Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

229

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 ...


84

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.


68

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 ...


38

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 ...


36

First, read these questions: Where can I find free sounds for my game? How are sound effects made? Game Sound Effects Availability What are good sites that provide free media resources for hobby game development? Where can I find free music for my game? Second, there are so many musicians and sound designers of all skill levels (and expecting various ...


27

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.


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

There are many sound banks on the Internet providing sound effects or musics for games. It can be free or not, in all formats and quality you want. An example: Findsounds You can mix those samples, or modify them to create new sounds. A fridge sound can be transformed in a spaceship laser sfx. Some softwares are quiet easy to use to do that, such as ...


20

A lot of people say you barely make money in videogame jobs Pretty much all game programmers I know here in the UK earn more than the national median wage. There are no starving employed game programmers. Is there anyone here who develops indie games and can vouch for ANY money making? That's quite a different proposition. Thousands of people want ...


19

I don't think the answer to this question is any different than any other business related field. Will I survive? How am I supposed to know? Have you actually tried making games before? Do you actually like making games? Are you any good at what you do? Do you know the right people to help you get to where you want to be? Do you know the right people ...


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 ...


16

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 ...


16

Don't steal assets or code. For the technologies you are using, make sure you're complying with their terms. Avoid emulating other games. Use an original name and logo. Follow the terms of service on whatever channels you're selling the game through. Incorporate your game company and keep its financial assets separate from your own. Comply with the ...


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

http://www.indiedb.com/ has just been created, and might be an excellent choice, in addition to David McGraw's recommendation.


15

First of all you obviously need a game that people would want to play. Without that, no matter what you offer you will likely not get much support. So lets assume you have such a game and now you want to attract people. Looking at the most successful game projects on Kickstarter (like Torment: Tides of Numenera or Planetary Annihilation) you will see a ...


15

I don't have hard data to back this up, but I firmly believe that offering a copy of the game as a reward is actually a bad plan from a long-term perspective. It can effectively soft-caps your sales, and since it's often the lowest reward level, similarly restrict your capital. The Kickstarter (or what have you) campaign will act as a marketing push for ...


14

Don't worry about your concept getting copied wholesale. It's much more work implementing a concept than coming up with one, and anyone who can put together a finished product will either have ideas of their own, or will change the game enough that it becomes different. If your game is awesome, then it'll be really hard to copy it and make a version that's ...


14

It's not terribly popular, in my experience. There's a few problems. First off, Java isn't the most efficient language around (though better than many think), but that lack of efficiency isn't really compensated for by ease of development. Second, running Java is kind of a pain - it's gotten better recently, but it's still tainted by Java's legendary growing ...


13

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

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

Java is the language used for Android games. (I believe there may be some other methods like using C++ but its usually Java). If you have an Android phone, you can test the top-downloaded games to see good examples. I think it's good for indie development - in fact I am doing an indie game for android. There are many tools that Google provides for you - ...


12

You definitely can make money doing indie games. I myself am a co-owner of an indie game startup, and I'm definitely not in danger of starving. :) There are two things to consider. First, indie games are risky, as is any startup. You need funds to get started, there's a high chance of failure for any of a hundred different reasons, and if you try to ...


11

What you need to do is actually start writing your game! You don't need more resources. It's time to start producing - learn by getting your hands dirty. Write the lightest-weight engine you can. If you follow this tutorial series until #9 (and since it's written for XNA 2 or 3, translate it in a couple of places to XNA 4.0 using this cheat sheet) you'll ...


11

You can use Blender 3D as level editor. In new version, it can export scene in COLLADA format which is very easy to parse. For special objects, just add tags, and then search for such tags in level loading script. With similar workflow, you can use any ordinary 3D tool, just add tags to objects and then do something in your game about this tags. I use this ...



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