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Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Jack Norton, Jul 28, 2010.
I give up.
Leaving actual money earned out of the equation; possibly categorize Indies as follows?
- Professional: a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer> b : having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier> c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>
- Amateur professionalism or professional amateurism: allowing the pursuit of hobbies and other non-essential interests at a professional or near-professional knowledge- and skill-level.
- Hobbiest: "I have a cool idea for a MMORPG, who wants to help."
Actually there isn't much of a point to the discussion because everyone (and i don't only mean people here but EVERYONE who has remotely heard of the term "indie") has his/her own idea what it means. I believe with time it will settle to some definition that the majority will agree with - but it doesn't have to be "indie=independent" (i know that indie is used by many as a short for "independent" but i also can't avoid noticing that many people, especially gaming sites, forums and a lot of developers use "indie" instead of "independent" - i'm one of those btw because i don't see it necessary for "indie" to mean something that has to do directly with independence).
Of course it is also possible that by the time we come to a definition the term will have lost all its positive appeal for developers, much like "shareware" before, and we will be fighting over a new definition and what it means like people fought over shareware at the past
indie as in "independent". Case closed.
This is fantastic!
Applewood if it helps at all, everytime I read your name I think of bacon. I am not sure why, but I think it's because there is such a thing as applewood bacon and it's delicious. So truce?
I really don't care what the label is. I am just thrilled to have released a game I am proud of and was well received and had a sprinkle of innovation. And I made a little profit and can make another one. I was in the vein of thinking that it was those ingredients that went into making "indie pie," moreso than money. But I can also understand that more seasoned devs here have a shifted idea with a bit more emphasis on making a full living.
The semantics are fun - I just worry that it carries a tone of elitism that's not always healthy in a community.
Yes I love food.
Really? That's interesting to know.
This forum contains people ranging from the 14 year old trying to make an MMO with MMF, to the elite game developer. It's not wrong to have a tone of elitism, because not everyone is on the same level. We're talking about profession, not about the quality of people. If it was about the quality of people, I'd agree that'd be unhealthy.
Anyway, I really love what Applewood has said on the topic, but my personal take on it is that at the end of the day, the terms are just labels.
I'd like to be called an indie, but right now I see it as a label people are attaching to a certain type of game development enthusiast. Pretty much all of the 'indies' I know in my home town love mucking about with game ideas and prototypes, and not much else. I have no problem with that, but there's a clear distinction between what they're doing and what I'm doing.
I'm taking the label of independent for myself. When people ask I like having a label that somewhat sums up what I'm doing- instead of relying on someone else's funding to make games, I'm out on my own independently going about things as professionally as I can. Taking the label of indie just doesn't make sense for me anymore.
That, or I'll just do what Applewood suggested and say I'm a plain old game developer, which sounds so much more important
I think the term indie applied to game devellopers was probably first used by some game journalists or game websites that needed something to make a buzz about when mainstream games began becoming a boring repeat of hollywood (and noone would be interested in reading an article about "shareware game devs"). So IMO it's just a buzzword (like "multimedia" was in 1995).
as for france language barrier I think it's a problem with enterprise culture, in most companies there (train companies or shops) they don't seem to have any policies to hire employees talking english for public outlets, and the few employees who know english are probably affraid to use it when everyone else can't. Also parisian people are rude and hateful and would probably secretely want to see everybody around them dead.
Wow, this thread is... interesting. Let's see, I'm married, but I can see you guy's point when you say don't do it.
I live in Texas, which is pretty nice - low cost of living, and the economy is a little better here than most of the country. Too danged hot, though.
Let's see, what else... oh yeah, the original topic. I just wanted to say thanks for these tips. You've really made me think a lot about entering this business, and I've already made changes to my business plan based on the advice I've read here (and other parts of the site).
I've been programming professionally for 17 years, focused on enterprise Java development for the last 11 or so. I would like to start doing some side projects again and work up to having a business I can support myself with in 2 years or so. I'm not adverse to taking a contract gig here and there to pay the bills, but hey, if I could live the dream of supporting myself doing game development, all the better.
I think the 2 biggest things I've taken away from this are start small, and don't get hung up on the tools or a particular technology. Being a Java programmer, I naturally started off looking at Java game engines, and when I didn't like what I found, started thinking about writing my own. I'm sure glad I found this site, because you guys probably saved me a year of wasted effort and what's left of my hair. After swallowing my pride and giving up the Java requirement, I started looking at commercially available tools, and will probably end up using Unity to get started. That seems like the quickest way to start learning the ins and outs of game programming, and after that if I decide I need something more powerful, custom, or whatever - at least I'll know what I'm looking for.
Was #5 a direct rib at SHMUP: Orbital Combat? Actually, I quite agree. I'm a newbie at indie game development, and I've found that starting small, and working up is more effective. I'm working on my second game, and have gotten an artist to help out, and things are plowing along toward a very positive result.
All good points, and I nominate this for a sticky.
Golden Rules (For newbie indies)
1. You need to know how to make a good game. That means a complete game with all the bells and whistles and cleverly designed tutorials and usability testing and polish. That's where most of indies trip up. Most of us when we get into gamedev are making our first game. That means we don't really know much about how to make a game. It takes a few failures and learning from the failures to learn how to make a good game.
2. You need to know how to make a marketable game. Marketable doesn't mean copying diablo, nor does it mean making a radically new game. It might just be putting a new twist on a existing genre. Since indies don't have a marketing budget, so we need help from journalists, bloggers etc to publicize a game. Nothing gets people interested faster than something that looks like new. What we want: Journalists pick up our game, write about it, tell other journalists about it, and so on. Examples of marketable games: Plant Vs Zombies, Stalin Vs Martians, Aaaaaaa a reckless disregard to gravity, Gratuitous Space Battles, Borderlands and so on.
3. You need to know how to market your game. When you are making a schedule for you game, also draw a marketing plan and schedule. Even if it is just a list of things to do.
So there you go. That's my list. I could add a bunch of stuff like - know your audience and design for it and so on, but points 1, 2 and 3 are really the crux of the matter.
No one said "runway" ... so: GET A RUNWAY.
 oops seems I only checked the first page. Still I stand by my comment.