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Should i quit my job and make a game?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aseemy, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Aseemy

    Aseemy

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    I have been saving up for 1.5 years to create my own game. I planned to quit my job in December 2019 but my employers asked me for 6 more months to find a replacement. This is my last month but they have requested me to stay another 6 months as they couldnt find anyone.

    My plan was to work on my game full-time for 6 months, as i have saved enough to be jobless till then. I wanted to create 20% of the game with a playable demo so i can crowdfund the rest. I wont continue with the game if the crowdfunding isnt successful and try for a job again.

    But the economy will take a huge hit because of the Covid situation and i dont think people would have extra money to crowdfund a game.
    I also might not be able to find a job if the demo doesnt succeed.

    I am still leaning towards quitting and making my game but i would like to know your opinion. Making the game while working isnt possible as i have 12-14 hour work days, 6 day a week.
    Working part-time is also not possible. Its either full-time or quit.
     
  2. ikazrima

    ikazrima

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    With the current state of the world, no.

    If your current job doesn't allow you work part time, look for other jobs that allow you to. If I'm not mistaken Eric Barone worked on Stardew Valley while having a job at the theater. It's a safer alternative.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  3. IllTemperedTunas

    IllTemperedTunas

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  4. Baste

    Baste

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    You should quit your job. Not neccessarilly to make games, mostly just to find somewhere with reasonable hours.
     
  5. Tomasz_Pasterski

    Tomasz_Pasterski

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    I work and spend free time on my project (not every second cause i dont want to go mad after some time, this is unhealthy).
    Also i dont work as much as you, simple normal job 8h a day, 5 days a week and it is possible, if i end my project, release and be success then i quit if it will be failure i take experience and start working on another project keeping my current job ofc.
    Conclusion:
    Find job with normal work time, develop in free time till success, then you can consider quiting job.
     
    JWLewis777 likes this.
  6. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    You should seek a job with normal work hours, as 12-14 hours is too much, unless the pay is outrageously high. You are very likely to end up with health problems in the long term.

    -------

    Normal advice, however is that you shouldn't quit your day job, because most likely scenario is that your very first title will FAIL.You need contingency plan for this sort of scenario.

    Reasonable options are:
    • seek part-time employment (safe, as you don't lose your income),
    • seek employment in gamedev even if it pays less (that builds your skills),
    • outsource creation of your game to other people (this way you keep your job and income stream and your game still gets made).
    If you have savings, I'd suggest outsourcing.

    Basically, consider scenario where you worked for X months, savings ran out, and the game was a flop. What now? What if you suddenly got sick during that time and now need to spend more cash?

    ---------
    However, in your case, you need to do something about working hours. 12-14 is not exactly healthy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  7. Baste

    Baste

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    Just got another notification about this thread, and, well, what are you on about? F*** them!

    You don't owe them anything if they're making you work 12-14 hours 6 days a week. You should get another job, then stuff your middle finger right in the middle of their faces and leave on the spot, no notice, no nothing.
     
    Ayrik, Kiwasi, dogzerx2 and 2 others like this.
  8. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    There's nothing wrong with working long hours, all else being equal. The point seems to be that it's not a job you really want to do.

    Ideally, find a job that gives you part time work. Otherwise, assuming you have saved for 1.5 years working 6 days a week, 13 hour days, I'd say you probably have enough money to at least put together that demo.
     
  9. jackmememe

    jackmememe

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    They can't find a replacement because no one will work 12-14 hour work days, 6 day a week. Unless it's a S***-ton of money.
     
  10. Yanne065

    Yanne065

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    I work 12 hour a day 5 day a week plus I have a 2 years old daughter I've manage to work on my project when I have free time everyday while my partner and daughter asleep and on my work break . about 3 hour a day I can work on it .maybe you could too but I only sleep 5 to 6 hour a day
     
  11. Aseemy

    Aseemy

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    I am working as a Lead Unity dev with 9 guys in my team.
    I have been working as a unity dev for 5 years now so i have gained enough skills and knowledge to start on my own.

    The pay is quite high(Rs 150000 per month) for my country (India).

    Even if i get a job at another company with lower working hours i still wouldnt wanna work on unity again after coming home.

    My work experience pretty much guarantees me a job in india if my game fails after 6 months. But i'll have to take a pay cut, it would still be enough to easily survive.

    I got into unity just to make my own game. But i am only a coder and needed money for outsourcing 2d/3d assets. Now i finally have enough to finance 6 months.

    My current company is willing to hire me back after 6 months and i have other offers as well.

