September 05, 2005

Casual fortunes

Writing about web page

I hadn't come across The Escapist before but it's an interesting read on the subject of (video) game development. I particularly enjoyed this article on the subject of why developing smaller, indie games is a better bet both financially and as a career than working for (say) EA.

If I went indie and worked for myself creating casual games:-
  • I could make two or three games each year instead of one every two years, for a cost of thousands, not millions.
  • I'd work alone or with a couple of others, not on giant teams rife with politics.
  • I could be my own boss, pick my own projects, own my own intellectual property, set my own hours, and do the marketing right, instead of coping with my idiot publisher.
  • I could do something weird and innovative instead of just tweaking ten-year-old gameplay, and reach an audience ten times as large.
  • My games might sell for years, not months, so I could actually polish them instead of shipping an untested beta in time for Christmas.
  • People might play my games obsessively for months or years, not blow through them in ten hours and move on.
  • And if I do absolutely everything right - which is under my own control - I could eventually earn two or three times my current salary. Or more. Personally.

Of course, these are all "could" and "might". But there's something in it, I think.

- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Mathew Mannion

    Thinking about a change of career and going back to the good ol' ways, John? ;)

    05 Sep 2005, 18:23

  2. Chris May

    Points 1–4 seem believable. Points 5–7 are clearly the work of someone for whom the glass is always half full. I can't help noticing the absence of

    • I might spend 2 years working 100-hour weeks only to have the whole thing collapse and have to go and write COBOL for a bank just to pay the mortgage.

    05 Sep 2005, 19:53

  3. John Dale

    Mmm. In answer to both comments, I think there's an unstated assumption somewhere near the top of the article:-

    • If I'm young, without too many commitments and responsibilities, can afford to fail without it being a catastrophe, and have ideas for games in my head, then…

    That rules me out several times over; I had perhaps half a dozen good ideas for games when I was 22; I haven't, as far as I remember, had any since (except a game based on the idea of making movies, which I see that bastard Peter Molyneaux has now shamelessly stolen from me).

    05 Sep 2005, 22:24

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