There are more resources than ever available to help independent game studios when it comes to actually making games.
But what about the business of making a successful game?
Leonie Manshanden (Midway, Irrational) and Tim Ponting (Activision), games industry PR veterans and founders of IndieDevKit, certainly think more information is required, which is why they've started the website IndieDevKit.
We reached out to Manshanden to get some insight into the premise and core objectives behind IndieDevKit, and how it can help indie developers to operate their businesses effectively.
PocketGamer.biz: Could you briefly summarise IndieDevKit and the role you see it playing in the independent development space?
Leonie Manshanden: IndieDevKit is an online platform offering affordable, expert guidance to self-publishing video game developers - it provides downloadable guides on a variety of marketing and operations subjects such as Legal Basics or Anatomy of a Modern Press Release.
Additional tools include interactive wizards and resource listings to help developers collectively save time hunting down commonly used information. Currently, most information available on these topics is anecdotal or shared by peers.
And although it's very important for developers to learn from each other, we felt there should also be a platform that was created by experts.
Every bit of content is not only written by professionals who combined have shipped over 200 games, but also vetted by other experts, verified with data sources and sense checked by developers.
It pained us to see many developers struggling to make informed decisions when it came to their business.Leonie Manshanden
We see our role as that of making expertise accessible to everyone, but we don't tell you what to do - we show you how to do it. We show you how the magic tricks are constructed.
What recurring challenges did you see indie devs encounter?
We started the site because it pained us to see many developers struggling to make informed decisions when it came to their business. We kept seeing promising projects by very talented and smart teams miss opportunities or not realizing their full potential.
That's when we realized: they don't know about marketing, communications and operations. If only we could make that information available to them sooner, make it easier to understand and make it more accessible, then we could hopefully make a real difference, especially to those teams just starting out.
We’re talking about things like figuring out how to present your game right after prototyping instead of 6 weeks before launch; understanding just how much preparation and resource is necessary for a successful crowdfunding campaign; or why social media IS relevant.
Is any content in the IndieDevKit specific to mobile or free-to-play game development?
Pretty much all of the guides we provide right now are platform agnostic meaning PC, console or mobile, as in fact are the wizards. There is no material that is specific to any one platform at the moment.
We felt it was important to share information about How to engage in marketing, communication and some operations topics such as legal matters or budgeting. These are the challenges that every developer has in common.
We'll keep adding new content over time. Some guides or wizards might require separate chapters for separate platforms in the future, but we'll always strive to be as inclusive as possible to all developers.
For more information, you can visit the IndieDevKit website.