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What Is It Like to Be an Indie Game Developer?

Being an indie game developer is full of challenges. From deciding which language or which game engine would be best for developing your game, to learning a new vocabulary and plotting out your development strategy. Whether you are developing your game on your own, or have a small indie team, you will wear a lot of hats.

Indie Game Developer Challenges

When you add meeting the challenges of daily life to meeting the challenges of creating a new game, it can be overwhelming. You have to remember, you’re not just developing a game. You are running a business, which means you need to lead a team, meet deadlines, while also paying the bills.

Sometimes, this can cause your indie game developer dreams to fade into the background, especially f you are also working a day job to pay your bills. But do not fret, as this is very common.

The Indie Back Burner

Putting your game on the back-burner from time to time can be good. It seems and sometimes feels like you are working backward. But allowing yourself a mental break will help you to refocus your brain. Daily life stress is real. You can jump on Reddit and talk with other indie devs about your struggles, and soon learn that you are not alone. And, when you’re not alone, you aren’t lonely and can re-empower yourself.

We here at Eimear Studios, enjoy using Reddit to start conversations, social media to chat with our fans, and blogging to talk about the game development industry. Below is a list of some ways to take your mind off your game, while also keeping your mind in the game field.

List of Indie Game Developer Mental Break Ideas:

  • Watch a Tutorial
  • Read a Forum, like Reddit
  • Make a Tutorial
  • Write a Story
  • Write a Blog Post
  • Listen to a Podcast
  • Meditate
  • Watch a Movie
  • Attend a Meetup
  • Chat on Social Media

Now that you’re brain is fresh again, you can come back to your game with new ideas and focus.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Small Steps Are Good

Working in small increments can also help. Looking at your game development as a whole project can be overwhelming. Try breaking it down into pieces of the project, and spending small amounts of time on the game every day or every other day.

Need help breaking down your gamedev project into smaller pieces? A game design document can really help with that. Check out our GameDoc tips and template to help you out!

15 Minutes of Work Examples: Indie Game Developer

  • Watch a Short Video Tutorial
  • Watch another Dev Vlog
  • Read a Dev Blog
  • Read Forum Comments
  • Sketch a Quick Concept
  • Write Out an Idea
  • Listen to a Podcast

30 Minutes of Work Examples: Indie Dev

  • Update a Game Script
  • Add a Few Elements to a Level
  • Watch a Tutorial
  • Work on an Animation
  • Work on a Blog Post

1 Hour of Work Examples: Game Dev

  • Attend a Game Industry Meetup Group
  • Research Your Fans
  • Program a Character
  • Finish a Concept You Started
  • Record a Dev Vlog
  • Get Lost in Reddit Forums

Focus Your Indie Game Developer Energy

Consistently taking small steps towards your game prevents your game from fading too far into the background. It keeps you actively engaged in your game and brings your dreams closer to reality. Remember, staying mentally healthy is just as important as being physically healthy. And, your mental health is what you need to stay focused on your game. Try out some of these tactics and get your indie game developer mojo going!

What kind of tactic do you use to stay on track of your game development without losing focus? Tell us in the comments below!

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