This article was first published in WiMi5.
Many video game developers using WiMi5 consider themselves indie developers. This classification includes many types of people; nevertheless, we can still find a common set of characteristics that they all have in common. The first would be that many work individually or in small groups. Another is that most of them lack a development budget, and even fewer have any likelihood of having a marketing budget. And what perhaps best defines them is that in many cases, they’re trying to create games that are creative, relatively original, and which have a differential value.
In any case, whatever your indie developer profile may be, we wanted to give you a series of tips to help you continue creating games without keeling over in the attempt. These tips are based on the experience of the WiMi5 team (a few years under our belts in the video game industry) and other great ideas we’ve seen on sites like Gamasutra or Black Shell Media.
Get feedback on your game
As part of the process of the game’s development, go to forums, interact with developers, share your game with gaming communities, etc; everything you can do to know what people like about your game and what they don’t and which therefore needs to be changed. You have to start with a minimum viable product and constantly improve it based on new ideas from yourself or other people. Don’t launch a game without having had it tested by different types of players first.
Improve the game until it has a professional finish
It’s one thing to be indie, another to be amateur, as Carlos Coronado said so well at the last F&S Game Festival. Pursuing excellence is a vital attitude that we need to apply to what we do in our daily job. Completing continuous improvement cycles on our product helps us to polish the game into something we want to show the world. As the Karate Kid said, “wax on, wax off”.
Be realistic with your possibilities
In many cases, this means thinking about very specific, even niche, projects, in which a highly polished game can stand out. Big video game studios spend millions creating their games and even more promoting them. So if indie developers want a chance, they have to focus highly on making a simple but very well finished game, with good gameplay, good sound, good graphics, and good design.
Take a break every once in a while and get a bit of fresh air
You know that Picasso said that he waited for inspiration to hit him while working. Wise words, indeed. But this doesn’t mean we can avoid the problems from physical and mental fatigue that developing video games can mean. What’s more, errors occur more frequently due to tiredness brought on by long workdays. It’s important to rest to be more productive. And also for looking for inspiration. Developing video games is creating experiences that in many cases allude to experiences we’ve each had in the real, physical world. Indie developers: going out to nature and observing it objectively, for example, can be a great source of inspiration to find new game mechanics to apply to our product.
Finally, use a video game editor that allows you to publish your game on many different platforms.
In this article, you have a ton of reasons why you should use a game engine. And if you use WiMi5, even better, because you can edit your game online and publish it with just one click onto several video game stores. You can export it to the web, and onto native platforms like iOS, Android, Mac OSX, Windows, etc. This is what all indie developers want. What are you waiting for? Registration on WiMi5 is free.