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The Indie Dream is Dead

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GarBenjamin, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    This is nearer the truth.
     
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  2. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    For the context he implies, yes; from the context you're implying... No.
    There's a bazillion things that could be done in video-games, but nobody ever tried yet just like any other creative field.
    When ppl say they don't care about the money, but are always chasing the current popular genre for his tryouts; if such person truly believe he don't care about the monies she is just then fooling herself instead of truly trying something new.
     
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  3. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Hmm, percentages. As more developers stream in, or rather, as development becomes easier and more accessible to less-skilled individuals, obviously there are going to be a lot more games made. The easier Unity is to use, and the quicker you can knock-out a game with it, the more games there are going to be, thus more developers. When you add up all those developers, and look at it as a percentage, any given game is now going to naturally get a smaller and smaller percentage slice of the pie. If the number of game players isn't rising at a similar rate then obviously that means less overall sales per developer.

    Maybe part of what we're seeing is that whereas 'playing games' used to be a thing, now a lot of people actually getting into 'making games' as a thing.. regardless of their goals, more and more people are getting into development. `Being a developer` is now an interest and passtime all of its own, regardless of whether there is an audience or not. The problem is that those developers are then trying to make a connection between spending all that time developing and having game-players want to share in their enthusiasm. There isn't necessarily an automatic connection there. Just because you may like developing games or enjoy it or simply can do it now that the tools are easier, and choose to spend your time with that, doesn't mean suddenly people who don't develop games are going to suddenly respond to reflect your interests. I think we seem to assume that if we make the stuff, just as many people will be there to play it, but that connection isn't built-in... it has to be grown... a bridge has to be made with an audience... and that's not easy.

    Maybe what we're seeing is simply that more and more people want to become game developers, regardless of their goals, based on their enthusiasm and interests and maybe some dangling carrot which promises riches and fame, and that's okay... that's a new `indie movement` of enthusiasm... but that really has nothing at all to do with people who play games or which games they play or how many people are into playing games. Game players, by the numbers, probably is increasing too, but for totally different reasons to do with how accessible the games are, marketing, popularity, trends, social movements and other stuff. Not because they care about or are in any way connected to the people who want to spend their time making the thing.

    All these people are kind of just jumping on the bandwagon of development, exhibiting crowd-forming behaviors, wanting to be included, not wanting to be left out, but kind of blindly and unconsciously, as if the whole 'flock' of indies are assumed to be automatically heading toward some kind of oasis of success, but it isn't.... it's just a big bunch of people doing the same thing like a flock of birds, chirping and making noises as if there's some importance to what's happening or where they're heading, but being mostly aimless. Then it's this whole matter of how to break away from the flock and go off and be 'special', essentially competing with the flock, which is very hard to do based on sheer numbers.

    I wonder also if the easy availability of development software (Unity etc) has made it too easy for people to come up with something half-decent, and that the level of game quality is actually already more than enough for the average public to enjoy (thinking poor-quality games like flappy bird etc becoming successful)... and so the public is swamped with this tidal wave of experiences that are over-stimulating and disconnected from their interests. Many harder-core gamers seem to be more inclined toward game development (making an assumption here) and that can be really disconnected from the average game player. Some woman sitting on an aeroplane twiddling with some match-3 game or something to pass the time, doesn't care about your latest super-amazing indie effort or its technical prowess or how cool it is to be a developer. It just seems there is this big disconnect between wanting to be a developer and the audience being at all interested in that fact, as if developers just get these blinders on about `if I make it and believe it's great, everyone else will do the same`.

    There's always going to be people making games, though, and there's always going to be a section of society we call `indie` that struggles at the Do-It-Yourself end to get a slice of the purchasing pie, and always a struggle to compete, and always a competition with everyone else. And what is people's advice in order to be successful as an indie? You gotta make something even more amazing, even more wow, even more super fantastic.. and so everyone starts making super-fantastic games, and then all games become the same yet again, and nothing stands out yet again, so the advice is the same again... you gotta go bigger, faster, more, better. It isn't a long-term sustainable model. Competition leads to self destruction. The market or at least parts of it has to destroy itself if it just constantly keeps being a race to the finish line. Only one person can be in the #1 spot.

