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Solo Indie Gamer Developers Developing games
Started by IndieEnthusiast Aug 05 2018 11:38 PM

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#26

IndieEnthusiast

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@anaqim : What game are you developing now?



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#27

anaqim

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Not a game but a support app for people that use spotify :)



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#28

thomas6

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My biggest tip for non-artist coders:

 

- create a unique experience, instead of duplicating existing stuff. You will always be the copy with worse art if you duplicate.

- look for art styles that are really simplistic but good looking. Try to understand what makes it work. Pixel art is easier than lush 3D environments, in other words. Coloured abstract blocks is even easier. Look at "Thomas Was Alone" for the best example, and an AWESOME game.

- learn what colour grading is, and apply it. This is a very simple trick to tie your graphics together and add atmosphere.

- be really critical of the things you do master. There are excuses for not having killer art. There are no excuses for having game mechanics that don't really work well.

- just have fun. If you have a day job, you don't need to make money with your apps.



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#29

dodi_games

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I am alone, as a graphic designer and looking for programmers that do not cost me 800 dollars a day I decided to program. And I believe that little by little I am acquiring knowledge.

I have always thought that the most experienced developers in this forum could make a small team, understand 2 or 3 (3...mmm think to much) people no more, discuss the ideas and decide if they want to work as a team or not. Here there are talent, good programmers who have no talent or time for design, good designers who also have no talent and time to program and programmers and designers who know more about marketing than what they do.

That said, "Corona SDK" has the potential to reach Google and Apple store any idea. There are plenty of ideas, what is missing is the spirit and the desicion that want to unite to reach far and trust a person who has vision.

And believe me I made a thorough study in the stores and I realized that there are good mechanics with poor graphics, good graphics with bad mechanics, but let's talk clearly, you may wonder if Angry Birds would have been so famous if it had not been for the characters , some annoying birds that look funny flying ... I always said that the first impression is the one that counts, perhaps you go in t shirt and flip flops to a job interview? Well how are you going to enter Google and Apple with bad graphics or bad programming ...

Thanks
DoDi

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#30

thomas6

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In this whole discussion, let's not forget that one of the ugliest games made in recent history is Candy Crush! But the mechanics of that game were true perfection.



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#31

nick_sherman

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...but on the other hand no better than loads of match 3 games that came before it. It helps to be able to spend millions on user acquisition. :(



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#32

thomas6

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Very true. There seems to be something new around as well, with video ads starring Ryan Reynolds (from Deadpool). Can't remember the name, but with marketing budgets like that, you can bet it's going to become massive as well.

 

And of course, as indie devs, there's no match for this scale of exposure.



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#33

IndieEnthusiast

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Now I am really curious to hear about money making stories from Indies, who could make money with corona games? I want to hear about their struggles and light at the end of the tunnel.



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#34

nick_sherman

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From my point of view it was a lot easier to make money from mobile games 5-6 years ago, before the big boys moved in and click-per-install advertising became a thing.

 

The market became really saturated with clones alongside games with big advertising budgets, and new games weren't getting any traction, so I sold my portfolio and moved into desktop games.

 

It's still possible to be successful though if you stand out from the crowd, for example SGS on here has done really well with Designer City.



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#35

IndieEnthusiast

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Desktop games with corona?



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#36

thomas6

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Let's not forget Apple's totally d*ck move of refactoring the App Store, from easily scrollable top-100 lists (showing lots of indie stuff) to the current "swipe for 3 minutes to see the first Indie offering appear". That change alone caused a lot of us to see download figures drop.



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#37

nick_sherman

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Let's not forget Apple's totally d*ck move of refactoring the App Store, from easily scrollable top-100 lists (showing lots of indie stuff) to the current "swipe for 3 minutes to see the first Indie offering appear". That change alone caused a lot of us to see download figures drop.

 

Yes I forgot to mention that. The took away the 'new releases' tab which always gave you a nice number of downloads on day one, from there you had a chance if the app was good.



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#38

nick_sherman

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Desktop games with corona?

 

Yes, you can build for PC and Mac with Corona, so there's no reason why something like Prison Architect couldn't be made with it.



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#39

XeduR @Spyric

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1) Well, I am a self-taught artist and a programmer, on top of which I have several business degrees. I've worked solo on several projects, but more usually I've worked with a couple of other programmers in my company, but so far I've always been in charge of the graphics and designs.


Working solo has the benefits that you can work when you want and on what you want, but it also means that you are not responsible to anyone else, which can reduce the sense of responsibility and slow down the development.

 

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2) I am personally not interested in partnerships, especially if they are split evenly among the partners. If there are any disagreements, such as what should the monetisation strategy be, who is in charge of what, what about the general look and feel of the game, then you are likely to run into deadlocks that may sour the partnerships and even entire projects. Being employed by someone else or signing a contract alleviates most such problems.

If you do opt for a partnership, then you should prepare sufficient legal paperwork and have a lawyer look it over to ensure that it is what both parties want and actually legally enforceable. I've worked with people who've walked out on a project half-way and in cases without proper contracts, such acts can be (and have been) devastating.

I'd recommend finding developer friends with whom you can talk about your project. Discussing each others projects and throwing ideas around not only helps the creative process, it also makes you more invested in your own project as you don't want to tell your friend that "I haven't worked on the game for a month." It's the positive kind of social pressure that you want.

 

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3) I've worked with some publishers and the partnerships have varied from useful to disastrous. First and foremost, the publishers are looking to make money, which is good for a business, but it might not fit your values. As others have already mentioned, publishers offer financial leverage, connections and expertise that solo developers are unlike to have by themselves. But the more you get, the more you have to give them. Finding a reputable publisher take on a part-time project may be difficult because it is a risky investment. Also, always read the fine print. I got burnt by one contract because I paid attention to the publisher's words instead of the fine print.



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#40

IndieEnthusiast

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Learned quite a lot from this discussion. Thanks guys for your feedback.

I will not risk my day job with making games. Corona is an awesome platform to make games quickly, but you have to be creative to win something out there.



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#41

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Desktop games with corona?

I'm currently working on a desktop based game.  It's taking a while as I also have to deal with a full time job (long hours) and a hectic family life.  Part of my problem is that I'm a perfectionist and if something doesn't look/feel right, and I can't get it to look/feel right then I'll just abandon it and move on.  I have sooo many unfinished projects sat on my computer it's silly.

I love doing this as a hobby.  I'm not a good programmer by any stretch but I really really enjoy the act of typing code and seeing things come to life on the screen, and if I'm honest that is the main reason I do it.  I did get one game published on the App store not long after I started with Corona.  It sold a few hundred copies and got a few good reviews (thankfully no bad ones) but that was back in 2012 and it's no longer available.  Earlier this year I completely re-wrote it from scratch but haven't got around to publishing it yet, mainly because I'm only 99% happy with it.



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#42

thomas6

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Appletreeman, your post is interesting in that it touches upon a very essential part of creating a game: finishing it 100%.

 

I've burst into laughter many times at parties when people come to me with ideas for an app or game and propose a 50-50 split in revenue: I'm allowed to develop their idea and do all the work, and they just provide their sheer brilliance and sit back and collect the profits! I then procreed to tell them that I have about 50 great ideas myself, and ask if they are not intested in doing tens of days, weeks or even months of work, for a 50-50 split. :)

 

Finishing a project is, to me, the most challenging part of any game. Whether art, coding or level design, the first 20% of the game is often done in days, then next 75% takes a year, and the last 5% never gets done. It's keeping up pace when the motivation dies that is the true challenge of coding, especially when it's a) done solo and B) a hobby, as there is no pressure from others or due to money, to finish the job.



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#43

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I am highly interested to do some reading on others experiences. I wonder if there is any interesting books out there.



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#44

richard11

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I'm not a good programmer by any stretch

 

...Nope, you're not allowed to think that  :rolleyes:

 

A "bad" programmer is one of the following:

 

- Somebody who uses programming to do something malicious.

- Somebody who just isn't technically minded enough to grasp the fundamentals and shouldn't really be in this industry.

- Somebody who understands the importance of security, optimisation, etc but consciously chooses to not to secure or optimise their code, because time/money/laziness.

 

It doesn't sound like you're any of those things, so you're a good programmer, end of. Perhaps you're inexperienced or the experience that you do have is within a specific sector, but that's not the same thing at all and experience is relative to who you're comparing yourself to anyway, so is a bit of a flawed measurement really.



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#45

thomas6

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Good programmers, bad programmers, it's all very relative.

 

I look at things from a very functional perspective: am I able to do achieve what I want to do at a decent level? When the answer is no, I research, study and practice until the answer is yes.

 

I am know at a point where I can code all the 2D games I want to make. Can I do server-side coding? Nope. C++ for my own plugins? Nope. OpenGL shaders? Nope. But that's not a problem because I don't need that stuff. And if I would, I'd learn to do that, at my own pace.

 

I have achieved a big, big, big milestone in my own mind in learning three things in Lua: proper code architecture, (pseudo-)object oriented programming, and network requests and the subsequent listeners. These three combined allow me to do anything I want to code. So as far as I'm concerned, I'm a damn good coder now!!! :D

 

And that's a nice place to be.



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#46

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@ahmed_shahjada  I’m a solo developer with a strong art background so I’m not desperate for visuals, however, good visuals take a ton of time and testing just like programming so I often just mock everything up with simple geometric shapes and then add visual complexity later.

 
I have several games in various states of completion.  My philosophy has shifted once again and after trying to force all of my project into the freemium IAP model, I’m now switching back to premium.  I figure that there are so many ways to fail, I wouldn’t make the quality of the apps one.  My apps are kind of between genres and quirky and don’t naturally lend themselves to the IAP model.
 
I've had a designer kids t-shirt company for years and struggled with counterfeiters so that lesson applied to my apps means I don’t release an app until it is 100% ready to stand on its own and stay ahead of the clone farms.
 
Technically this is a hobby as I've only made a couple hundred bucks so far but I'm going for a carrier change here so I need to find my way to the cash trough  ;)
 
@anaqim let us know when you finish your spotify app.  I’m not completely happy with any of my music services.


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#47

anaqim

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@thomas6 get coronium core and you can do server-side stuff in lua. it really works that great!

 

@sporkfin i'll make a release note once app goes to beta, I hope sometime late this year. Summer has been so hot that programming has been suffering  :)



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#48

SGS

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Interesting thread....  Going indie was the best and worst decision in my life.

 

Best because I could quit the 9-5 and be my own boss, worst because now with three games and a fourth in development it has completely taken over and the hours are considerably longer.  Would I change?  No way.  I don't "work" anymore, I spent my time doing what I love.

 

My advice is stay away from easy-to-make arcade games.  If you found it easy then so did a million other people and good luck getting any downloads, let alone sales.  Make something unique or innovate in an established niche.  



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#49

thomas6

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@anaqim: thanks for the tip! If i ever needs server-side stuff I'll look into Coronium. Or, knowing myself, I'll probably try to "roll my own" :-)

 

Thinking of my own game, maybe it's time to seed a beta version out to you guys for some early feedback. Well, early... I've been working on the game for 5 years now...



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#50

anaqim

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my first ever game was a arcade game type and I experimented a little with ads before I realized its all hazzle for me, for the users and no money anyway. I removed ads and whats funny is, I release 2 more advanced games (non arcade and quite unique gameplay) where I did make some money from iAP, but my first game scored the highest average user rating of all three, 4.7 :-)

 

One of these games was a mathematical craze puzzle game where I had a single user that went far and beyond any highscore I could ever imagined would be possible, and without cheating. I saw him playing constantly over a long time. I wont discolse his username but it indicated that it is likely he is autistic, which probably explains he extreme dedication and fondness of the game.

 

I intend to re-code these cames in corona and re-release them.




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