How An Indie Lost $50,000 Making His First Game!
Playing games is easy… but making them is WAY HARDER!!!
But don’t get discouraged… just get comfortable being uncomfortable! Things will work out, you will see.
I am happy to share a story about my journey creating the studio you see here, Dream Bot Studios. I don’t share it to scare off any one trying to make the next indie hit! I really wanted to present some insight on what worked for us and what didn’t work.
In all honestly, learning the ropes wasn’t easy. Mistakes can cost you a fortune as you will read below. Be sure to check out the article in GameSauce. It really summarizes our journey and how app developers can take advantage of my stupid mistakes inspired indies can come out on top.
Check out the article on Game Sauce.
Dream Bot Studios really couldn’t be more truer to our mission “fail fast to succeed faster”: we poured our hearts and soul into our first game that flopped miserably. This flop left the studio’s pocket book with burn-marks where the $50k+ development cost fell right through, yetTurbo Train would not be possible if not for that superhero-sized slap in the face. It was primarily my dirty little “Ahh… this game may be good” mentality working on our first title called Flicked Off At The Movies that did it. It became the culprit for the painful face palm that prevented me from ever again assuming, “Oh, I’m fairly sure people may like this type of game, and let’s keep trying to make it perfect before allowing our fans and friends to play it.”
Methods That We Learned To Make Us A Success
I also explain the methods we use to reduce cost and build games quicker. From research almost all games receive equal amounts of downloads by publishing them without any serious ads, social media, etc. You will see that getting your game out to the public faster is crucial as an Indie.
If you plan to monetize your games, it is clear: downloads equal money. What I share with our team is that each game we release, without any advertising or hard core game mechanics, has roughly the same expectancy of downloads during the first week of release. As a developer, you must ask yourself how can you achieve the most downloads with the least amount of energy and cost incurred, so you can continually make great games for your players. As a developer, you have a few approaches, but I will share the most popular approaches.
Read the full story here.
What Made It Happen?
One of my main focus being in this industry is to really out and finally have some more video game geek friends. Folks who are in the industry and can understand or help you with an introduction or some tidbit of info is a huge advantage as an indie. I have actually been setting up a process to continually stay focused on making relationships and getting the word out to press and folks in the industry that could introduce us to new users of our apps, folks in the industry, etc.
Sure we made Turbo Train and many other games… but I really want to give a big thanks to some folks who were welcoming people in the industry. These peeps get a glorious shout out and I recommend you check out their companies and what they do.
Big Shout Out To:
SelfPubd.com – If your an indie signup with them. Andy is one of those guys who knows the industry and is like Kim Kardashian’s mom (no offense Andy.. but you da man!)by getting you in seen by cool people who want to know more about your game. He has been there as an Indie and his talk at Casual Connect was a great insight on what’s going on in the Industry.
ThumbArcade – This is also Andy’s site where you publish to SelfPubd and your game gets a nice promo to some great new sources. You should check it out.
Yulia From CasualConnect.org – This event was great for us. Saw some inspiring stuff and met Yulia Vakhrusheva who allowed us to display our Game at the showcase. She handles all the event stuff and I had no idea how she manages it, but she was extremely helpful and like “WonderWoman” making sure we were ok. A big thanks goes to her and definitely check her out if your indie.