    Is it stupid to follow my dream in these uncertain corona times?
     
  12. Yanne065

    Yanne065

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    What if 6 months is not enough time for your game ?what you gonna do ?
     
    ikazrima likes this.
  13. DaDonik

    DaDonik

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    So you will even be able to get the well paid job back if you fail with your own game....that makes quitting a no brainer for me.
    Do it, by the sounds of it all you will loose is the money you saved the last 1.5f years. That is a low price for your own independence.
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  14. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    What do you expect people to know that you don't already?

    At some point, you just have to know what you really want for yourself, and what you are willing to risk to make it happen.
     
  15. Aseemy

    Aseemy

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    Will drop the game unless its almost done.

    I have enough to survive these 6 months and also have options after that. My worry is if people would be willing to crowdfund my game (if its any good) after 6 months.

    I wanted to see what other devs think about quitting. If many think i shouldn't that means they wouldnt. I have no experience working on my own and it would be better to know what others think before starting on my own. Its always good to have advice even if you do what you planned to all along.
     
  16. ikazrima

    ikazrima

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    There's no guarantee of what will happen in the next 6 months, and whether the current offer from your company will still stand when that time comes.

    I'm assuming that you've not yet start on anything for your demo. Why not work on it for a month or two (while still working) and decide based on that whether it's worth spending your time / savings on?
     
    Yanne065 likes this.
  17. Yanne065

    Yanne065

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    I think best get an idea and prototype up and running then decide whether is worth to quit the job to do full time to do it or not . If you quit the job and have no idea for the game or direction would be waste of time and your saving
     
  18. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Advice from who? The problem with asking the internet for advice is that everyone has an opinion, but very rarely do people make games and succeed.

    Here's some advice from someone who did. I have a different approach.

     
    Socrates likes this.
  19. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    6 months is very little time. Crowdfunding is really hard and needs a lot of work on its own. Finding game concepts that people still care about is also getting harder and harder.


    You could probably make the same or more with half the hours by working as a freelancer for companys in countries with higher cost of living. You could focus on fulltime freelancing and fill the downtime between contracts with working on your game.
     
  20. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    If you are not worried about economic challenges then I don't see that there is any reason not to do this.

    Just be mindful as @Martin_H has said, 6 months is not very long. For a demo you might only build 20% of a game by content, but it probably means you need 80%+ of the games systems built.
     
  21. DaDonik

    DaDonik

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    Only trying can answer that question, so go ahead and try ;)
     
  22. mgear

    mgear

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    if you can post your crowdfunding idea/plan/minimum amount you are seeking, and some info about the game, then could comment more, like if it seems interesting, unique, and also is it free2play, IAP, paid, mobile (android/ios/both), consoles, steam? do you have followers/contacts/marketing plan etc.

    i'd suggest study those areas (like kickstarters, indie marketing, etc.) for the next a 6-12months (even just few hrs per week), as lots of indie campaigns fail when they just do "lets create kickstarter, post it in couple forums and hope for the best".
     
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  23. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    NO!

    You will need your job to survive. Don't expect to make any money from game development unless you are working for a company.
    Sorry but that's the reality of it.
    Could you make a hit and become millionaire? Yes, you could. But you could become homeless too. And given the current state of the world's economy and the over-saturation of the video game market, your chances to become homeless are MUCH higher. Like very very VERY much higher.
     
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  24. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    You make decisions like this by deciding if you can eat the worst possible outcome.

    Weigh that against the cost of lost opportunity.

    And the best thing to do is find alternate solution somewhere between two extreme decisions.
     
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  25. Arowx

    Arowx

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    Yes, Quit your day job as soon as you are earning enough from game development to do so.

    Why not go part time and attempt to launch your game in the other part of your time.
     
  26. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    You guys are a pessimistic bunch.

    I mean seriously, I know plenty of people who quit their job to drive around the country (Australia) for a year, or to go back to school for four years to start a new career, sometimes even just to take a break. A recruiter I used to work with quit for 5 years to sip drinks in Bali and ocassionally take people out on scuba diving trips.

    There's no problem with bootstrapping, doing things part-time, etc, but its the option you take when you aren't able to do it full time. Or maybe because you don't really believe in your idea. There are success stories with this model, but its not the norm: most great indie games were built by devs working full-time, most successful start-ups were built by people working full time.

    The OP says the are economically capable of dealing with the worst outcome, why would you not believe them?