    BUT, then there are the `bottom-feeders`... making stuff that a specific niche can relate to and enjoy... for which you might make enough money to maybe live off if you're careful. Maybe indies just need to realize they must lower their sights and focus on the long-tail of game players rather than trying to win the big money.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  4. goat

    goat

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    Well, it is more realistic to dream about being a good developer of games and good artist then to dream of winning any of the lotteries. I think the chances of getting rich from making a game are substantially better than playing $2 on the lottery. And if you use free assets because most of us already have computers it's actually cheaper.
     
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  5. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    @OP - What you gonna do about it? Obscurity is the enemy, there's a world of dreamers, and time is the only resource. Your mileage may vary.

    Gigi
     
  6. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head here addressing another big issue. I am sure you are right the people spending time making games are likely now spending much less time playing games. And probably buying less games as well. This could also explain the people buying games and letting them sit on their hard drives. They are more interested in trying to make their own games. And yes, as you said, the big problem is somehow the majority of them seem to go from making them to want to throw them out on the market and make money from them.

    In time this might not do much except to drive the money back to the AAA studios. As people will be as likely to say "ah I'd rather just try to make my own" rather than buy an Indie game. It is certainly likely. So again it will come down to if you have the money and resources to create and market big content rich games (AAA) then you will make sales. Basically what @ShadowK said. It's coming full circle so it will end up right back in the same place it was before "everyone" decided to start making games.
     
  7. Teo

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    Are the same peoples who want to makes MMOs with zero money + zero knowledge?
     
  8. Velo222

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    Obviously the Indie dream is not dead. Look at all of us posting on this thread. I think it depends on how you define the concept of the "Indie Dream" though. If your definition of Indie dream is one of expecting large sums of money for very little effort or work, then I hope it is dead. And if it's not, I hope it does die eventually. Because it should.

    However, if your idea of the "Indie dream" is having the tools and creative outlet to make the art (i.e. game) you've always wanted to make. Then I don't think that can ever die. It's like saying the "Art dream" is dead. Sure, if your goal is purely monetary in nature, then it's easy for that dream to die. But if your goal is purely creative, it will never really die, so long as there are people to dream it. And now it's too early in the morning for me to have my philosophical hat on, so back to work lol :)
     
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  9. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Yeah I basically post these things as a test to see what the response is like. lol

    You're right the creative side is certainly not dead it is only growing if anything. The try to strike it rich dream is still very much alive but I think that is the dream that will die off sooner or later.

    I've always said game dev is a great hobby. It really is and in some ways is kind of like the ultimate game. I know as much as I enjoy playing games I certainly spend as much or more time messing around with game dev. Even if not producing anything to release I still do it. It is entertainment. I do think it is cool that other people have discovered just how much fun it is. That's really exciting stuff and things like Unity are very empowering for them.
     
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  10. Deleted User

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    There's been a metric boat load of people making games for decades, well since I've been developing in any sort of manor (around 2001'ish).

    The credit crunch affected us all and games development is a volatile industry at the best of times. A lot of companies, not just AAA or mid sized games developers (I'm talking banks and multi-nationals) disappeared over night.

    The remaining big dev outfits had to play it safe and Valve needed more income, so Steam opens the floodgates for revenue. I still believe it was a mistake, but anyway indie's of course were going to try and get a piece of that pie as quickly as they could.

    The well is dry and were back to where we were before these set of circumstances happened, there's no "indie" doom prophecy and I'm glad some indie's managed to take advantage of it whilst they could.

    I don't believe making good games today is any simpler, even with new shiny tools provided all it's doing is setting the bar higher.. Making games always has and will be easy.! Making good games, now that's the challenge.

    So back to what indies are best at, finding inventive ways to show up AAA... Or selling shovels to people who still believe there's a gold rush :D
     
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  11. antislash

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    shovel vendors always got rich in any gold rush though !

    yeah so let's make a AAA game but with something better, so , will'not be indies no more ! :D
     
  12. Deleted User

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    Well we'll never be able to beat AAA at their own game, so no point in trying. What we can do is take risks they aren't prepared to take, now what that ultimately means wildly varies and it wouldn't be a risk if it didn't.

    Although usual stuff, quality over quantity. At one point AAA did take risks and some of THE best game franchises came out of it, if it now falls to us I'm looking forward to the challenge.

    Of course if it works, you won't stay "indie" for very long.
     
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  13. N1warhead

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    @ShadowK - As long as people remember their roots that we all started from the bottom and reach that level of success lol.I can't stand it when someone get wildly successful then forget where they came from and talk crap about Indies as a whole. Gets me so mad lol.
     
