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What games indie should make now?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by leegod, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. leegod

    leegod

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    Indie means 1~2 guy developer, only programmers.

    What game indies should make now for survival?
    and to where? (platform, STEAM? or Mobile? or? PS4?)

    Here "survival" means earning enough money at least he can maintain his(or their) life and his family.
     
  2. Bridin

    Bridin

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    To survive?

    Perhaps he the indie should look at the games he bought and enjoyed. Then, go and make a better game than those. Better game, with better art, better code, better gameplay. It likely has to be something his audience wants, released on a system they want it on. Then he might survive. :)
     
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  3. BFGames

    BFGames

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    2 guys? Only programmers? Its more or less doomed before it took off then. Thats a very unbalanced team.
     
  4. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    That is gonna be difficult and has high chance of failure, mostly because you'll need to do non-programming stuff, too, and you have no experience with it, so you'll mess up.

    Your best bet is to get a job or longterm contract that keeps your family fed and then free up some time to work on side project that you'll try to sell.

    "Feed your family by selling your projects" might work better if you're living in country with lower living standards/cost and are selling stuff for "1st world" countries.
     
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  5. Teo

    Teo

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    I try to be as honest as possible. If you plan to survive, probable better find a job. With today game devs spam, is very hard to sell anything unless your game is super uber cool. And even so, if is not enough advertised may fail. Plus you need to be lucky.
     
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  6. Asyranok

    Asyranok

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    BFGames makes a good point. Although you can purchase custom assets, or ones from the asset store to help flesh out the visual side of your game.

    I am currently trying to develop a game by myself, but it is really simple (basically an old-style top down space shooter). I doubt it will be anything close to special, but it's my first game. What I really am hoping to achieve is experience, and something I can add to my portfolio before I look for other roles in the industry.

    If your team is just two people, you can certainly create good games. Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Minecraft were primarily developed by one or two people. Super Meat Boy was definitely 2 guys, Minecraft 1, and Fez had a fluctuating number of people on it, but it was always a low number.

    Still those are the exceptions rather than the rule. My only recommendation is to not set your goals too high to start. I know some people who want to make their own MMO as their first game. That's not easy for a big team, much less one person. Basically, don't set yourself up to fail before you even start.
     
  7. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    If you are both programmers you may struggle on the art/design side... but you could make it work, use your abilities to their fullest in choosing the type of game and graphic style. Two programmers for example could create a good procedural world.
     
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  8. Teo

    Teo

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    Nah.. he said clearly, "make to survive". No games can guarantee you any income, especially indie games.
     
  9. drewradley

    drewradley

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    A resume. Getting a day job is the only real way to ensure you earn enough for your family to survive.
     
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  10. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    None.

    Don't bank on this industry "to survive". That's way too risky. But you can set up a pretty good mobile clone shop doing knock offs of monument valley and other titles that made it big. Do enough of them and the ad revenue will make ends meet. I don't advocate knock offs, I merely point out there is business to be had for desperate people.

    Some people might be in india, or a country where the jobs aren't really even remotely guaranteed, they want to put food on the table. So they probably should do mobile titles with ad rev. I know I would in that situation with limited means.

    I understand people might object to me mentioning MV as a clone target, but I'm just giving a realistic response to a narrow set of parameters (none which I agree with).
     
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  11. BFGames

    BFGames

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    If you want to make a living, starting out with your own small team, then i think the only viable way starting out is to do work for hire for other game company's and apply for funding (there is quite a few game funds, but depends on where you live).

    While you do that you should save up money so you have time to do your own projects for a few months here and there. Slowly over a few years you might make enough from your own projects so you have to do less work for hire.

    Thats how i work right now (i am actually a part of a 2 man team/company that only consists of programmers :D )
     
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  12. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Make good games that people want to buy. ;)
     
  13. Carve_Online

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    You are going to have to have a day job. First off, no matter how great your game is, the payment will come at the completion of the project, or at least well into it. ´Ideas´ no longer work on Kickstarter or Early Access. You must have a functioning game first.

    Now your day job. You can try to contract yourself out and get gigs working for other teams. This works well because you will quickly develop a network of game development friends. So you get paid to work on other people´s game, and then in your free time you work on your own game.
     
  14. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    What kind of games do you like the most?
    What things do you most like about them?
    What things do you dislike the most about them?
    Can you find some proof (game forum discussions and so forth) that other players also most like the same things as you do?
    Can you find proof that other players also have the most dislike for the same things you do?

    There is a recipe for a game with market potential in the above.
     
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  15. leegod

    leegod

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    Actually for now I want to make voxel world minecraft likely game, but I can't figure out how long time it will require for 1 man programmer, and also its marketability.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  16. BFGames

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    Depends on the game and your skills. If you have a few years of experience with games and programming then you can make a very simple version of minecraft in a few months. Probably would not sell though. That would take a few years with todays competition if you have the skills and vision. Everyone is making voxel games now a day.
     
  17. zenGarden

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    You can take a full time or partial time stable job not related to gaming or try to be hired in some gaming company.
    Because you never know if your game will be successfull or will just pass unknown.

