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The Art and Viability of Independent Development



Time invested into a game doesn't determine it's sales.


This is an important fact to acknowledge if you decide to enter the wonderful world of independent development.


If I had to do things over again I would create a simple game and focus on addicting game play and mechanics.


The real question I've been asking myself these last couple of weeks is what do people buy when it comes to games? And how can I incorporate these into a game the would only take a few months to create.


What's your approach in making an effective independently developed game?


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If you were a major developer looking for money, you'd be making Call of Duty 83 or some other lame clone. As an indie, it's a bit more tricky. I'm sure there are some sales sites out there and you can also check to see what Kickstarter projects are doing well. But there isn't a magic game genre out there that will make you millions of dollars for a few months of work. sad.png

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I am pretty sure masses are just following memetic desire. I am not trying to make a billion dollars, just enough to sustain a decent lifestyle. I am prescribing to what Seth Godin refers to as tribes.


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The real question I've been asking myself these last couple of weeks is what do people buy when it comes to games? And how can I incorporate these into a game the would only take a few months to create.

I'd keep asking yourself the question then because people/entire institutions have been asking these same questions for years ;)


There are many articles/videos which attempt to analyse just what makes games addictively playable and highly attractive available on line, so studying these helps built the bigger picture I guess, along with your own feelings about games (assuming your experience mirrors many others). The game certainly should excite you and make you really want to play it; otherwise it's unlikely anyone else will want to.


However, having all the right ingredients is often still not enough, effective marketing, visibility, and luck all play a part and some of those factors are not under your direct control ;)

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My approach would be to get the game testable and playable as first priority. The assets and game logic can be very simple in the first release, but it's important that you get people to try and and give feedback, because they help you getting things right, so you don't waste any time on doing things wrong for long time, and then have to undo everything.


The people might even offer you some assets when they see what kind of game it is, and what kind of assets would fit in.


Start with versioin, then raise the 4th last number for every bug fix, and the 3rd number for every new feature, 2nd number for new minor release, and 1st number for new major releases.


It could be like this:

GameA Testing if the game works at all, and simple player controller walking around.

GameA Bug fix with player getting stuck somewhere.

GameA Added crafting of simple items found on the ground.

GameA Fixed some bug with crafted items not being saved correctly.

GameA Fixed a bug with items not respawning.

GameA Added skill advancements in crafting.

GameA Added melee fighting and melee skills advancement.

GameA Added multiplayer networking.

GameA Game is finished and available for public download via PayPal.

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To me making a good game is always better than making the best selling game. So be it if I am never rich... So long as I can survive and slowly expand doing what I love most.

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Guest Red Ocktober


i'm obsessed with making a perfect submarine game :) ... as close to a simulation as possible, and having a claustrophobic immersive element that gives the player the illusion of being aboard and inside a submerged vessel where he/she cannot see an enemy who is aggressively hunting him/her, while he/she aggressively pursues his/her mission objectives...


so i guess i'm partly in agreement with Scarlet as far as making a good game...


but, as life's realities intrude into the fantasy world of my obsession, the need to sell a couple licenses has to also become a huge factor...


and getting it completed sometime this century would also help :)



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It depends what your motivation for making the game is... Make money or learn stuff for your own pleasure. They are quite different reasons to make a game or do anything in 3D.

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