Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Being an indie developer

Last year I decided to attempt to earn a living without being required to get up, and go to a cube farm, on most of 5 days, out of each and every week. I was working at a job that was never going to match what I wanted to do every day, and was hard pressed to think of any existing job that did.

So I saved for a while, and then I quit, and decided I would concentrate on making small mobile apps. Primarily games or something, really specific. Ideally there would be a paying market for small one off novelty items that don't require the thought and effort that goes into building a game, but alas that market doesn't seem to exist.  So I'm putting in the effort to build a game, Balls Abound, a game I think is fun.

Putting the polish on an app is time consuming and can lead to stalls in my productivity, somewhat akin to writers block. But I think the added depth, with the subtle motion of the menus and the text, were important to the overal aesthetic of the game. Making sure game center and in app purchase are working and adding code to detect when achievements have been reached; these things always stall my progress.

What I really enjoy doing is doodling and fiddling with images.  I like seeing funky output on computer displays. So I like combining images with maths to create unique and interesting visual effects. And, at least for now, that's what I am doing. And hopefully what I create can generate enough revenue for me to create more, allowing me to avoid the cube farm and it's low cycle fluorescent flicker.

I'm not sure I've ever really laid out what my plans after quitting my job were. That may have contributed to the mess of plans that people built for me. Everyone has an idea that you don't care about, it's usually top secret. And everyone thinks that they deserve to be paid for no more effort than the movement of their jaw during an utterance of this idea that you couldn't care less about. I believe they simply do not understand the volume of effort that goes into building good apps.

I've got a million crappy ideas, maybe a couple decent ones, and with a little spit and polish even a crappy idea can turn out to be a pretty fun toy (or at least that's what I'm banking on).  But how does one get their fun toy in front of the general population?  That's still to be answered. From where I'm sitting, it seems a great deal of luck can potentially help immensely.

No comments:

Post a Comment