On this week’s episode of IndieGameBusiness™ the featured guest was Tim Beaudet from Fyre Bytes to talk about his journey into to becoming a full-time indie developer. Tim was taught the basics of coding when he was in school and it immediately clicked with him that it was what he wanted to do for a career. After Tom had worked in the gaming industry for some years he had to leave for a reason many game developers can relate to, a lack of stability. After years in working in software to pay off student loans and save up funds Tom is ready to return to game development by making his own games and eventual dream project.
One aspect Tim mentions that indies should consider when planning their budget is that developers are probably not perfect at every aspect of development. He mentions that while he is strong at coding he has a budget set aside for things like artists or consultants to come in and appraise his marketing efforts. He also states that you need to do some basic math to figure out how to best fit your cost of living and giving yourself some time off while also understanding that there is a certain requirement of money that needs to be made from games every year.
Another piece of advice that Time gave during the podcast was to take everything one month at a time. He elaborates that he means this in the sense of both financially looking at a month and what you can do differently as well as setting goals and meeting expectations. He mentions how it can be a much healthier mindset to look at things in each month as steps towards the larger goals you may have as a developer rather than forcing yourself to meet unrealistic expectations.
Lastly, Jay and Tim talk about how being in the gaming industry can be brutal and how it really requires you to have an extensive planning period before fully committing to an idea. Tim explains that is important to look at things objectively; think about what audience you want to reach, brainstorm ideas, think about which ideas are plausible given your budget and development time, etc. This leads into the discussion that developers should not be afraid to be forced to pivot development or their ideas. Things happen and some things good on paper but in practice just aren’t. Instead of being afraid of something like this embrace it and make changes in your idea or development or even walk away from a project for a bit.
Becoming a full-time developer takes a lot of forethought and planning both financially as well as from an idea standpoint of what you want to accomplish.
Budget for more than basic costs of living and development. Things like artists, composers, consults for marketing are all key aspects of the development cycle that should be considered when planning how much money to save.
Be patient with your goals and look at the success you have accomplished one month at a time. Every smaller project is a lesson for when you finally are ready to make your dream project.
Game development is hard. Do not get tunnel vision by focusing on an idea that is not working and be open to trying something new or pivoting to another project so that you do not lose motivation.
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