Biggest indie mistakes: Choose a too big project. Have a too small team. (Lone wolf can work, but adds unneeded problems.) Don't set a fixed target date. (Yes, set the release date before starting and stick to it!) Keep it secret. (Get it out there, nobody will steal your idea. Ideas are 1%, execution is 99%.) Ignore the community. (Get some early alpha ...


64

Two things... The first one being the most critical Don't Ignore Marketing You're indie. Nobody knows you. You absolutely need to get yourself out and start building your brand as early as you possibly can. You can't expect to have the next big hit so you need to start dipping your toes into the water early. Marketing is hard. Building a brand can be a ...


42

Subscription. The easiest model, where you simply require a sum of money from your players each month. Monthly payments are most common, but variants exist. Most famous example - WoW. Freemium subscription. Essentially the same as subscription, but players CAN play for free with some limitations. For example, non-paying players can't visit all locations, or ...


42

It is often said that game ideas are a dime a dozen, but that's not true -- they're probably cheaper than that. An idea alone is essentially worthless, what matters is that you have the skill or capability to flesh that idea out into a design, and then execute that design. Professional game developers do not trawl the internet looking for ideas to "steal" ...


39

Take note of the reply above about not spending too much time on a framework / tools/ engine. Then remove the word 'tools' from it! While it may be easy to spend way too much time on a well-engineered engine or over-ambitious tech-for-techs-sake, you really don't want to underestimate the importance of decent tools. They don't have to be high-tech or ...


28

Over-attention on polish early on. If a game concept isn't fun with blue and red boxes for characters, chances are it won't be fun with 6 weeks of art time.


27

Do not try to do it because you know you can do it. Gameplay should be first, all things (even graphics) are secondary. If the game is fun and enjoyable but has poor (or not so next gen) graphics, it will still be fun and enjoyable and people will play it, and also your metacritic will be good. Otherwise if the game has awesome graphics and features ...


26

A great name can help a solid game gain press and get gamers talking about it. Here's our checklist for naming our titles: A name should be visually interesting. For example, people remember Terry Cavanaugh's "VVVVVV" in part because of the shape of the name. It should be descriptive. When Cliffski named his latest title "Gratuitous Space Battles," people ...


24

Never steal code from another indie developer. Sure, it applies to non-indie developers as well, but the indie development community is already a very collaborative and sharing environment for a creative individual. It's easier to ask nicely, and more often than not, folks will be quite happy to tell you how it's done. You might even find a teammate in the ...


22

Easy answer The cost of running an MMO? In United States Dollars? ITS OVER 9000 (dollars)!!!!! Useful Answer Scope of question So, dividing your question up into chunks, you seem to want to know about the costs of: Development (making the game) Marketing (making people aware of the game) Infrastructure (base cost of server hardware and supporting ...


19

Well, let's talk about intellectual property, since that's really where it seems like your focus is right now. Before I continue, though, I just want to briefly mention that you also want to make sure that you understand where you stand with other aspects of the law as well, things like taxes (Do you have to charge some kind of sales taxes? What sort of ...


17

Most important thing you can do if you're going from hobbyist to full-time indie: have a business plan. Seriously. What are your revenue streams? Do you have any right now, and if so, realistically how long will they be viable? What's your burn rate, and what are your cash reserves? In other words, how long can you be in development before you have to ship ...


17

As made painfully obvious by recent events, 'Europe' is not a unified place in terms of laws or taxation, so giving a definitive answer here would be tricky to say the least. Even EU law is only a guide as each member state implements it differently. Generally speaking, everything is legal until decided otherwise, so it's not so much "how do I earn money ...


15

Don't settle for programmer art. If you aren't artistically endowed, but there's no way around doing it yourself, work within your limitations for the art direction. Doodle Jump and Desktop Tower Defense are great examples of this.


15

Keeping in mind that a 12 month cycle doesn't mean that you stop coding at week 52 and shove it out the door, I side with the answers already given that game play must come first and to only add neat features if they help the game play. Ideally you'll have time to beta test with release candidates, so most work except emergency bug fixes and tuning stops at ...


14

Do Build Your Community, Don't Be a Jerk Indie games, being small, have small but often fanatically loyal fan bases. No matter how your fans act, there's value in catering to your hardcore community and keeping them happy. Keep a dev blog and twitter account, personally visit the forums and respond to issues. The community loves a developer who gives ...


13

Success is defined as your equity in your studio is greater than the amount which you could have earned working for someone else's studio. By and large, it is the same as any industry. An individual that has much technical knowledge in a field is able to make very smart technical decisions because they have much experience doing it. At the same time, they ...


13

If your programmers are that good, then use those skills to deliver on time and under-budget. And between now and the start of your next big project, think about how to better leverage those skills your team has, with the bigger budget that comes with a good track record. But if you must do things this way, then pick ONE cool thing. Not all, not even two -- ...


13

This is mostly an unanswerable question, but I'll go through some of the things you mention. You don't have any useful skills to bring to the table - sorry to be blunt - so you basically have to bankroll the enterprise if you want anybody to take you seriously. Your main cost is the people you need to employ. Unless you know what sort of game you're going ...


12

Do what you know best Don't make a strategy game if you have been into action games all your life. Pick a genre you know well and stick to it. Follow your instinct There are too many different opinions and good advices out there. You will be ripped in parts if follow every complain you will encounter by feedback. That does not mean feedback is worthless. ...


12

"we have some very good programmers, who have the ability to create never-seen-before features" Nothing personal, but I have to say I doubt it. Valve (to pick just one) has some of the best programmers in the industry, if not the world. Havoc also has some pretty smart people - there are dozens of other examples. They all have more coders than you, more ...


11

Name is very important: A guy has named a game with the most searched keywords on appstore. Free Zombie Hero Angry War Ninja


11

My #1 mistake- going into business not only with a friend, but also with the spouse of said friend. Thought it would be a good idea; the spouse had "business" experience, friend and I had complementary skills. This friend admitted to me one day that in any disagreement that I would always lose because the friend would always side with the spouse. I didn't ...


11

I recommend that first, you really evaluate your concept. What are the issues in funding it? Why do you need someone to fund it, are you capable of building it yourself (or with some friends) sans-funding? To put it the best, and nicest way, I can. No one, will fund a AAA quality game (if this is what your concept is in your head) if you don't have a track ...


11

I recently quit a triple-A development house out of frustration; but, instead of going indie, I found a smaller developer that does a broader array of projects. So, instead of working on one FPS for three years, they do several facebook/social/casual games a year. While that sounds like "more of the same problem", it's actually turned out in my favor. I ...


10

Finish stuff. Even if you end up hating the thing, finish what you intended to. Nothing is ever going to be perfect so be realistic and take incremental steps in your game career. To know that you've finished something is positive feedback for yourself, so you won't end with self-nagging thoughts about never finishing anything. There's a lot of work in ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible