View Full Version : From Indie to the Industry
09-05-2004, 06:07 PM
It has always been a dream of mine to work in the industry but at the same time i would be very sorry to leave the indie scene. I have been enjoying being an indie with a view to becoming full-time in the not too distant future. It is of course something i can always come back to though, hopefully with a lot more knowledge and experience under my belt. The reason for this post is because i want to get some insight into what to expect if i were to work for an established games company. I know that some indie developers are ex-industry programmers that simply had to "get out", and others just wanted to try going it alone, but would anyone actually advise me not to do it?
09-05-2004, 08:57 PM
I know that some indie developers are ex-industry programmers that simply had to "get out", and others just wanted to try going it alone, but would anyone actually advise me not to do it?
Well, speaking as one former-industry type...
I'm feeling less of a former industry type and more of an industry-type these days, actually. It's all one big industry. I've been working with one local studio here who has just released their first "indie" game --- they've been surviving the last several years doing the usual non-indie contract thing with publishers. The major publishers are releasing shareware-style demos, the major "indie" portals are acting very much like publishers. It's all getting kinda mixed together, and I don't see such a fine difference anymore. It's just a spectrum.
Anyway - if you are chugging along doing the indie thing and being relatively successful at it, I'd advise you not to stop doing what you are doing. Best to keep building on what you've got.
But if you are still just dipping your toe into the waters of game development, there's a LOT to be learned by working for a professional game development studio. If for nothing else than to just learn from guys who have been at it for a while. A few years at a fairly successful studio will teach you TONS. I guess so will a few years at a less successful studio, but the former tends to pay better, while the latter teaches you a good, healthy cynicism earlier. Take your pick, but I'd prefer the former :)
09-06-2004, 06:03 AM
If you approach a job in the industry as an opportunity to learn a lot about making games on your own, you can really benefit from it. Maxis sent me to several GDCs and I only wish I had attended more of the biz/marketing track sessions instead of sticking with the technical ones. Also, on a day to day basis, you can learn a lot from simply talking with your (hopefully) talented co-workers (and some of those co-workers could be helpful when you're back on your own again). Finally, some development houses will give you access to really interesting stuff, like expensive marketing data reports, well-known game designers, and personal development support--all on their dime! Just be sure to get out before they bleed your spirit dry. ;)
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