Questions About Indie Companies

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Questions About Indie Companies

Postby EvilBarrels on Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:23 pm

I've been thinking about starting an indie game company or solo project but I have very little knowledge of what can be made with indie/solo time and budget. Do you guys at QCF mind if I run some game ideas by you and ask a few questions? If you like the ideas I'm happy to let you use some in future projects.
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Re: Questions About Indie Companies

Postby dislekcia on Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:18 pm

We have way more ideas than we have time to build ;)

A lot of people seem to think that they somehow need permission to make games. Permission often comes in the form of having an "official" company, having existing developers okay your ideas or getting someone else to support your projects. None of that is needed and, truth be told, ideas are pretty much worthless.

If you want to make games, you should start making games. The easiest way to do that is just to download a bunch of game development tools (like Game Maker, Construct 2 or Unity) and do tutorials with all of them until you find yourself making your own changes to the tutorial games. Once you've got a few of those under your belt, start testing out your smaller ideas. Every time you don't manage to finish something, make the next idea smaller in scope until you do finish something.

And join a community built around making games. This forum really isn't made to support that, but places like TIGsource are. You'll be able to post your games as soon as there's something playable (which you should do ASAP), get feedback and have a ton of skills to fall back on when you hit bugs.
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Re: Questions About Indie Companies

Postby EvilBarrels on Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:49 am

Thanks for the help, I'm installing Unity as I type this. One thing I'd like to point out though; I didn't come here to ask about "getting permission" from you. I came just to ask if my game ideas could actually be made by myself. I have a habit of tossing myself into the deep end when I take on these kinds of projects. And in the case of game design, I'm not even sure which end is shallow.
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Re: Questions About Indie Companies

Postby dislekcia on Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:51 am

I know you don't think it's permission, but that's what it amounts to. I'm part of a game development community here in South Africa and we see this a lot, we've also got a lot of experience in helping people start making games anyway ;)

As for me being able to tell you if you could make your game ideas? I have no idea. I don't know what skills you may or may not have, but - to be dead honest right up front - probably not. Or at least, not yet. It takes experience and lots of failing to be able to start taking a game idea and turning it into a set of deliverable goals that you can make yourself. That requires knowledge of your own working habits, skills and preferred problems to solve that I simply can't know on your behalf. What might be easy for you could be super hard for me, so my estimations of achievability are nearly worthless.

Not wanting to waste your time is a good starting point and a smart way to think. All you need to do to find the unique shallow end for yourself is to keep trying to make stuff and doing what I suggested above: Cutting down scope drastically each time you feel you can't finish something. The hard part of game development (well, one of the hard parts) is always having too many ideas on what you should do when it's time for a new project. I'm sitting on three different things that I could be working on for FuckThisJam right now and picking one is giving me hell :(
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Re: Questions About Indie Companies

Postby EvilBarrels on Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:29 am

Thanks again for the follow up and I guess your right. Even if I told you the specifics about my concepts and ideas, it still would seem quite different to you than it would for me. Besides, some digging around on the Unity Learning sections and a look around Youtube has shown me that there's a lot of help out there if I get stuck. I'll be sure to send you a copy when I get something meaningful done. Right now my project is just looking like a bunch of severely mutated trees, courtesy of Unity's tree creator.
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Re: Questions About Indie Companies

Postby dislekcia on Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:33 pm

EvilBarrels wrote:Right now my project is just looking like a bunch of severely mutated trees, courtesy of Unity's tree creator.


Unity has a tree creator? Sweet!

Right now I'm looking at a race car (read: block) that's not behaving the way I want it to. Ah, FuckThisJam ;)
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Re: Questions About Indie Companies

Postby MTaur on Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:01 am

Pretty cool thread. I'd love to hear some more origin stories from the team sometime. A lot of the stuff I've read about the life of an indie developer is fairly discouraging and makes me feel burnt out before I even get started.

I burnt out pretty hard on trying to be a research mathematician before I started learning Flash a year or so ago. I figured I was close enough to the shallow end of math research because I was working on 3-4 things that were relatively down-to-earth (at least as far as the statement of the problem goes, which doesn't make it easy to solve) and none of them were the Riemann Hypothesis, but in retrospect none of them were really the shallow end, and you can only spin your wheels on the wrong problems for so long before you just shut down and don't ever want to try again. Ah, well.

Anyway, with programming, my two villains are scope and finding answers to stupid things like syntax and basic functionality stuff that has been done 1000x but still is hard to look up answers for. Finding the right Google terms is hard. Charting the middle ground between "how to derp around doing nothing" resources and "terse references for people who already know everything" is really, really hard. I know that the last time I was making an effort, I was spending on average 8 hours on unexpected hurdles that I was pretty sure could be solved in 5-15 minutes by someone who already knew how to do it.

About scope - there's a certain point where it gets too big and I don't know what the parts are going to be and how to make one thing that can do twelve related things without just making twelve things. For me, this is way before I start even typing... X-P
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