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Indie Game Developers Talk About Why They Struck Out On Their Own 49

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes Technology writer Jon Brodkin sat down with a group of indie game developers (as well as a professor at the University of Southern California's game-design program) to talk about why they decided to launch their own small studios rather than stick with comfortable (albeit stressful) jobs at major firms like Disney or Zynga. The answer, as you'd expect, boils down to control. "Working for a bigger company is a good way to gain experience, and learn how games are made," said Graham Smith, one of the co-founders of Toronto-based DrinkBox Studios. "It's also nice to have a steady salary coming in as you learn the ropes. On the flip side, depending on the company, you might not have much control over the game's design, or even be making the types of games that you enjoy playing." But startups come with their own challenges, not the least of which is the prospect of an economic downturn quickly wiping you out, or not making your Kickstarter goal.
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Indie Game Developers Talk About Why They Struck Out On Their Own

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  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:22PM (#47408423)

    I'm pretty sure everyone DOES want to be a successful indie dev like notch... the problem is the chances of that happening are pretty slim. I don't do "games" so I'm not really in that boat, but I am a musician however. I'm damn good to. The problem isn't that you're not good enough, or don't put in enough time... there are plenty of people that are very smart, very creative, and put in enormous amounts of time. What has to happen is that what you are interested in and doing has to, completely by random, end up being the "Thing" one year.

    How many silly puzzle games were there before Tetris took off? It wasn't that tetris found some magical formula that, if discovered a few years earlier would have gotten just as huge. It's the combination of the programers skill, the design of the game, the hardware coming out at the right time and most importantly, the publics fickle interests just so happened to swing in the right direction at the same time that game came out.

    In music, if you were a Banjo player in the 80s and 90s, you'd be hard pressed to find work. Fast forward to todays music sceen and even pop starts are featuring Banjo in the background... who'd have thunk it. How are you supposed to prepare for something like that? It takes 10yrs to get good at an instrument. But the time you do, public interest has shifted.

    Luck is the most important part of commercially successful art. As such, being an independent is very risky.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger