Never Doubt Your Skills (And Never Be Afraid to Diversify)
It’s been an interesting week…
What with Epic Games announcing that they will be opening their own storefront, adding fuel to the fire that is digital game distribution now that more people are turning their back on Steam. Not to mention that releasing an Unreal based game on their store will waive the 5% royalty fee, making it more appealing to indie developers (like yours truly) who need every dollar possible to ensure long term sustainability. This comes a day before Valve discussed publicly a bug in Steam Discovery that kept indie games out of it’s recommended games feed due to not sharing multiple tags with games from more established companies.
All of this got me thinking, it’s important not to place all of your faith in a single person or a single company. There is only so much you can accomplish alone that you miss out on what is possible when combining multiple talents or avenues of work.
Talent Is An Asset
A familiar phrase from the likes of Philip DeFranco to Jim Sterling, talent is an asset. And an company that doesn’t nurture it’s employees will not hesitate to replace you with someone who will shut up and take it. We, as individuals, have to be ahead of the curve one way or another. Even if it means throwing a lot of (hypothetical) noodles at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Personally speaking, when I played Rock Band for the first time, I thought I wanted to play the guitar like my older siblings did, but it was the drums that really caught my eye. 10 years later and I’m sharping my skills to experiment with songwriting again. But within the time I wasn’t playing the drums, I was getting better at learning how to read sheet music and learned how to play the marimba and timpani. And for The Breach, I drew upon those skills to create various SFX and BGM.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
For The Breach, as well as Aragon: Hell’s Asylum, my tasks eventually lead me to a feature that needs to be created, but I would have no idea how to solve immediately. And yes, there are tough days when it seemed like the task is impossible to create properly. But challenging yourself and making small improvements little by little will go a long way than following various tutorials that are available online.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
I’ll end with this, if you’re like me then you’re more than likely familiar with sites like itch.io, a place where indie devs can get their games available to more people with a relatively low barrier to entry. If/when you decide to release your game, don’t be afraid to get onto multiple stores. The more avenues people have to find your content, the more feedback and reviews you’ll receive. And Steam is no longer the big break it used to be, it’s easier than ever to get your game onto consoles. Better to spread the risk over multiple areas than just one at a time.
See you all next week!