Where I’m at as an Indie Game Developer

If you know me from anything previously, it’s probably from MMA Simulator.

When I wrote this, I had just finished playing Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy after three days of pure obsession with it.

If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a difficult physics-based platformer that was released in 2017. Apparently I fell behind the curve on playing it! (I tend to avoid games I see streamers picking up en-masse, I wish I hadn’t in this case.)

I’ve always prided myself on being a tenacious person and thought the game would be a good fit for me. In a way, I was right.

After my first day playing it, my right arm into my neck was so tense and stiff you would have thought I was the one climbing the mountain.

Even past that, my palms started sweating as the stakes got higher. The losses in progress for missing an obstacle were staggering at some parts of the game.

During all this, you get almost equal parts encouragement and taunting from the creator of it. It went beyond just being a game and was a profound experience for me—both as a player and a developer.

But the intent of this post isn’t a game review – it’s figuring out where I go next.

Making games as a full-time living is something of a dream for me. MMA Simulator was a fantastic learning experience, but its chances of achieving this were already low because of:

  1. It was very niche – MMA + tycoon/simulation.
  2. A premature, bug-filled launch.

2018 wasn’t the right year for me to release it for a multitude of personal reasons, but I was too stubborn to accept that and released anyways.

Anyways, I’ve supported the game since then while keeping an eye out for my next project. I’ve sorted through new releases on Steam, seeing what’s popular on Steam Charts.

Questions like “Do I make another sim game? Do I make another MMA Sim 2?” ran through my mind. I had enough ideas and experience from 1 that a sequel would blow it away.

It just never felt right, though, especially looking at it from a financial perspective.

Playing Getting Over It made me realize I need to create unique games to bring into the world. It also made me realize that while I’ve technically been making games (mostly small ones) for three years now, I feel like I’m not entirely where I should be.

Turns out, making a data-driven game for most of that time doesn’t do much for your creative process or technical skills!

I’ve decided to brush up on my Unity / C# development skills for a couple of reasons:

  1. Tons of resources to learn from, both official and community made.
  2. Better support for multiple platforms (this is the big one for me)

I’ll keep my Godot skills in my back pocket, but I often felt like I was in uncharted territory and even had to scrap one game (Survivafarm) meant for mobile due to technical issues exporting the project.

I’m looking forward to making a bunch of small games to learn from and hopefully, in the process find more of my creative voice when it comes to making games.

I feel like that’s what I’ve been missing for a long time.