So you wanna be an indie game dev?
Independent creation offers unique opportunities for creative freedom. But whether you’re working solo or with a small team, there are a number of challenges that stand in your way.
And whether you’re looking to make the next indie blockbuster or simply want to set your idea out into the world, these three tips give you just a few pointers on how to make the design process as smooth as possible and create a project that stands out from the crowd.
1. Plan ahead
This is particularly important if you’re working on your own.
Freelance creators are often stopped in their tracks by the urge to procrastinate or a tendency to get distracted – not to mention, life gets in the way.
But if you really want your project to take off, you have to dedicate the time to get it off the ground. Treat it like a part time job – allocate set periods of time to work on it, around your regular commitments, and ensure that these times are protected.
Another planning tip is to set yourself a number of realistic and measurable goals. These don’t have to be too long-term or ambitious – a simple approach is to sit down to each session with an aim in mind. This keeps you on target and prevents you from becoming too distracted and breaks your project down into manageable, achievable goals that enable you to measure your progress.
2. Don’t resist asking for help
With complete control over your project, it’s tempting to try and power through on your own, especially when things get tough.
Whether you’re working on your own or with a tight team, it’s difficult to allow someone else into the fold, but going solo isn’t always the most effective way to get things done.
Asking for help doesn’t mean handing over total control, but another person’s input can be productive and provide a much-needed burst of inspiration to handle potential challenges and blockages.
3. Spread the word
This is usually the final step in any developer’s journey, but the time will come when you need to think about how you’re going to spread the word about your game – after all, you want people to get excited about it!
And as any video game fan knows, it’s all about the hype, particularly when it comes to indie efforts – if you’re looking to compete with major releases, you’ll need to create a buzz around your project.
Digital marketing is taking over the advertising sphere in just about every industry, including gaming – so much so that ARU Distance Learning even offers a degree in this dark art.
And digital is generally considered to be the way when it comes to promos for indie productions, as it’s less expensive than traditional marketing methods, and more accessible.
These are just three essential considerations for any aspiring indie game developer that will help you launch your dreams onto the gaming scene.
Are you an experienced game dev with any tips for beginners? Share your wisdom in the comments below!
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