The modern digital marketplace offers plenty of opportunities for enterprising indie game developers, but finding success takes patience, research and constant improvement. Even with exceptional designing and coding skills, developers need to adopt a balanced approach that can address all of the important aspects of game production. Marketing, creative content and post-launch support are all crucial for long-term success.
Build and Engage a Community
Many of the most recognized and established brands in the video game industry announce the development of big title games months or years before their scheduled release. While indie games don’t generally have the same immediate and pre-launch impact, they can still generate a lot of interest and build a player base before release. Building and engaging an interested community of players is useful for alpha and beta tests, as well as populating and marketing the game during its early stages.
Gather a Diverse Professional Team
Indie game development often starts as a one-man operation or a small group of dedicated coders who want to bring their unique vision to life. It’s certainly possible for a small group to create an amazing game, but failing to bring on needed professional support is also one of the most common mistakes independent game designers make. Writers, marketers and digital artists are just a few types of professionals that can add a lot of value to a tech-heavy team.
Consider Established Platforms and Marketplaces
A game launcher, as well as digital marketplaces, provide an unparalleled opportunity for indie games to get noticed by thousands of potential players. Some offer various features to help users find, review and purchase games all within the launcher, which can streamline and simplify the selling process for new developers. Most launchers and marketplaces do have some requirements, fees or restrictions, so developers should carefully research their options before making a final decision.
Review, Respond and Improve
No video game, or any piece of software, is perfect when it’s released. That’s why developers should expect and plan for mistakes of all shapes and sizes. Some bugs may be nothing more than a cosmetic flaw, but others could jeopardize the integrity of the game itself. Developers need to stay in touch with their community, respond to their concerns with serious investigations and consistently improve the user experience through meaningful updates.
Indie development can be an exciting and rewarding career for those who have the drive, vision and flexibility to make it happen. A successful game takes more than solid code and a good idea. Developers need to surround themselves with skilled individuals who can support their efforts before, during and after launch.