Transferring from your day-job to be fulltime indie?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Morical, May 12, 2009.

  1. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    Honestly, I find that I do best if I treat the whole endeavor like a part-time job. Sit down, work for 4 hours, ignore personal phone calls and emails and no distractions etc. Just like a Real JobĀ©.
     
  2. Grey Alien

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    I wanted to follow my passion so I quit my day job (as a business software developer), racked up some debts, did a bit of IT consultancy, and my partner also did part-time work. However, I believed in myself and gunned for success - I had no choice but to succeed ... and it all turned out fine, in fact awesome! Also I've been making games as a hobby since the age of 8 so that probably helped too. Sure, I've had some lucky breaks but I've also educated myself, worked hard and taken some risks. It certainly took several years and several games before I made any decent money so bear that in mind.

    One thing to consider is simplifying your life. Looking back, if I had downsized my house and other areas of my life (I downsized some things like watching TV and going on holiday and buying stuff etc.) I would have racked up less debt and been covering my expenses with my income much sooner. I knew a guy a few years back that was having a great time doing what he wanted and hardly working and he inspired me. He had a caravan in a field and a good PC and was happy with that - extremely low overheads. Admittedly I did enjoy having my big house and nice garden and great car even though I couldn't afford it...

    Anyway, it's probably "sensible" to make games part-time whilst you have a day job but that way it could take you 3 or 4 times as long to get up to speed as if you just quit and started full-time Indie today, and by then the industry will have moved on. There may be other options like downsizing and working part-time in your full-time job etc as others have mentioned. Explore all possibilities. If it's your passion, make it happen, don't wait forever just because of a few fears (many of which may never come true). My $0.02. Disclaimer: Use advice at your own risk, take responsibility for your own life and your own results :)
     
  3. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    My advice was specific to that person. If you're in a different position (like still living with parents, with huge savings, a partner that work, bla bla bla) and you have this passion I think would be nuts not giving it a try for at least 1-2 years.
     
  4. Junkyard Sam

    Junkyard Sam New Member

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    There's a classic book called Think & Grow Rich where in one chapter a story is told of Edison's right hand man and how he got to that position.

    It involved literally selling everything he owned in order to make the trip. He showed up unexpected and after being told there were no positions, he insisted on working there even if he worked for free. To make a long story short, he rose up from the very bottom to being Edison's right hand guy.

    There's another story of some famous battle where a captain's crew landed on a beachfront attack where his warriors were significantly outnumbered. He burned the ships behind them, meaning to his men they would have to fight (and win) or die. And it worked out of course, or it wouldn't be much of a story.

    Regarding indie gaming -- I can imagine this sort of thing could work for a special kind of person that is TRULY motivated and exceptionally gifted at picking things up and understanding the market... and doesn't already have things like a family to support.

    I've taken similar risks like that in my own career at times and it's very exciting... (Because it's either do-or-die.) It really tunes your focus to having to accomplish what you set out to do.

    It's also good to know --- many of the most successful people in the world crashed many times before succeeding. They just kept going instead of giving up.

    It seems there's a big difference between people who succeed at something big versus normal people. I don't believe someone can take a casual interest in things and do well... Feng Zhu, (hugely successful concept artist) once told me it's critical to do what you want to be good at for at least 4 or 5 solid hours a day. He pointed out that once someone is working professionally they are doing that practically every day - or more - and they are your competition.

    So clearly there's a certain amount of dedicating one's life and giving up a lot of the free time other people enjoy... to succeed at something like this.


    * Yes I'm "wasting" time here, but this is the kind of entertainment where I also learn things related to my craft. So it's kinda justifiable in moderation. =)
     
  5. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    continuing educashiun :)
     
  6. Obscure

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    Great advise but you don't have to cause yourself excessive financial risks in order to do it. It is perfectly acceptable to keep the day job in order to save up some cash (or learn to program) while also working to reduce your overheads (sell the second car, cancel the expensive cable TV, reduce the amount you eat out) and then make the change.
     
  7. Acord

    Acord New Member

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    Speaking of TV - don't get DirectTV. They absolutely RAPE you if you want to cancel before your contract is up.

    Guess I wasn't the only one who ordered it for the BSG. *sighs*
     
  8. Cartman

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    This goes along with the book I'm reading right now called Outliers. In it they detail how the most successful people are a combination of some luck but also dedication above and beyond everyone else. I also believe that people who work above and beyond their peirs will make it big.

    My advice is to keep your day job, put in the extra hours at night and work hard. Show to yourself that you can sacrifice and spend the extra hours consistantly to succeed. And save money. When you feel that you are dedicated completely then cut the cord to your day job, but not until you are completely convinced that you have the full dedication to succeed.
     
  9. Grey Alien

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    @Cartman: Yeah Outliers was a good book. The 10,000 hours theory is postulated in there. There was a thread on here about it a while ago I think.
     
  10. DaveGilbert

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    Well, I was sort of like you, except without the job! :) I had just gotten back from teaching English in Korea for a year, and I had enough savings to last me 8 months or so (or a full year if I lived like Ghandi). I had been making games as a hobby for several years already so I figured it was now or never! I made a small game about a Rabbi detective just to test the waters, and sold it at a stupid cheap price ($5), but it was a good way to rack up some experience about making and selling a game. Plus it only took 2 1/2 months to make, so there wasn't much of an investment in time and money. It just snowballed from there.

    I guess my advice is that if you have 6 months of savings, design a game that you can make and release in around 3 months. That way you can test the waters and if it totally bombs you have time to decide what to do next.
     
  11. Morical

    Morical New Member

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    We (my friend and I) actually have almost ready playable demo of our game. It still doesn't have much of content, but shows the gameplay and mechanics of the title. It also includes LAN multiplayer option. We are about to publish it for free by the end of July, just to see if people spot anything out of it and to get some feedback of basic design. I'll be sure to let all of you to know about it, when its ready, so please try it then :)
     

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