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  14. LeftyTwoGuns

    LeftyTwoGuns

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    If you go into any business endeavor with the mindset that you're not going to make a living off it, then rest assured, you won't make a living off it.
     
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  15. BFGames

    BFGames

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  16. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    I definitely don't see myself as competing with AAA at all, it never crosses my mind. They are far too far out of my league in time and resources.

    I do see more people getting into making games and being more creative. I mean, minecraft is popularized and is an example of people wanting to be more creative.. it's essentially a kind of development environment. The divide between `development` and `playing` is diminishing. And yes in a way, developers are starting to entertain themselves more and have become do-it-yourselfers. I think that shift in itself is interesting and may be nothing to do with game-players and more to do with a bigger social movement toward creative expression. But along with that it brings into question the whole monetary system. If we're all becoming more self-sufficient and empowered to be expressive, then we need other people to make games for us less and less. What if all gamers start turning into indie developers? lol We are the borg.
     
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  17. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    When I look at the quality of most of the indie games coming out I'm not that worried. Most people don't try that hard, so I'm consoled by the fact that trying harder than 90% of them is actually not that hard. I don't think its because people are incompetent, I just think they don't want it that bad. Then again maybe there's an ocean of incredible games that I've never heard of because they couldn't get noticed.
     
  18. BFGames

    BFGames

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    Then Unity will be the most successful game on earth.

    Anyways, we are still far from a point where everyone can make awesome games. Sure everyone can put something together in an engine like Unity. And of cause it is possible to be lucky and make some mobile hit.

    But to go from that point to everyone being able to make successful games over a span of years and making a living while doing so, that will probably never happen. That requires a lot of skill.

    And as the article i posted above stated. Then most 'indies' are in reality amateurs. There is a big difference. They don't treat it as a business where making games are just a part of it. They won't survive.
     
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  19. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Heh. You guys thought Unity were kidding when they said this place was a giant MMO.
     
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  20. Carve_Online

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    People that would have been considered ´ Indie Developers´ back in the day are still going to be making great games. In fact, more Indie games are going to be made, and be successful because the tools are easier and cheaper for dedicated, ambitious and hardworking people to complete their vision.

    I believe the article is more talking about people who just want to create a 300th clone of Angry Birds and expect to make any money from it. Yes, those Indie Developers are dead, and deserve to be dead.
     
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  21. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    What do you mean survive? Us amateurs have day jobs or parents. Food, clothing and shelter is already taken care of. We don't need the money. What we need is a game we can show off to our mums and our friends. And maybe the dream of accidentally discovering hidden talents and getting rich.

    The amateur developer is going to be the one least effected by any crash. Sure we might loose a 22 cent a week income stream. But as long as the ap store and steam and Unity stay afloat, the amateurs will still be able to show off new games to mum when she comes to visit.
     
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  22. Xenoun

    Xenoun

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    I think a lot of the amateur devs get into it because they have an idea for a game they want to play and it doesn't exist. Since it's easier to make games these days then why not give it a go? The thought of generating an income from it naturally crosses their mind, and why wouldn't it when so much of our lives revolve around money. This is why they stick their first game up on steam/app store etc and hope it makes cash, they thought it was fun so why wouldn't others? Some do get a bit too wrapped up in the money side and spend on marketing etc that really won't help them anyway since their games are actually quite bad. That's when you hear the stories about how it's all dying.

    The majority are the quiet ones though. The ones who made their game, got it up online and think it's cool. They achieved their goal of getting their game out there, didn't make a heap of cash but weren't really expecting to, it was just a vague dream/hope.

    The next day they go back to their day job as always and things keep moving along. Personally I'd put myself in this basket if/when I manage to finish a game. Would find it very hard to leave my day job regardless as it's secure and it took 14 years for me to get where I am.
     
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  23. angrypenguin

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    I don't understand why people care so much about this "indie" label. Honestly, who gives a toss?

    What does it even mean? Either it means "independent of a publisher" or it's just a meaningless term used to make things sound more grass-roots than they really are, kind of like calling food "fresh".

    If it does mean "independent of a publisher" is that really something we care to strive for? Isn't that just installing our own glass ceiling, or at the very least arbitrarily ignoring options that could help us reach success? I know that a great number of games I'd love to make aren't feasible projects without significant financial, marketing or other support that I can't afford as an "indie". If a publisher said they'd back me to make one of those projects then I'd be nuts to say no just* to be "indie".

