The reality of being indie-gamedev wannabe

Hello internet,

As you guess it from the title, this story is gonna be me ranting about the current situation that i’ve been dealing with for the past four years.

First thing first, i’m not native speaker of english so there gonna be a false grammar everywhere since i’m improving my grammar here and there. but here we goes.

Have you ever experienced determination as a child, that “click” moment of what you gonna be when you all grown up?

When others become doctors, or any relevant dreams that kid should be dreaming of. For me, I want to makes games. It’s that simple.

In that time, I don’t know how or had any necessary talent to become game developer, i just want to makes games when i’m growing up.

Honestly, i’m a decent programmer and also a decent artist. Hell, even i couldn’t finished any of my own games. In the end of the day, I’m always called myself an “Indie-Gamedev Wannabe”.

Here are some things that i learn and you should consider if you really want to jump the industry by yourself, such as:

  1. If you want to live a “normal” life, get the hell out of this industry.
    “Something worth not come as easy as it seems” that’s a powerful quote right there, because it’s really struck me in the face. Whenever it’s a worth person as a friend, or in a relationship, or your career choice, becoming something niche as “game developer” need some of your blood and tears. First thought that it’s gonna be that easy, but as i’m growing up and yeah shit happens, not everybody gonna understand what are in your mind. Only you, and yourself only that could solve your own problems. So, talk to yourself, are you really want to enter this industry? If you’re still in doubt, get the hell out as fast as you can.
  2. Not everybody gonna become Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, or your indie idol artist.
    You’re not special, you should knew that. There are a million of game developer that better than you, or already been prepared since childbirth to becoming game developer by their parent or by themself. In my country, Indonesia, there are no such things as Game Development School, everything should be learn by experiences. So, tell yourself, are you want to learn many thing related to development?As if you’re an artist, do you want to learn programming? or as if you’re a programmer, do you want to learn a bit of artisty? if you don’t, get the hell out as fast as you can.
    There are lot of resources that you should look for on the internet, probably gonna share them in the next post.
  3. Your game is gonna be shit when compare to other game, even if your game was decent, there’s a lot of games that gonna be better than you
    Yes, i said that right. Your game is gonna be shit, don’t even bother if someone said something nasty about your game. Hey, at least you are finishing something which you already beat those person that all talk and no product like myself.
  4. Don’t push all of your ideas into just one game, save many ideas later and just start with some small ideas as small as you can.
    This is important. if you really new to this kind of industry, what oftenly happen is you mixing up everything that you had into this stack of diverse ideas which is not gonna make your game any better. This is called “kitchen sink” which you stack a lot of plates as much as you can and in the end of the day, those overly stack of plates gonna drop into the floor and become broken and crumble. Start your game with one simple ideas, and start expanding from there. I’m gonna share to you in the next story.
  5. It’s better to develop a project with someone that you had a chemistry with rather than a skillful one. It easier to improve your skill rather than your chemistry
    Everybody want a best resource that they could have, that’s just human nature. But hear me on this one, I rather developed with someone that had chemistry with me even though they had a no skill at all. Use the internet, man! gaining trust between team members is somewhat better than had an all-star developer at all.
  6. Don’t trying to be some-what / something that really happening in the market.
    This is just personal views. It’s good if your product had a biggest demand on the market, but is it really what you want to make as what you are? There are 15,624 games on steam. Could you realize where is your game when you tried to be something that happening in the market, there gonna be hundreds of games that better than you that satisfy the market. Make sure you knew what value that your game had, because that’s one thing to be held on for your next game. In today’s market, there always a market for your interest :)
  7. Don’t spend too much time in mingle/any connection event, finish your product first.
    Damn right, and i knew it a little too late. I’ve spend my time a lot for this mingle or game connection event. From local to international game event, i attended all of them. from a local event in my city, Jakarta or the last one in Game Developer Conference 2017 in San Francisco, I give all my time to mingle with anybody that had similiar interest because i felt lonely, i felt useless in normal society. When i’m around the game connection, i felt that i had a purpose, i’m complete and not useless, but i’m forgot about something. Each time that anybody talks to me, “Hey, what’s your game about?” i was struck as brick, i don’t know what to say, i’ve spend all my time on connection without even developing something that worth telling in those kind of events.
    Mingle is good, i can tell you that, but make sure that you also developed your own product so you don’t be called “Indie-gamedev Wannabe” anymore.

Probably here just the first part of my share about any related things about game, i’m currently developing two games at once. Stay tunes for another related game development experience, practical, or theory that i would be ranting here on medium.

Cheers up,
Game Developer Wannabe
Muhammad Ardhan Fadhlurrahman