I have spent my indie life for 1 year and 10 months by now. Most of the time I were depressed, struggling for not having enough paycheck to live month by month, and more importantly too strict of mind to form an organization in which indie is not!
I would say this piece of time is so right, and opens for me to find the true spirit. Thirty Flights of Loving is a game that I've put it on wish-list for so long. Unfortunately, I only watched the trailer, see some gameplay videos with the hope that I will get all of the actual experience the game would give me and understand why this game is so highly rated. That's the bad idea. Only true experience ones may get is coming from the actual play time, a tiny single piece of time ones would give it away with the game they purchased from steam or whatever. Anyway it's blending of reasons why I didn't get it until recently. Not enough money, price-tag is too high for very short experience. That's not important ...
Who knows that only 15 minutes gameplay can give me a life lesson I fought un-properly during my past indie game scene! I just found it out after I finished this game.
I made 2 attempts of complete but almost careful play-through + 1 attempt in developer commentary mode. My first attempt can't fulfill my complete understanding why the game has such a plot / story, or twisting one, or even sudden scene transition like that. I know that it has something there in conflict between the 3 characters which have really deep connection between them. I then gave it a try again with a 2nd attempt. Now I could understand more of why this and that with a plus that I enjoy more dancing scene in a roof-top meal.
To be honest, those 2 attempts cannot be counted as a complete game experience for my case. After I fired up a developer commentary mode then "aha!" moment and deep appreciation comes to play. My level of understanding of why indie games and the way it should be start to make a leap, and maxed out in the time when I bounced off from the car crash scene and jumped right into the museum action. That's great feeling as far as I can tell.
I always want to be an indie game developer but with the fact that the "word" indie has buzzed me that much and failed me to be in the right path of indie-ian. I aim to form an indie game studio making a brand and organizational structure. It should not be that way. Along the way I were doing that, the organizational sense is starting to creep in and eat away the joy moment in doing what you love the most. There's a policy or rule to tear the individual sense apart in order to let the blunt whole of entity moves forward. It should be inverse. What you do should not have any expectations ahead (to get awards, enough paycheck, good or bad game ideas?, or a success hit game), but only a flow of expression of creators transitioning into the work. Left alone audience decide whether your game is suitable for them to experience. There're always someone who will love your game, not to mention if that's just a tiny portion. That's the way art is created. Game is art!
Please don't get me wrong saying that I define all those stuff above. That's just my immediately explanation of feeling and deep satisfying after digested the core message which the game can offer.
I guess I will have a happier life continuing making indie games in a true spirit and healthier way then ever, also with a benefit of staying in this kind of weird industry for unforeseeable future.
Who knows I may create a true art in 73th attempt?
Keep the faith, and keep crawling.
-- This is a cross post from my blog. You can see some in-game screenshots to get some feeling there.