    By the same token there are also games that would work better without a publisher. The point is that there are compromises either way, and choosing a path based on blind adherence to a vague label isn't in anyone's best interests.

    The label doesn't matter. The thing you make is what matters. Make whatever choices lead you to building better things.

    * Note that a lifestyle choice to remain small and grow organically is not the same as blindly sticking to a label.
     
  24. antislash

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    indie means : without autonomous funding :D

    someone said we can't compete with AAA companies, ... allow me to disagree on that point.
    marketing Wise certainely not because big boys have lots of funds but we sure CAN compete with AAA graphics tough. if you want out of the box AAA visuals, just buy Cryengine on steam .

    maybe the indie dream is not dead, that's crowdfunding that is somehow awakening....or sleeping....you decide

    and... calm down.... every expert wants to write a kinda sensationnal article.
    the fact is that lots of "one week" game and "i just started a game" come out every day .
    it has been harder to maintain wages while developing a game... that's a matter of money and finance not indie quality .
     
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  25. Teo

    Teo

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    Not really for beginners. Also not sure if it's for indies anymore. Yes, I do agree Cryengine is AAA from all points of view, but making a stunning single scene is one thing, finishing a game is another.
     
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  26. antislash

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    well, sure, you can't take cryengine code and just copy'n paste snippets just as you do in unity (and that's why i love unity)... you have to have solid skills in C++ and a strong understanding of how the code is written..
    but if you think a little .... quite any good C# coder here is able to take on C++ code so it's not really that difficult.

    Miscreated is a good example of a successful indie project using cryengine....
     
  27. angrypenguin

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    It's not just about having a great engine. Great visuals also require great visual direction, great visual design, great artists, and great execution. Sure you can download the same tools that big studios have, but where are you going to download an art director with talent and 20+ years of experience? Or an art team to back them up?

    Edit: What I mean is, to "compete with AAA" what we're really saying is "compete with large teams with huge budgets lead by highly talented and experienced people". We can focus our efforts in places where the differences between what we can do and what those teams can do are minimal or irrelevant and do just fine. What we can't do is take them head on at the things they do well and expect to come up with a comparable result.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
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  28. Teo

    Teo

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    This + you must be on pro side with gfx.
     
  29. antislash

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    righr, but i feell there are folks here able to do great.... what AAA teams have is skills, money and time, some have comparable skills, we barely have time and no money, that's the problem.
    the fact that indies could explore side ways doesn't mean it's easier, actually that's the opposite, exploring new ways is more risky than following the line.
     
  30. Teo

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    Agree with all you said, except time. That's a general problem. But with money instead waiting 4 months for all gfx to be ready they can double or triple the gfx team and get stuff ready much faster.
     
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  31. BFGames

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    Well we were talking about the dream of actually being an indie developer, one who DO aim to make an actual living from their games and treat it as a full time job. 99.9% of these so called "amateurs" wont stand a chance in the market against people who treats it as an actual business. How many successful games came from hobbyists with no previous experience from working in the industry? Survive might be the wrong word. All i am saying is that the indie dream is very much alive for those who treat it as a job and a business, there is just more noise out there, which has a greater effect on hobbyist/amateurs than actual indies.
     
  32. N1warhead

    N1warhead

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    I know a lot of Rich people around my area and they tell me the key to success is "You will never be successful until you say I don't need that money". Which goes back to doing it for the passion, but taking it seriously, and it will one day come.
     
  33. BFGames

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    Doing it for the money rarely works. Of cause you need to put passion into what you do to make a great product.
    But in most cases you cannot only focus on making a game you really love to make (it is possible of cause).

    1. You need a business plan.
    2. You often need some type of funding/money flow. Most people dont have all the skills needed to create their game.
    This means you need to train pitching or do work for hire on the side.
    3. You need to have a PR plan. Just sending your game to YouTuber's and press often doesn't work if you dont have something truly unique. You need to go to large game events where you stand a chance. Get into something like indie mega booth or the likes.
    4. You need to mingle a lot within the game environment. Contacts is everything. If no one knows you exists it is going to be difficult.

    And so on. It is a bitch and it sucks. I am slowly learning the hard way :D
     
  34. N1warhead

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    I hear ya man (sorry been up sense 4 yesterday morning coding lol). So I'm too exhausted to really type anymore lol.
     
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