I am a full time indie developer for almost a year.We were lucky enough to get into a governmental sponsorship prgram and we managed to acquire a PlayStation 4 DevKit without a pre-release record and are working on a motion control game, which can be seen as economical suicide from a sober economic view.
This blog post is not about self-promotion. I won't even name the company we founded or the game we are working on.
This blog post is about the risks indie developers take in our western society. Yes, there are countries on our planet that suffer “real” problems. Not our first world problems.
But still, despite or because of our wealth, indie developers are taking much risk. I am a well educated person. I've been through an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic. I obtained my advanced technical college entrance qualification and could have been a mechanical engineer at companies like Mercedes Benz, Porsche or Bosch. I could have a decent salary by now and must not be worried about my retirement pension savings or how to afford my monthly public transport ticket. But I have chosen a different path.
I want to make games. I've been a creative person all my life. I make music, I've played video games since I could think. I made little gif movies out of 100 windows paint pictures. I learned how to make animations in Flash and so on.
I played Golden Axe, James Pond and Lotus challenge on my cousins Amiga and was very happy to borrow my other cousins Mega Drive and Game Gear for a week as a birthday present. I did not want to miss any great game, despite of the platform it was released on and did not miss a single console since the N64.
So why did I choose to take the risky path as an indie developer, despite the seemingly „secure path“ that my education would have granted me? Why did I accept to have to work part-time next month and live at a minimum wage to continue working on our PS4 Indie game?
The answer is simple. I love games and I want to give something back to a medium, that I've gone along with my whole life.
But still, people are laughing at me. Saying that I'd be insane to take that risk. One of the first things my close friends said to me when I told them that I am going to be a full time Indie developer was „Dude, think about your pension savings!“ But you know what? Fuck it. I want to make games. It feels right for me. It is the thing I always wanted to do, what my interests led me to. I will take any risk necessary, as long as I have the feeling that I have the means and will to make a game that will benefit the gaming community as a whole.
So to all you people that disrespect and laugh at indie developers and being gamers themselves: Be thankful that people in our wealthy society take the risk, stress and struggle to innovate a medium that has been in the hands of a few AAA developers for too long. Be thankful for every queer, and strange game you may see.
Because those developers take the risk and set aside the seemingly easy way of our wealthy western societies to make new and innovative games for your pleasure.