    ----

    @Aseemy as to your queries about Kickstarter, I'm not sure there's any hard data that can help you determine whats going to happen one way or another.

    I think the general consensus is that games industry is somewhat recession proof as its a cheap form of entertainment: people play more games if they can't afford to go out. There's also a lot more gaming happening right now as people are stuck inside, for example: https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/30/despite-pandemic-gaming-is-well-positioned-to-withstand-recession/. I'm seeing a lot of eSports on TV in lieu of actual sports (i..e NBA game instead of NBA in ESPN). Does all this lead to greater game sales in the future? Maybe.


    Even if we assume people buy more games (which is a big assumption), that doesn't mean they will also fund more kickstarter games. People for example might be more risk averse, and more interested in buying n available product than a potential one. Also I wouldn't be surprised with more people out of work, more people are spending time pursuing games or other ventures, and thus more people are looking for funds on kickstarter.

    Overall I don't think there would be a major difference between a kickstarter launch in 2019 or 2020 or 2021.

    ---

    Back to the same old point. The main issue I would think you will face is time, you typically need to grow an audience before your kickstarter, not because of your kickstarter. This takes several months at least, which means you need to be at a point where you can promote your game within 2-3 months. That sounds tough.

    PS Just giving up on your game because it doesn't get kick-started is wasteful. If you believe in it enough to quit your job, to put in on kickstarter, then you should believe in it enough to follow other avenues (publishers, bootstrapping, early access, etc).
     
    Billy4184 likes this.
  27. frosted

    frosted

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    Red flag. Crowdfunding wont be successful unless you have a large social network (preferably with game industry) to pull on.

    Do you think you could pull 1k twitter followers in 6mo? If the odds are low, the odds of you crowdfunding is lower.

    Do not think of crowdfunding as securing some kind of investment, think of it as collecting pre-orders. If you think you can drive pre-orders then by all means, do it, but if you can't then most likely this is not a real plan.
     
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  28. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    I guess this depends on your socio-economic level and the country you live in.
    I know people who don't even need to work at all to live, but that's not the reality of 99% of us.
    If OP has to work to live, then quitting a stable job to chase a dream is extremely risky.
    It can be done, but everyone focuses too much on the ones who succeed and not enough on the corpses that pave that road.
    This question is akin to ask: "Should I quit my job to become a professional bodybuilder, knowing I work out at home and I'm barely fit?"
    I mean, it CAN be done. But for every ONE person who succeeds, there are THOUSANDS who fail.
    And you call me a pessimist for answering NO. :rolleyes:
    I'm just being objective here.
    And maybe OP does it anyway, succeeds and becomes a millionaire making the next Minecraft because he has an epic luck or is incredibly skilled. But since I can't see the future and the odds are so bad, I can't recommend this path in good conscience.
     
  29. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    @atomicjoe

    "My work experience pretty much guarantees me a job in india if my game fails after 6 months. But i'll have to take a pay cut, it would still be enough to easily survive."

    "My current company is willing to hire me back after 6 months and i have other offers as well."


    If you are highly employable then its not extremely risky. Most of the examples I were referring to were from people who had to go back to work after their jaunt finished, they had to apply for jobs, sometimes doing it while they were literally on the road. They had to work to live, they had just saved enough to not do it for a period of time. No difference from this situation.

    If the OP was asking "Will my game make a large amount of money?" or "Will my game make me enough money to survive on?", then I would agree that the answer to that is that it is: "highly unlikely".

    But that is not what is being asked. The OP seems comfortable in their assessment of their economic future. What they mostly want to know about is the effect of COVID-19 on their chances of a successful crowd-sourced fund raise.

    I think a better question, raised by a few, is do you know anything about crowd-sourcing?
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  30. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I don't think at this stage the OP should rely on crowd sourcing. If they have saved up a bunch of money and are highly employable, that should be enough of a basis to cut loose and make a game or two to start at least breaking even.

    I believe in the idea that, if possible, one should take on the full risk of one's first game. There are so many unknowns at the beginning that something like crowdfunding would probably end up causing more problems than not. For example, you cannot make big course corrections along the way as you learn.
     
    JohnnyA likes this.
  31. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    The worst possible outcome is being hit by a bus tomorrow. Well, that's one of the worst possible outcomes.
    Also, if he is economically capable, what's the point of asking for advice?


    Most people aren't capable of dealing with "worst possible", unless they have about 10 mil USD in their bank account. That would get you through most of possible disasters, but not all of them. And with 10 mil you hire a studio rather than asking questions here.

