The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
I've been meaning to update the blog and it's been a while since I've posted, and these past few days I kept starting off with a negative view on things. It's been a rough first few weeks for the launch of SBX: Invasion and I was a bit down but I kept deleting the posts, I didn't want to write something negative. I sat down and thought for a bit: What motivates me to continue working as an indie developer? Why do I love it?
And as I thought and waited, I continued my efforts of marketing the game and I found what I'd been looking for. It's not about the tons of sales, it's not about the giant press articles or getting your game noticed by the big wig websites. It's about that one person who plays your game, and forms a connection with it. About that person who plays it and experiences what it has to offer and laughs and has fun.
I've been sending the game out to all sorts of places: Big name Youtube let's players, Indie game review sites, etc, etc. But the most enjoyable response so far was from a little no name Youtuber named Xelipher who has a meager audience. Watching him enjoy the game and learn how it works and be challenged but succeed is one of the best feelings. Forming that connection with a player through the game is the joy of being an indie for me.
Here are the two videos of him playing through the first few levels of SBX: Invasion:
First Let's Play:
Second Let's Play:
I learned a lot watching him play through the levels as well. I'd tested the game extensively, but most of my testers were found on reddit and I hadn't really seen their reactions as much and it was mostly contact through forms and e-mail.
Watching Xelipher play through, seeing what was difficult and seeing the things he didn't do that I would have done or would have expected the player to do was extremely rewarding. And it's rewarding because it's genuine.
Right now a lot of indies are worried about the "Indie Bubble" but really, you just have to be smart about it. Being an indie is art. It's passion. It's love. If the bubble pops or if the bubble stays, it really doesn't matter, it's about doing what you are passionate about, what you love.
Even if SBX: Invasion never takes off, developing the game was worth it just to form a connection with a player. I've enjoyed creating the game, and I'll still continue to market it, but for me, it was a success. I'll move on with other projects and start the marketing process earlier and apply the things I've learned from this one as well.
For me this is the greatest joy of being an indie. What about you? Why do you do it? Why do you love it?