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One of the most recent trends in the gaming industry is Indie game development. Indie games are individual projects created by individual developers. If you have an idea but do not have any funding or a team, you can incline towards the development of indie games to help you reach your goals.
Indie games have become crucial in the gaming industry. It’s important to understand that indie games aren’t defined by genres, classes, or even types. Thanks to the digital capabilities and features that made these games highly popular among people of all age groups and gender.
If you are fascinated by the concept of indie games, here is a guide for you! This Indie game development blog will cover all the major aspects, including characteristics, processes, and pros and cons.
Table of Contents
What is an Indie Game?
Let’s start things with a simple Indie game definition.
Indie games are the type of games that are developed by a single person or a group of two to ten players from scratch without the support of large development studios or publishers. A lot of entrepreneurs today are interested in investing a huge amount of their money to fund game development ideas.
For example, Minecraft is the most famous indie game in the gaming world. Moreover, Limbo is yet another famous and successful game, having estimated sales of 1,047,000. It is one of the best-selling games on Xbox’s summer arcade.
Indie Game Development Process: Step-by-Step Guide
Indie game development is a trending term in the gaming industry. It allows developers to experiment with their ideas and apply their knowledge and experience more efficiently to develop a game. Game development is the next big career option among gaming enthusiasts worldwide.
1. Pick an Idea
The first and foremost step towards indie game development is to pick an engaging idea. You should go for an idea that is interactive and keeps the player captivated throughout the game. Naturally, we are inspired by our favourite games. However, keep in mind that developing a complex game like PUBG or Call of Duty requires the collective effort of a full development team
Instead, you should come up with a simple yet engaging game idea like Fall Guys or Among Us.
2. Pick a Framework or Engine
After having a basic idea, it is time to select the engine and framework that you want to use. Unity game development can be a very effective and efficient gaming engine famous for its performance. It comes with graphic interfaces and the most built-in functionality to help you build a game that can reach more audiences and entertain them.
Frameworks are codes that exist in programming languages. They provide you with all the tools and functions that you need to create a game.
3. Create a Prototype
This is the actual stage to start the development. Your development process aims to create a Minimum viable product (MVP). Exclude all the features that are not necessary for your core mechanic or idea. It is of utmost importance to create a prototype, especially after picking up the right framework or engine. Your core mechanics are always the most significant contributors to how fun your game will be for the gamers.
4. Find Assets
After creating a prototype, the next step is to add art and sound to your game to make it more attractive. You can create your assets if you are interested in doing so; moreover, for most people, it’s best to find free assets online. Sites like OpenGameArt and itch.io have some of the best resources for game development.
5. Turn it into a Complete Game
This stage of game development transforms your original idea into a complete game. Now you have a game with simple mechanics, graphics, and sound that brings it all together. The most important part of a game development process is finishing the game by polishing the ideas. Finishing the game means removing all the bugs and loopholes in the system.
6. Polish Your Game By Testing
After completing the development process, it is time to refine your game by getting rid of all the bugs and glitches of the game. To provide a seamless and uninterrupted gaming experience, it is important to work on removing bugs even after the game has been released. Push various updates that fix bugs in future updates so users don’t run into a problem while playing the game.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Indie Game Development
Before entering the world of multiplayer Indie game development, you should be well aware of the pros and cons of the indie game industry. Here are some of the pros and cons of developing Indie games.
1. Creative Freedom and Liberty
One of the most prominent advantages that drive developers towards Indie games is creative freedom and liberty. When you work with top gaming publishers, you have to develop the game according to the requirements of the clients. However, in indie games, you are the developer as well as the client. Therefore, you have more creative freedom and can shape the game according to your vision. There are no milestones or deadlines that you have to meet and you can work on the game any way you want.
2. Become a Trendsetter
Indie games are major trendsetters in the industry. Just look at games like Minecraft and Among Us. Indie game developers have an opportunity to bring forth a unique idea and shape it according to their vision. By using your skills, you can replace the ongoing trends of the industry with a new trend that has never been seen before.
3. Skill Improvement
When you work for a major game publisher, you work on the things you already know about and are forced to meet the deadlines. However, to develop an Indie game, you will have to acquire new skills and learn new technologies as you move ahead in the development process.
Developers don’t have any deadlines, so you can experiment as much as you want and bring forth unique ideas and concepts. You can also focus on skill building and use those skills in the development process.
