The indie gaming industry has grown exponentially in recent years, thanks mainly to the power of the internet. Indie games are created by independent developers, often without the backing of a major publisher. These games are usually released for digital distribution platforms such as Steam or itch.io and can be found on sites like Indie DB and Gamasutra.
The appeal of indie games lies in their originality, creativity, and quirkiness. Major publishers are often unwilling to take risks on new ideas, so the indie gaming scene has become a hotbed for innovation. Many popular games started as small indie projects, including Braid, Super Meat Boy, Castle Crashers, and Fez.
Some indie games like Hollow Knight have over two million copies sold, showing that indie games can profit as much as their triple-A counterparts. However, starting a successful indie game company is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and talent. Here are six essentials for creating an indie video game company.
Have a Roadmap
The first step to starting an indie game company is to have a roadmap. This document will outline your company’s goals, milestones, and target market. It should also include a business plan and financial projections. Having a clear roadmap will help you raise money from investors and secure funding from publishers or distributors.
Having a roadmap is also helpful for your players. It’ll give them a sense of what your company is about and what kind of games they can expect from you. For example, if your company specializes in making narrative-driven games, players will know to look out for your upcoming releases.
Invest in Good Equipment
The next essential for starting an indie game company is to invest in good equipment. This includes everything from computers and software to office furniture and supplies.
Your team will need powerful computers that can handle the demanding requirements of game development. You’ll also need the latest version of Unity or Unreal Engine and a range of other game development tools. This means that you might have to build customized PCs for your office. These aren’t all that costly, given that you know what you’re doing.
Good equipment can also include an ergonomic office chair, which will help your team avoid back pain, and a whiteboard, which is essential for brainstorming sessions.
Develop Your Game
Developing your game is where most of your time and budget will go into. It’s estimated that an average indie game can cause between $50,000 to $750,000.
This includes everything from paying your team’s salaries to buying the necessary equipment. If you’re not careful, development costs can quickly spiral out of control. That’s why it’s essential to have a clear roadmap and budget for your game before development begins.
Build a Community
One of the most important things for an indie game company is to build a community. This can be done through social media, forums, and blogging.
Your community will be a valuable asset when it comes to marketing your game. They can help spread the word about your upcoming releases and give feedback on your games.
A good community can also provide moral support for your team. Working on an indie game can be a stressful and thankless task, so it’s essential to have a supportive group of people to help you through the tough times.
Create a Marketing Strategy
An indie game company can’t survive without a marketing strategy. This document will outline how you’ll promote your games and build up your brand.
Your marketing strategy should include a mix of online and offline marketing techniques. For example, you can use social media to reach potential players while also attending gaming conventions to meet with members of the press.
It’s also important to think about how you’ll price your games. If you’re not careful, your pricing can alienate potential customers or make it difficult for you to turn a profit.
Invest in a Good First-game Launch
Your first game is essential for the success of your company. It will be the first impression that players and the press have of your company, so it’s important to make a good impression.
This means investing in a quality launch. This can include everything from hiring a public relations firm to organizing a launch party. A successful launch can give your company the momentum it needs to succeed.
These are the six essentials for starting an indie video game company. If you have a clear roadmap, invest in good equipment, build a community, and create a marketing strategy, you’ll be on your way to success. And don’t forget to launch your first game with a bang! If you do all of these things, you can create a decent indie company that can be a future industry leader in the gaming scene.