Indie Games Maker Myth: give up everything and it will work out

Interesting Article on CBC about the success of Cuphead for the brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. What got me a think'n , was the quote in the article from a Vancouver based developer:

"This could have easily — EASILY — turned out very poorly for them. It does for a lot of indie devs every year," a Vancouver-based developer wrote on Twitter "Huge respect for the work put into Cuphead, but I hate that this feeds the myth that if you give up everything for your game it'll work out."

We know the success stories: Minecraft, Stardew valley etc.... but what are the "fail" stories? I may be optimistic thinking that for every fail the people behind it, learn from it and fight another day, but interested if that indie game gamble has really ruined people?

Any examples?

Yep. There was an article about this very thing on US Gamer this week.

My view on the market right now is that the chances of "breaking out" are similar to your chances in the music industry. You're going to have to be really damn good and lucky if you do it on your own, or you'll need to be good enough to join an established group that has their stuff together. The days of Indie Game the Movie are over at this point.

Thanks for link!

Seems the "Magic Circle's" makers at one point became cynical about gamers:

"...What I do know, however [is that] the culture of sales defines Steam. Buying a game at full price, from the perspective of a gamer, that's for suckers. If it's not multiplayer or a show-piece for your latest graphics card, then why buy when it comes out?..... "

Understandable given the context of the article. Hope they've found a way past the cynicism.

ShiftyD wrote:

Hope they've found a way past the cynicism.

Yeah, the article ends hopeful, so we'll see. That said, you kind of have to end an article on that subject that way otherwise it's too depressing.

If you're interested in the history and current state of the indie games scene, the absolutely most incredible resource is the Checkpoints podcast by Declan Dineen. It's a collection of over now 100 interviews with developers, mostly of whom are indie. It's much more insightful than the indie game movie and my favorite collection of interviews by and about anyone.

There are also a couple podcasts of game dev interviews on the idle thumbs network, but they aren't nearly at the same level of quality.

Thanks, will check it out, been getting into Podcasts on the commute lately.... really enjoyed Paradox's recent one on:
"The Paradox Podcast S01E01 - How to get your game published"

Perspective from a publishers side. I've always liked Paradox, and it's interesting to learn a bit more on what makes them tick and how they made a space in the industry.

I'll have to check that Paradox one out! I never really get into their games, mostly because of a lack of time, but I get why they are good and respect that publisher quite a bit.

A big discussion going on right now in indie dev spaces about Aztez:'Aztez': The bloody indie brawler that should've been big

Yeah it’s known as survivors bias. Those who make it share their success story while the many others who did pretty much the same thing but didn't make it aren’t heard from.

So when a lottery winner says ’all you need to do is play the lottery’ then you should think twice about it.

It's not just indie developers, I'm certain many idea's for games at the AAA houses get fleshed out and then killed if timing and game just can't come together. Think I first saw this 16 years ago with: Games that Never Were: Sid Meier’s Dinosaurs