    I think rather than talking about "worst possible" (vacuum metastability event. Now what?), it would be a good idea to set bar somewhere below that. For example. "couldn't find a job for 5 years". Or "house fire coupled with sudden expensive chronic illness".

    Either way it feels like the OP already made their mind on the subject. I do advise to find a job with better working hours.
     
  32. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    Really thats where you are going...

    Every I know who has made it really big has started by finding something they were passionate about, quitting their job, and doing it. It's possible to have great success bootstrapping things, but its much less likely.

    The OP doesn't seem to be worried about finding employment if the game is a complete failure. So I will choose to believe the OPs assessment of their own situation and suggest that they go for it.
     
  33. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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  34. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Well, the issue here is that there are people who made it big, and there are a lot more people who didn't make it big, although they tried.

    People usually assume they're going to be lucky, and that's why it is a good idea to have a backup plan for when you fail.

    Beyond that, it is OPs decision. Their life, their choices. If they already made their mind, not much reason to ask.
     
  35. Ukounu

    Ukounu

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    A person who trusts strangers on the Internet to decide for him if he should "follow his dream" or not, doesn't fully believe in his idea either, I think.
     
    Socrates likes this.
  36. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    Fair point, but the OP doesn't really seem to be asking about the if, but the when, i.e is it a bad time to start a venture for which crowdsourcing is considered a vital step.
     
  37. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    People have different dispositions. Although certain personality types no doubt affect success at the extreme end, being moderately successful is simply a question of building the structure of your enterprise in a way that makes it as effortless as possible for you to succeed.

    I imagine the OP is not incredibly adventurous, or otherwise would not have asked the question. There are people who have succeeded very well working on their games a couple hours a day (I posted a video above).

    For me, it's very hard to do that. I naturally have to obsess over something or the motivation just doesn't stay, and I'm motivated by things that appear extremely difficult. But that doesn't mean this would work for many people out there.

    The key is to understand yourself, and avoid fighting yourself or pretending that everybody is the same. In the end, nobody will take the journey but yourself so why do something you don't really want to?
     
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  38. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    It's like... my useless super-power.


    I think that's a surprisingly good analogy. Also in the way that some trying it will just hit unexpected yet insurmountable roadblocks in terms of what their minds and bodies are capable of.


    I think that's an excellent use of your savings. Unless you enjoy gamedev as much as such a livestyle, I'd recommend it over gamedev.
     
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  39. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    OP is a full time Unity developer... I think to be fair the analogy should run along the lines of a personal trainer who already works full time in a gym deciding to start their own fitness brand. That really doesn't seem so absurd.

    Maybe no one else cares, but as a long time member here I find it a little sad that the overwhelming sentiment of this community seems to be you shouldn't become a full time indie game developer, even if you can afford to.
     
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  40. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    How many here are full time indie game developers? I'd wager it isn't a whole lot. I sure ain't.

    With that in mind, it's not so surprising that it's the prevailing sentiment (crab bucket if you want to view it cynically). That plus the fact that, as it's already been pointed out, simply in terms of probabilities succeeding is less likely (for most creative professions, and in particular for game dev).

    That plus the approach the OP takes (where he suggests crowdfunding will be his answer if he doesn't get the game done in six months).

    Given all that, the response seems quite normal.
     
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  41. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    That's the critical part: knowing if you REALLY can afford it.
    If you don't have to work to live, you can afford to try it, fail and retry as many times as you want for as long as you want. (and that's why rich kids end up being rich adults btw)
    If you need to work for a living however, 6 months is (usually) not enough to make a game or make a demo and grow a community around it to support a kickstarter. (as of 2020)
    But maybe OP's game is brilliant, he makes a demo, everybody loves it and he kickstarts it successfully.
    It CAN happen, has already happened before and will happen again for sure.
    The problem here is he is asking for advise, and when you give advise to someone, you can't assume he will be lucky. You have to plan for the average. And the average is to not be lucky.
    If he's not lucky, he can end up jobless and not be able to get a job again or get a worse job that the one he has now.
    Meaning this is a very risky adventure.
    Can I recommend someone to jump into a very risky adventure?
    NO!
    That doesn't mean I wouldn't do it myself, because I'm the kind of guy who does this kind of things. But I would not recommend anyone to do what I do in good conscience.
    The survivorship bias has done too much harm and the road to success is paved with the dead bodies of the ones that failed and no one remembers.
     
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  42. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    The first problem with this thread is that the only advice worth giving is "don't do it" because nobody knows who the OP is or what they are capable of managing.