4. Recognition and Credits
Whenever a new game releases, the publisher gets the spotlight. For example- Rockstar Games gets all the credit for releasing GTA V, and the rest of the development team is featured in the credits which most gamers skip. As an indie video game developer, if your game succeeds, you succeed. If your game becomes the latest trendsetter, you receive the credit and limelight.
1. Lack of Resources
One of the major obstacles in game development is the lack of resources. Among other things, developers require a lot of technologies and assets. Moreover, there are also publication fees. Indie game developers don’t have the resources available to major publishers and that lack of availability can often hamper the development process.
2. Work-Life Balance
As an indie game developer, you won’t be subjected to a deadline crunch but that doesn’t mean you are safe from it. While working on your project, you won’t have any support from a development team and you could find yourself working long nights and burning yourself out. A game developer working alone has to take care of the entire development process and all its aspects by themselves.
The worst challenge of developing Indie games is that anyone can start developing them. Thousands of games are uploaded on Steam every day and most of these games don’t even see the light of day. For every great Indie game, tons are sitting on the bottom of the barrel. Marketing is one of the major challenges of Indie game development. The market is oversaturated and developers don’t have the resources at their disposal to market their games like major publishers.
How Much Does it Cost to Make an Indie Game?
The cost of making a game depends on the size of the project. We are not talking about investing millions of dollars like modern AAA titles. However, Indie game developers have to spend thousands of dollars, depending on the size of their game.
On average, developing an Indie game can cost around $100,000 to $250,000.
Factors like the timeline of the project, the number of developers, and technologies and tools of game development affect the Indie game development cost.
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How Much Does an Indie Game Developer Make?
There’s no clear answer to how much indie developers make. Since the revenue depends on the commercial success of the game, it can be a while before developers of indie games can earn any money from their games.
Some indie devs strike gold with one major release, Others rely on multiple releases to sustain their careers. According to Game Developer.com, only 10% of Steam developers raise more than $100k in gross revenues. Only 3% of indie devs make more than $1 million from their game titles.
Read Blog: Indie Game Development Cost | Game Budget
Why are Indie Games So Popular?
Indie games have been rising in popularity ever since the 2000s. Services like Steam and Xbox Live Arcade are fuelling the rise of Indie games.
Hardcore gamers are constantly in search of creative and story-driven games. Indie games fulfilled this requirement. Games like Braid sparked the popularity of Indie games in the late 2000s.
Popular games like Terraria and Plants vs Zombies further contributed to the boom of indie games. As a result, these games were perceived as trendsetters in the industry due to their unique concept and premises.
With the launch of Minecraft, the Indie gaming scene exploded and the industry was filled with a plethora of Indie titles.
Ever since then, games like Fall Guys, Among Us, Stardew Valley, and Limbo have been taking the indie scene forward and are among the most popular Indie games in the world.
Most Popular Indie Games of All Time
Over the years, there have been a lot of Indie games that made the headlines. These are some of the most popular Indie games of all time-
How can BR Softech Help You in Your Indie Game Development Project?
BR Softech is a game development company that can help you with your indie game development project. Although it is your project and your team will be the one working on the project, there is nothing wrong with getting help from experts. We can help in various aspects of game development such as character design, API integration, graphic designing, AR/VR projects, and more. Partner with BR Softech and avail the following benefits-
- Photorealistic Visuals
- 3D Character Design
- AR/VR Game Projects
- API Integration
- Maintenance and Support
Indie Game Development is the newest trend in the game industry. It offers countless opportunities for innovation and developers can utilize their full creativity on their projects. Although there are several obstacles when creating your indie game, if you are able to overcome them, you will be greatly rewarded.
So what are you waiting for? Transform your unique game idea into reality by opting for Indie Video Game Development.
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q. Is C++ good for Indie game development?
Ans. While C++ is a fast and efficient programming language, it is mainly used to create high-performance games. Indie game devs use Python as it is designed for simple games.
Q. Is it profitable to develop an Indie game?
Ans. While there is no guarantee of success, if your game succeeds, you can earn millions of dollars from your indie game project. However, there are countless games on Steam that never saw the light of day.
Q. Can I make an indie game by myself?
Ans. While indie means independent, it doesn’t mean that you have to work alone to consider yourself an indie developer. Often indie game development studios hire professional designers and artists to help with the project.
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