Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why get into Indie game development? (or Why Not)

This is not the first question I asked myself when I thought of making games and I suspect it's the same with so many of you thinking of getting into it.

But I think it's an important question to ask early. Again I haven't done anything at this point and so I am not trying to give advice or answer any questions. Just putting down my thoughts here.

For me the "Why Not?" question is the easier one to list. It follows logic more. "Why?" is probably more emotional (This is turning out to be a recurring issue in my life - "Do I want to go back to India?"). And by putting them down it should be perfectly clear to anyone why you should *not* get into independent game development.

Why Not?
1. I already have a good paying job which takes a lot of my energy
2. The game market is saturated with too many games - high budget and independent
3. Because of 2) the money you can make in games is low and way less than what I currently make in my job
4. The chance of failure is lot more than success

1. Because I really want to make games (if not, just stop right here)
2. I am my own boss. I decide and control the outcome(at least I feel I do)
3. Satisfaction with work is high. Work is no longer a bad word (is that good for my personal life though?)
4. Applying creative ideas at levels unprecedented in my current job

At this point my friends might tell me - "You should join a start up". Some of them are in one and they seem to get 3), 4) and some of 2).

But I guess it all finally boils down to 1) - Why do you want to make games? This is where things cannot be put down on paper. At this point I am probably comparing myself to an artist who likes the art. But then there is this extra thorn in my subconcious - I am not even sure I am good at the art.

I am not sure of any of these things and it is this uncertainity which leads me to treat it like an adventure. And I could just stop it all one day and go back to my cozy life - Forget I even went on an adventure. Which is where I hope this writing will help me - Not to put down some memories but to remind myself that there is no turning back now...


  1. I plan on going the same route, leaving a comfy and well payed enterprise programmer potion to go indie.

    I've only released a few small games till now* that I didn't invest huge amounts of time in (due to work & personal life), but I'm planing something much bigger that would hopefully also be sellable.

    * Can be found at my homepage,

  2. I probably would not give up my day job anytime soon. But the goal is definitelhy to get to a point where I no longer need one.

  3. Add-on to #1:
    Because you want to make games that other people aren't making.

    That is to say: you see a big gaping hole in the game spectrum.
    Shameless self-plug:
    Check it out, I think we share a lot in common.

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