I think the reality is that if you’re indie in 2018, you should be making your games as cheaply as you can. Make it look expensive, sure, but don’t have it really be expensive, otherwise…
This has been linked to elsewhere on the forum, but this article accurately reflects the indie market in 2018 as far as I can tell:
By his own admission, the guy had no clue what he was doing when he started. Not sure how much he learned along the way. The far smarter thing to do would have been to start with a much smaller and much less expensive project to learn the ropes and make a name for the developer, then go for something bigger. But this was clearly a passion project for him. I can only hope that he is proud of the work they did.
I say this as someone who more or less followed the exact same path once upon a time.
I didn’t see a dictator?
This has been a fascinating thread to follow, and it makes me wonder if there is a strong community of indie game developers that talk about the business of games. I mention this because I’m a full time author, and I release about 4 books per year on Amazon. There is a huge distinction between writing the book, which is the easy part, and getting books into reader’s hands. I see indie games being very similar, however, the development time for games is a hell of a lot longer than writing a book. But the business side of indie game development may be somewhat similar. I can crank out a novel in a month if my muse (aka my mortgage) is kicked into high gear. Then it’s just a matter of getting a cover made, and waiting on my beta readers, and editor to get the book into shape.
I make a comfortable living from books, but I am deeply indebted to the indie author community for my success. Authors are pretty cool, and they help each other out. I suspect indie game developers are more insular, but I have no real data to back that up.
Steam is a great platform, but it is hard to find new games. I don’t know how many new games are released on Steam per day, but I believe there are 500 new indie books on Amazon every day. Someone mentioned in this thread the idea of doing a monthly fee where you pay, and have unlimited access to indie games. Amazon offers the same thing in the form of Kindle Unlimited. That’s where I make about 60% of my income.
Anyway, just a few random thoughts on how I think the indie book business may compare to the indie game business.
That’s interesting. So you get enough from Unlimited to make it worthwhile? I was wondering about that.
I am not sure, and apologies if someone already said, how the bundling sites work but I get some of my indie’s from there and Kickstarter. The thing is… once I enjoy a game from an indie I am a lot more likely to follow them and buy it individually.
It is worth it for me. Amazon pays roughly half a penny per page read, but they add up especially over 20 or so books.
The forums at indiegamer.com used to have a core of ppl developing casual games for either the flash market or publishers like Big Fish. @Cliffski used to post there I think. They had a change of ownership a while back, don’t know if the community survived.
There is pretty active indie dev reddit & fb group as well, not to mention some very good and active private email lists.