    This will not be easy without a level and character designer to make some visual appealing game.
    You can still learn the basics of 3D creation as there is lot of tutorials everywhere to be able to create unique visuals.
     
  18. GarBenjamin

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    When you are making a game with the main focus being on money you have to ask yourself why are you making the game. I don't mean "because I want to make money making games". That's not a good reason. What I mean is if you like certain types of games such as Minecraft for example... why not just play Minecraft or one of the many similar games out there? Why make a "new" game? The reason for this question is because it will move your perspective away from your wants (to make money) and toward other gamers wants (to play great games).

    If you can come up with something like "a lot of people, myself included, really like these parts of the game" and also something like "a lot of these same people, myself included, hate these parts of the game" then you have a real reason for making your version of the game. Because in this case you would be focusing on capturing all of the best aspects of the existing game while removing all of worst aspects of the game. In short, making a better version of the game at least as far as you and a certain segment of the existing players are concerned.

    It's like Flappy Bird. Sure Flappy Bird was popular and made a lot of money. A lot of people have made Flappy Bird clones and made basically no money. The reason is Flappy Bird fulfilled some need at the time it was released and got the right kind of attention to catapult it to success. There is no reason to make a Flappy Bird clone now because people can just play Flappy Bird. Unless... you make a game that has the very best parts of Flappy Bird while losing the very worst parts of Flappy Bird. Then you have a reason to make the game and gamers have a reason to try the game.

    Pretty much just common sense yet so many people seem to be so focused on making money they never ask why the game they are making is actually needed in the first place. If they do introduce any changes they are superficial only like changing the bird to a plane, butterfly or whatever. Same game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
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  19. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's just nitpicking but flappy bird did not succeed when it was released. It was ignored and it bombed along with all the games that came out before it using the same mechanic. It took off once it got noticed by a large publication and was written about AFAIK. So marketing is pretty much still king in a lot of cases.
     
  20. GarBenjamin

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    Very true. Can have the greatest game ever and if nobody knows about it get same result as making no game at all.
     
  21. hippocoder

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    It's a real problem too. There are actually plenty of undiscovered gems which unfortunately were published by developers who had neither time or energy for marketing. It's not really a solvable problem because bigger developers actively do try to out-shout the little guy. It's just business and there's only so much room for a virtual-billboard advertising a game. All the good virtual-billboards for that are completely covered by AAA.

    This is why advertising with a small budget (<a few thousand) is pointless.

    A better way to be noticed is marketing, flappy bird didn't ask to be featured in a high end publication but once it was, it made all the difference as people choose to read publications but choose to ignore advertising.

    (but expensive advertising can't really be ignored easily, hence the large sum of cash required for that angle).
     
  22. zenGarden

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    Also "I like these game parts and i would like to mix them with these two other games features"
     
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  23. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    The main advantage of the indie developer is flexibility and the ability to take risks. So to be successful as an indie you should be aiming to do something that noone else is doing, and is still a fun game. Find a niche that is not being served and fill it.

    Trying to make the same games as the big guys will mean you loose. You can't compete on production values or marketing spend. So don't try.
     
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  24. Aiursrage2k

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    Look at greenlight, what games are getting through, look at steam top sellers whats selling the best. If you want a paitn by numbers approach.

    Steam top sellers - 20% of the top sellers are "survival genre", okay do that.
    http://store.steampowered.com/tag/en/Indie/#p=0&tab=TopSellers

    You dont have an artist so dont worry about the art. Make it abstract art, they get greenlight no problem.

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=527626708
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=538896173
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=493505427
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=489374272
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=482187720
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=463312881
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=446386663

    Will an abstract survival sell, dont know.
     
  25. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    I didn't know some of these games with very simple stylish graphics and gameplay could get greenlit.
     
  26. BFGames

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    Actually games like 'thomas was alone' can be super awesome even though it is so super simplistic :)
     
  27. nipoco

    nipoco

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    While those games are indeed abstract and simplistic looking, they still show a strong artistic base. Most of those have carefully picked colors and shapes. Something you need artistic skills for.
     
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  28. ostrich160

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    If they are purely programmers, I'd agree
    But Im a one man team and I seem to go fine
     
  29. CaoMengde777

    CaoMengde777

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    text based adventures? LOOL
    puzzle games, minimal graphics?

    id say iam more art talented, wouldnt say iam "skilled" or "experienced" exactly, its just easy idk.
    put alot of focus on learning programming recently though
     
  30. BFGames

    BFGames

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    Do you make a living and works full time on your own projects?
     
  31. Kryger

    Kryger

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    Maybe a game about Visitors
     
  32. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    'Survive' as indie game maker?!

    Don't rise a family; or if you already have children, sell them or their most valuable organs for funding.
    No need to worry about the wife, waifu proly gonna leave you bofere you notice ;)
     
  33. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    Well I've never finished a product, so of course no. But I see no reason why I cant
     
  34. BFGames

    BFGames

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    Because it is insanely hard to constantly creating quality games on our own and get heard in the ocean of games. Only very few people manages to do so while making a living.
    I dont know anyone who does, and ive seen a lot of smaller companies fail which had very talented and well educated people on board. It is a tough business.
     
