Why and how make Indie Games ? (First part)
Despite my limited experience in the field of independent games and serious games, here are some tips and tricks that will surely help you if you want to embark on this adventure which may be more difficult than expected …
First, why choose independent development?
After all, you can simply apply in large studios and work on big productions that will bring more recognition. And work in his spare time on such projects can be a waste of time because only people from your family and your friends will maybe play your game one day!
But, There are many reasons and motivations …
First (and it’s my case), There is the desire to work on his spare time with some friends on a joint project to fulfill its portfolio. maybe the result of your work will not impress recruiters, but it will show that you are able to work in a team (even small).
Also, it’s the opportunity to experiment without fear of doing something wrong and making mistakes.
Make a mistake when you are working on something new for you on a big AAA project, and nobody will tell you “It’s okay, you’re here to learn”. (Believe me or not … It will never -or rarely- happen)
No pressure. Work on an independent project will allow you to test a lot of things and to go wrong again and again as many times as you want without risk of being fired !
The last reason is that Indie games allow you to train yourself and try new things that we probably would not get when working on big budget games. You wanna try to make a F.P.S. with bunnies and cows ? An aircraft carrier racing game ? You can !! The only limit will be your skills (or the skills of your team …).
So, what do I need to make an indie game ?
The talent is not always enough. You will need a maximum of knowledge in various fields of designing a video game (programming, 3D, 2D, Game Design, Level Design, Sound Design, etc …) if you want to finish it one day !
If you lack knowledge in an area that you need for your game, then you must pray to have skilled friends willing to help you.
However, achieving alone a nice and fun game in quite little time is possible, as you can see in this video of a game created by Frédéric Vauchelles … (Symbols)
So, OK, now you have a team (or the skills), but you’ll need something else … A game engine. There are many with varying prices, some are free to use (but without the ability to legally distribute his game after creation), others cost several thousands dollars (when it’s not millions !).
One of the most popular in the indie development teams is the Unity 3D Engine just because its free and easy to use. Also, a lot of commercial games were made with this engine which has very decent performances.
And finally, you’ll also need some 3D and 2D softwares for the graphics of your game.
Now that you know more, gather your friends, your talents and your software and wait until the second part!