Look, I don’t have a lot of room here to say anything – but what I do know is what I can see happening. I can tell you that being a game dev has go to suck… and it has got to suck a lot of big hairy sweaty balls. I am not talking regular sized balls, I am talking the extra large kind that dangle from between the legs of some fat corporate overlord. Why? Because the pay isn’t great, the hours are insane, the demands are ridiculous, and by the time you are getting ready to put a game into Alpha the publisher is demanding it comes out now!
Look it is easy to criticize people on kickstarter when they don’t produce something that lives up to the hype, but you have to admire the tenacity a lot of them display. The drive to do things – especially to create a public product is sort of nuts. Everything you do on kickstarter is scrutinized, now imagine having that pressure but multiplied by a hundred. That has to be the life of working in the game industry.
Yet, we occasionally see a small developer who against all odds creates something they love and is able to make it a success. Torchlight is a game that comes to mind. A Diablo like game that was a blast to play. The game was a huge success and led to Torchlight II. Then the company went and sold themselves to Perfect World, a giant publisher of p2w shit shows.
They produced one more game with some success and then guess what happened? To the surprise of literally no one, Perfect World closed the studio. This has happened to so many small developers. EA is responsible for 13 such closures, the last list I could find indicates Activision has killed at least 8, and even if they don’t kill the studio they might just close your games and force you to make shitty app clones – like Warner Bros. did to Turbine.
So, I know this is hard to hear… but small game studios don’t sell out to the big companies. They want to gut you for money and send you packing. They have no interest in your ideas. They want your one hit. They will fuck you harder than Ron Jeremy in a bad porn film. So, whatever you do, pull up your bootstraps, hit up Indiegogo/kickstarter, find some fucking backers and make your game the way you want. Don’t do what Curt Shilling did and go into massive public debt.
Start small… make a great small game, build your base and your finances. Hire the right people to get you going in the right direction. Get a marketing team. Put all the pieces together and build it right. Don’t let all your dreams and hopes get crushed by some faceless, fat, large balled executive. You can fucking do it – and even when the game making gets hard and starts to suck, at least you aren’t EA.