I’m going to add another log to the fire that is “Polygon has an article about an indie dev talking about how hard it is to be an indie dev”. I wrote a post about this back in Oct of 2018, with the ‘problem’ back then being too many games on Steam. Today, the problem is… that and a bunch of other stuff. (Spoiler: making a good game for an audience large enough to support you isn’t on the list of problems, shocker I know).
Immediately what jumps out at me with this article is the game it’s focused around, HypnoSpace Outlaw. Who in the actual fuck wants to play a game that simulates the shitshow that was the Internet during the Geocities days? If that group is larger than five people I’ll… continue going about my day, but a bit more surprised. Plus the game can’t even trick you into thinking its something else, because it also LOOKS like Geocities back in the 90s, and that’s absolutely not a compliment to their art style. I could sue Polygon for giving me eye cancer just from the opening header of that article.
And look, if you just want to spend time working on a pet project for yourself, that’s one thing. Go nuts. But to make said pet project, for what is likely an audience of one, and then go on and on about how difficult it is to make money being a game dev? GTFO.
I’m not going to rehash my post about this that is linked above, and I don’t think much has changed since that time either. Did Valve maybe change the algorithm in the discovery queue? Sure. But just like Google changing their algorithm and that impacting blog traffic, at the end of the day if I write interesting posts at a frequent pace (been failing hard at that for a long time now), I’ll get traffic. And more importantly, the traffic I get (or eyeballs on Steam for games) will be people actually interested in what I do/write and likely to come back (buy your game) if the quality of the product is high. Visibility isn’t going to help much if quality is low, either for this blog or your indie game.
The thing that always rings most hollow to me here is that right now, in 2019, we are in the best age for gaming. The best quality games, the best distribution model, and the most variety in not only gaming options, but business models as well. And that’s for both consumers and devs.