Business and Marketing for Your Indie Game Studio Part 01
Indie game development is fun and exciting. You get to make what you want to make, without any restrictions. But, to be successful, you need to understand the business side of game development.
I know, yuck. You’re saying, “oh, I’ll make my game, it’ll be awesome and everyone will love it.” While your game may be awesome, unless you market your game, no one will even know it exists.
“But, there are so many games that seem to just be successful without any effort.” While that may have been true before the indie game boom (pre-2009) getting discovered by accident just isn’t a good business plan.
The indie game market is flooded. And it’s not a bad thing. It just means that more people are becoming interested in game development and want to create, experiment and enjoy video games. But with a bigger market, there is bigger competition.
There are some basic things that an indie game developer should know before publishing his or her first game and with this article, we will talk about 4 of them.
4 Things You Need to Know About Game Development that Devs Seem to Forget
The indie game development industry is new. To make a long story short, everyone, even the AAA publishers, are trying to figure out the market, and understand their consumers, so there’s no sure-fire way to do things.
Is school the right way to go, or just dive in?
Well, that’s a tough question. Many schools offer game programs, but with how fast the industry evolves, it’s hard for them to keep up with the technology. Technology is expensive, and some schools just don’t have the funding. There’s also the issue with there being so many SDKs (software development kits), game engines, 3D software, 2D software, programming languages etc. that schools have a hard time figuring out how to focus the programs they offer. Not to mention all of the different consoles and systems games can be developed for.
To figure out what school you would want to attend, you would need to research the programs they offer, what classes they plan for you to take, and figure out where you would like to focus your skills.
In my experience, I went to college for game art and design. It was worth it, especially since I believe in achieving a full education. But, if I did it all over again, I would attend a local or community college for my general education classes, and then attend the school I wanted to get my degree from. Mostly because most of the schools that offer game degrees are very expensive. My grandchildren will probably be paying for my school loans after I die, with how expensive school was.
So, an education is important, and I think you should definitely attend college. But, to get into the game industry, you don’t need a game degree. You need skills, and proof of your skills.
That being said, there are four things that you should definitely do, if you plan on becoming an indie game developer.
1. Business Licensing
2. Project Management
In the next blog post, I will talk in detail about Business Licensing.
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