ApathyWorks

Indie Games Channel Interview

Posted by Alex Jordan on

Internet! Sweet, precious Internet! Oh, how I've missed you. I knew we'd be apart when I moved into a new apartment, but I couldn't have fathomed how much I'd miss your sweet, sweet embrace. Or how much the value of going in to work would increase once it became my primary method of going online.

Anyway. Did you gather that I moved to a new apartment? I did. I also dislocated my shoulder in the process. Good times.

ANYWAY. Indie Games Channel interviewed me and asked me a buncha cruncha questions about Cute Things Dying Violently. Lots of good material there (they also gave my boss character a name: the "Hate Bot"), but I gotta say that I especially enjoyed answering the question about providing advice to up-and-coming indie developers:

IGC: What advice can you offer to other aspiring developers that might also be looking to become a one-man development crew?

AJ: Keep working at it, because knowledge comes slowly. Expose yourself to all major aspects of game development: programming, 2D art design, 3D modeling, rigging, animation, level design, sound engineering, writing… everything! To be a one-man team, you need to be a jack-of-all-trades. Maximize your strengths, and if you identify weaknesses that might be holding you back, only then look for third party support. (There’s a lot of good places you can buy 3D models, sound effects, or music, but the cost quickly adds up, so you better know what you’re doing.)

Identify what markets you’d like to put a game in, and figure out what kinds of games sell in those markets. Play to the market’s strengths, and go multi-platform if possible to increase your sales and downloads. Draw up a list of gaming journalist sites that might be able to spread the word about your game. Look at the list, then make it double in length. Contact all of them, then find more to contact.

Also, join a community. Make friends with fellow developers, because their support and advice is invaluable. Be active on Twitter, and have a blog or website.

If you quit your day job, game design is now your new job. Hurl yourself at it, and make sure your days are spent productively. If you don’t quit your day job (like I did), cut back on design effort if you’re feeling stressed or real life is intruding, but never stop completely. Recognize that you have a constructive hobby (that can make you money!) and learn to enjoy it. Just keep plugging away, and make sure your skills keep improving, too.