    The second problem with is that nobody can tell you how the job market will look a year from now in this current state of affairs.

    The third problem is that most people don't release games or successfully do so, so the vast majority of advice is somewhat dubious.

    All in all, one can only hope that the OP will act on what they really wanted to do all along.
     
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  43. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    There are some estimates for that.

    1. Somewhat safe: You have enough cash to cover your living expenses for the next year.
    2. Safer: You have enough cash to cover your living expenses for the next five to ten years.
    3. Safer: Inflation is taken into account inflation.
    4. Safer: And there's enough to cover couple of sudden big expenses.
    5. Safer: ...which includes your house burning down and your cown breaking down.
    6. Safer: Repeatedly.
    7. Safer: There's also cash for sudden health issues.
    8. Safer: Including severe ones.
    9. Safer: Like brain surgery, cancer treatment or hiring a live in nurse for the duration of your leave.
    10. Safer: You also have enough to handle a marriage.
    11. Safer: And a divorce.
    12. Safer: And birth of children and taking care of them.
    13. Safer: All the way till university.
    14. Safer: Even if you had octuplets.

    Something like that.

    If you made it all the way to 14, then it is as safe as it gets, although it won't help against civil war, nuclear holocaust, regime change, return of lovecraftian elder gods, hypervelocity star passing through solar system, vacuum metastability event, and so on. Or getting hit by a bus.
     
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  44. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    You forgot super volcanoes:
     
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  45. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I have to say, I do miss a certain kind of voice on these forums that represents the sort of person who is simply willing to tackle problems head on and get knocked back on their butt a few times. In the end, indie game development is not for the faint of heart. I have not seen someone succeed who was looking for an easy or safe way to get there.

    Be prepared to take risks and to sacrifice a lot if you want to make it. If that doesn't sound enticing, you're probably best stick to day job + hobby. If it sounds like destiny, don't let good advice stand in your way.
     
  46. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    I do that.
    But also I would never advice anyone to do it.
     
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  47. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    The reason for that is after doing something like that you usually learn how much of a bad idea it all was, and why nobody should try that.
     
  48. aer0ace

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    Before I went indie for a year in 2015, I was getting burned out from my job of 10 years, that I was ready to quit. Fortunately, a large part of our team was laid off instead. I had severance to cover at least 3 months, and on top of that, was able to file for unemployment. If you quit, you don't get any of that. I was able to ship 2 good mobile games in that time, but to this day, I've only made a little over US300 bucks. I'd probably be able to make more if I constantly updated those mobile games, but it was originally intended as a learning experience anyway. After a year of going indie, I went back into the workforce for reasons unrelated to finances, but I'd say what I took away from that year, was that entrepreneurship is possible, but it's a lot of hard work. I mean, it's good passionate work, because you're working on your own thing, but having to constantly keep track of your direction and goals to make sure you are trying to make a living is hard to juggle. It's extremely valuable to FINISH a project and put it up for sale as a PRODUCT, and actually make money from it, even if it's 1 dollar. You created something, and someone gave you money for it. It's a powerful feeling that can drive you further, but not to the point of it being a switch in your career.

    @Aseemy, maybe it would be worth it for you, if you feel that you can easily get your job back in 6 months. Humans like change once in a while, and it is a different experience. But you shouldn't expect to make a living from what you make in 6 months though. You'll take away experiences to apply down the road, for future strategies on trying to make it a living, but it's very difficult.

    Lately, I've been thinking that it's not worth quitting a job to make a game, but it may be worth quitting a job to SELL your game. By then, you should have enough feedback, users, wishlists, and fans to push the product to convert, that you will know whether or not you can make a living with it. Good luck.
     
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  49. DauntlessVerbosity

    DauntlessVerbosity

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Posts:
    38
    I doubt that he's going to make his decision solely based on the opinions in this thread. Maybe he's just gathering information. I have almost posted similar threads here just because I wanted to make sure I'm not delusional. I see a lot of people wanting to make games who do seem delusional, and I don't want to be one of them. Gathering information and opinions about his situation from experienced people seems like a good thing to do before making a serious move. I don't think that researching and planning ahead means that he doesn't fully believe in his dream. It just means he's at least somewhat careful about life decisions.
     
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  50. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,510
    The first thing I would say is that I agree with others before me - ~70 hour weeks is not reasonable, and I would strongly consider leaving a job based on that alone. Are they paying you a fixed salary? If so then the reason they can't replace you is likely that they'd need to hire more than one person to get the "same work" done and they're not willing to do that. You're sacrificing your time to save them money. Don't let them exploit you like that unless you're getting something pretty major out of it yourself.