  35. leegod

    leegod

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    You know really well about reality. Fun and sad.
     
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  36. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    Sounds like you've given up before you've started
     
  37. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Fact is some people are succeeding at making games and making a living and making tonnes of money, even if there are also simultaneously stories of people bombing and failing. Someone somewhere is succeeding.Why not you?
     
  38. BFGames

    BFGames

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    Not at all, i am just realistic about it. It is my dream to live from my own games, but as i need to pay for rent i work like 80-90% of my time for other game companies in order to save up money so i have time for my own projects.
    OP asked what he had to make in order to survive, i gave an honest opinion.
     
  39. imaginaryhuman

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    I think in part that if someone is having to come to a forum to ask about what to make, especially in order to make money, then I think there is more experience needed first.... you will need to be able to generate value on your own and contribute something useful. If you can't come up with a decent game or at least have some ideas for us to choose from, how are you going to have the capacity to make other important decisions along the way? If you are really so clueless about how to succeed then you probably can't expect to succeed at this point. Maybe start with some small simple game and actually do it and finish it and release it and learn from there.
     
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  40. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    There is always a chance to make the money, money oh the money. Lol

    It's not really accurate to look at it like there are people making good money and people makin llittle to no money. That kind of makes it seem like it is a 50/50 split of the two. The reason why it might not be you (where "you" here is me or anyone else) is because there are so many different steps and at each step the opportunity is there to do things the best way possible, the worst way possible or any point in between.

    The ideal is to make a game that...
    • People want to play (solid game design and implementation as well as developing the game for a certain segment of the gaming community)
    • People know about (marketing and building a community around the game)
    • Is released at the right time at the right price point (to compete with whatever else is coming out during that time that may appeal to your target market)

    That's just a very simplified list and yet covers 3 very important things that help to play a big part in the success or failure of an Indie game.

    It is certainly within people's ability to put in the time researching and be much better prepared but there are always unknowns. Maybe when a person first researches they find out there are no games coming out for their target market on the week or month of their game's target release date. However, they might spend time over-polishing or fighting unforeseen technical hurdles or whatever and their game is delayed. The week they release their game they find that two others have been released for their target market and are getting most of the attention.

    Basically there are just multiple pieces to the puzzle. I wish it was just build a good or great game and you'll succeed. That really matters little because there may very well be plenty of others also building a good or great game releasing at the same time and catching more exposure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  41. leegod

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    Game design, making what game is most difficult part. There is no answer.
    Programming, technical side always has answer.
    But game design is not. And also most important, it can lead to fail or success.

    So I can't know the whole, behind the scene, market, future. I am not the GOD.

    But at least I should make games that I can enjoy when play even if there is none who play my game.

    And I can feel recent tendency of game design is more likely open design to gamer. It is inferior that giving multiple choices to user. Multiple can be easily predictable and boring.
    While, as much as possible, giving infinite choices to user is good game design. And about the result of that choices, it is as good as when even maker can't predict or anticipate. There generate fun of gaming.
     
  42. GarBenjamin

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    Here is an example of a game that looks like it may do very well upon release next year:


    It was greenlit in only 11 days. Which tells me it certainly got a ton of exposure. As to how they got that exposure well that is just it... "the devil is in the details". I've seen just as (if not more) interesting looking games sit out there for months.

    I like the 2D game world. Graphics are superb almost "put me off" superb (because I am thinking with that much focus on graphics they are putting less focus elsewhere so the actual game may suck). But the most important thing is the player has multiple types of jumps, a cool rope that is very reminiscent of the arm in Bionic Commando, flying, diving, etc. That stuff appeals to me because games are all about being interactive. At least to me. So providing multiple (and fun) ways to explore the game world is a big plus in "my book".

    On the other hand, the actual game as presented in the video looks boring to me. I see a beautiful world of nothingness. The player moves very slow and seems to use the modern canned floaty physics. I imagine this is early on and they just don't have the game world populated yet. Also note that most kids and modern gamers seem to love this kind of thing (the slower-paced floaty physics movement and so forth) so it probably appeals to a lot of them.

    There is always more to these things than meets the eye. Because I guarantee someone else could have made this exact same thing and it'd sit on Steam for months before being greenlit. That is the other (more important) part of the puzzle. Still we can see they have been working hard building buzz considering it is greenlit in early November and not due for release until sometime next year. And that is what you need to do to make money in this stuff. The build up. Growing a base of fans following the game and eagerly awaiting its release.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  43. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    Oh well I completely agree you with you there, my god I find it absolutely insane that people quit there jobs before they've even hit it big. No I work full time and if/when (fingers crossed) my game gets big, I'll leave my job to do that full time.
    No I completely understand where your coming from now. Yeh fair point
     
  44. rockysam888

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    (bookmarked)