Indie game development outfit Wadjet Eye Games recently released a 2D adventure title for PC, a seemingly manageable creation for a small company.
But in a new feature article from sister web site GameCareerGuide.com
, founder Dave Gilbert shares the unexpected issues that cropped up during the development of Blackwell Unbound
that resulted in it becoming a game he never intended to make.
In this excerpt, Gilbert shares how a few unexpected problems crept up on him and shed new light on what it means to be truly independent:
"To say I wasn't prepared for the work that followed the game's release is an understatement. To give the newbie indies among you a basic idea, here are a few things you can expect:
1. You'll receive emails. Lots of emails. Every day I would check my email and there would be several dozens of emails, folks asking questions about the game, review sites asking for copies, customers with technical issues, and players asking for hints. These emails need to be answered, and promptly. Customer service is vitally important for a struggling indie …
2. Sales and marketing. At first, I relied on word-of-mouth to see me through, and it did. Sales were fantastic during the first few weeks, and I wasn't doing any work to get them! But like all good things, it came to an end and I had to start marketing the game. This was a ton of work, and it wasn't something I knew anything about …
3. Shipping. Some customers requested the game on a CD, so I decided to make a CD-ROM version available. To save the costs of using a third party, I decided to burn and ship all the CDs myself. With broadband being so common, I didn't think that there'd be a large demand for them. I was hugely mistaken, as I ended up spending three weeks straight burning CDs and assembling jewel cases …
I had reached that strange middle ground; I was successful enough to be extremely busy, but not successful enough to hire people to help. I had to do all this work myself. And amid all this, I had to find time to design the next game."
You can now read the full feature article on GameCareerGuide.com
, including much more info on the making of the adventure game title.