    The "same work" is in quotes because you're likely not operating at your most productive. Bean counters often don't take such things into account, though.


    The rest of what I have to say is about the reality of sacrificing a day job in general in order to pursue your dream. These things don't come in any particular order or priority, and each may or may not matter to you anyway. You have to make of them what you will for yourself.

    • It is a common mistake for technical people to think they could run the whole business effectively. And make no mistake, making games commercially is a business. You may be very good at the technical side of making the games or software, but what about all the rest of the work? Do you know the basics of business law in your part of the world? Can you manage a project? Can you write a budget and a cashflow projection? Can you market the products you create? Can you do market research to determine what's a good product to invest your time into? Do you know how to hire people and/or manage a team? Can you create all of the supporting material that goes along with your game? If not, does your 6 months of savings already consider the cost of hiring someone else on to do those things?

      To be clear, these are all things that you could certainly learn. It's just that there's a lot of it, it will take time away from you creating your product, and it's easy to under estimate if you've never done it all before.

      If you're keen on all of that then go for it. You'll learn a heck of a lot in that 6 months and it will make you more valuable at whatever you do next. On the flip side, if you're just thinking "I can make good products, and once you've got a product selling it seems pretty easy so I'll be alright" then I strongly urge you to do your research before handing in your resignation.

    • Most games fail, so don't leave to make one game. If you want to make games commercially then you need to account for the fact that most of them don't work out, so you need time to make multiple games to maximise your chances of one of them sticking. If you understand the risk involved in the demo -> crowdfund -> make game or get another job route and you're willing to get nothing but experience from your 6 months then go for it. It's possible you'll get lucky, it has happened. However, don't fill yourself with stories of other peoples' success and just assume it'll happen to you.

      Basically... don't fall for Survivorship Bias. Most of the games and developers we hear about are the successful ones, because those which don't succesd fall off the radar pretty quickly. Make sure you look at lots of unsuccessful ones too. This will give you a better idea of realistic chances of success, and it'll also give you comparison points - what's consistently different about those which succeed vs. those who fail?

      Just as a thought, if I were striking out on my own for 6 months I'd probably make 3 MVPs during that time and see which best managed to find an audience, rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.

    • Have you actually finished a project before? Lets be real here... depending on the type of project you're working on and your starting level of general software experience, 5 years isn't that long. Some individual projects are longer than that. Do you have experience with a game's full lifecycle, from concept through to post-release support? The only way to get this is to do it, the question is whether you want to figure it all out yourself or learn while you do it with people who've already done it before, for example as a member of a team where you're getting paid and learning from it. (Not necessarily the team you're working for now.)

      Note that I don't know you at all. For all I know you're a prodigy and you're already amazing after just 5 years. I'm just saying to be realistic in assessing your capabilities. A good yardstick here could be seeing what experienced people outside of your current employer say about your work.

    • "Being your own boss" is a myth. In truth that's a bit of an exaggeration, you can be your own boss, but it requires hard yards and/or luck first. For most people striking out on their own the reality isn't that you get to be your own boss, it's that your clients and/or audience become your boss.

      Even when you are your own boss, in many cases you'll start seeing things from your old boss's perspective anyway. That doesn't mean you'll respond the same way, of course. You can base your decisions on your priorities, rather than someone else's.

    • You don't have to be an expert in all of the above to get started. So please don't let it scare you off. I just think you're better off being shocked by this stuff now than blindsided by it in the future.

    • On the plus side... I have run my own studio, hired my own team, gone through the thick and the thin with that stuff. There's a lot of challenge and a lot of tough along the way, but if things are done well there's also a lot of good times, plenty to feel proud of and, perhaps most importantly, your successes are your own. Even if it doesn't work out you can learn a heck of a lot from it. And if you ask me, trying and failing is way cooler than not trying in the first place. ;) So none of the above is to dissuade you, I just wouldn't ever want anyone to start down this path without a solid and realistic idea of what it entails.

    If making your own stuff is important to you then I wholeheartedly recommend you do it. The catch is, I don't recommend that you start your journey by giving up a stable income. In your position I'd probably work on minimising living costs, finding a part-time job which doesn't exhaust my brain, and dedicating two or three days a week to my own thing. Heck, based on the current situation you described you could work 50* hour weeks and it'd still feel like a holiday.

    * ~24 for someone else, ~24 for yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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