Developing games and selling is easy?
Developing games is very easy these days. But what are the pros and cons of this facility? What are the advantages and disadvantages of entering this gamedev market? I'm going to try to pass on my vision, over more than 15 years working with games.
In 2007, when I made my first game characters, I was able to test Unreal Engine 3, at the time it was very common to start using mods, which were actually game modifications.
You took the entire structure of the game and created new characters, models, changed textures, etc. We couldn't sell the mods, but it was a chance to get attention from the big producers.
Joining the big companies was a dream and today we live the indie reality.
One of the sites that brings together a great collection of Indie developers and encourages the game market is the website IndieDB
Today we have a range of independent producers who use complete production tools, such as Unreal Engine 5 for example. We have facilities, ready-made models, particle effects, sound effects, etc.
Check out the Unreal Engine
The advantage is there, hundreds and thousands of tutorials and "facilities" that fit like a glove in the hand of someone who never thought about or studied game production. And what does that imply?
We have a rain of hundreds and thousands of indie games that are released every day, it's a lot of competition amidst a sea of unfinished projects, poorly made etc.
And how to stand out in the middle of it all?
I believe that as in any job, you need to be patient and persistent, without those two words, we will give up at the first obstacle.
It's been like that with me. After the release of Parallel in 2022, I was able to calmly assess the results of my efforts, both in production and in marketing. And the coolest thing is learning what others are doing to keep the game relevant on the sales platform, which in my case is Steam.
Steam stands out for being a very effective indie game sales platform, but it is always worth remembering that on the same launch day, dozens of other games will be released.
The tip I give here is more a question than a statement: What are you going to do to boost Steam's algorithm to value your game against the "competitors".
No, just a good wishlist is not enough, conversion into sales is necessary. A wishlist of 1,000 with 900 sales is worth more than a wishlist of 9,000 with 900 sales.
The time the player spends playing his game is also fundamental. What rewards did you create to keep the player interested and active in the game? And this is the most important tip for the algorithm, keeping the player playing your game for a long time is something that Steam loves, because that's exactly what it wants, to keep players active on the platform.
If we are going to consider an in-depth study, we would have to study some neuroscience, psychology, trends, etc. This is all very fascinating and as a proactive developer, I always find myself with a new challenge ahead, a new test, a new discovery.
And this is all learning for the Indie developer.
Finally, it is also worth noting that there are sites such as Keymailer and Catapult, that can give considerable help to indie. in the game Parallel I chose not to use this method because my resources were very limited, but I also had the opportunity to use it in Shadows of Kepler, where I had a very nice result.
Now, as a personal challenge, I have the game Cyborg3003, which brings back a bit of that nostalgia I had playing games like DOOM and Killing Floor 2. I find the adrenaline, the monsters, shots and all that with your friend playing the same game very fascinating.
Whatever the indie developer's project, there are countless possibilities for production and sales, with or without a publisher, alone or with a team.
Challenge yourself and beat your own goals, in the end you will see a sense of it all. As the eternal Ayrton Senna would say: "Do everything with a lot of love and a lot of desire for victory, victory in life, and with a lot of faith in God, that one hour you get there, one way or another you get there."