Late in life indie game developers, Talk to me.

  • 32 here. Just got in to game dev in the past year (and got in to C2 in the past couple of months!).

    If I was in my early-20's right now, I think I still wouldn't be able to do the work that I do currently. I just didn't have any determination or ambition then. Was more interested in hanging with friends and socializing. Around my mid-20's I switched careers and realized that if you work hard and smart enough, and have just a bit of talent, that you can accomplish shit. Will it be great or amazing? Maybe. But if it isn't, you at least finished something which most people can't even do.

    So I'm totally cool with being in my 30's and getting in to game dev. I know how to block time to work. I know how to manage large projects and finish them. I know how to work through "the wall" of any project. These are skills I've picked up over the years in doing multiple creative efforts.

  • I'm 29 and just getting to grips with Construct 2. I've played games my whole life and I've always wanted to make my own. Recently, it's been a stronger feeling since a lot of games coming out nowadays just aren't the kind of games I enjoy, so I figured the best solution was to make my own!

    I've been using a scheduling book to plan out my days to balance work, family, and game design, and setting small goals for myself every day and week, I'm not sure I would have been able to do this earlier in my life, because like I'm sure a lot of you experienced, it was hard to stick to a project without getting frustrated or bored. I'm older now, and being a father and a husband has really helped me learn how to manage my time. Having kids has also reminded me to keep an open mind about design and what could be considered 'fun', which helps me stay creative and not feel stuck in a rut or banging my head against a wall.

  • I'm 30 and just found out about Construct 2. I'm a full-time freelance web developer by day who has always dreamt of making games. If C2 had been around when I was in High School, I probably wouldn't have graduated because I would have just been playing with it all the time.

    I've come up with so many ideas over the last few years when I didn't think it would be possible to make m own games that now I'm trying to figure out what to focus on for my first game. I have a ton of artist friends and I'm hoping to tap into their talent and make something decent. This community has been a big help, there are so many good resources here!

  • I'm pushing forty and finally getting around to doing this thing that I've wanted to do for a long time now. I grew up on the classics, but didn't have the opportunity to go into game design when I was younger. I'm interested in swapping info and advice with others like me. There have been plenty of challenges starting this late in the game, but I face each one confident that I will prevail and finish my game. What sorts of challenges have you faced? What sort of projects are you working on?

    Oh I wish i could see 40 again

  • At 35 i don't really feel late in the game, but kind of see it as my previous experiences and work led me to this point. My first job was as a 3D artist for a small indie studio, then i did a little bit of this and that in graphic design. In my late 20's i ended up at EA DICE as a UI artist, after that i was off to start a company doing web development, TV commercials, prints, and all kind of media stuff. Currently working for an iGaming company and messing around with my construct project on my spare time.

    So from start to finish i gather a lot of knowledge from different industries and learned a lot of skills. Working on AAA titles like Battlefield: Bad company gave me a lot of insight in to the bigger companies and how they work and market their games, and what to aim for in terms of quality.

    If i started this journey earlier i don't think i would have gathered enough knowledge to embark on creating my own games. I'm sure being a gamer can give you a lot of insight into what's good or not, but without any experience in the industry / or similar i think it would be harder to get started and actually making something commercially viable, if your plan is to make a living of games.

    I havn't even finished my first game yet, but getting there. But hopefully my previous experiences gave me enough skills to make something really good and enjoyable, market the right way, and eventually make a living from.

  • Well i might just win this one as i am 55. So all you young whippersnappers out there take note.. i have forgotten more than.. erm what was i saying?

    Have the visitors been ?

  • 37, I used to make games with the shoot em up construction kit on the... I keep thinking c64 but maybe it was amiga... it was a long long time ago.

    I never made a game but I looked at game maker but coding scared me away and this looked easier to get started. I've made an asteroids clone and some odd little platformers using premade content, but now I'm working on a retro looking platformer with 16 bit style graphics I'm making from scratch.

  • Lol- you guys are just kids!

    I am 52 and I started programming games on a commodore Vic 20 computer at about 15. That is 20K of memory and it had a separate tape drive for storing programs.

    Try to design anything in 20K.

    Then I graduated to the Commodore 64 and I thought that was fantastic and I made my own Joust games and a typing instructor game. I learned to program games in BASIC and created lots of text based games that did not use lots of memory and 8 bit simple graphics.

    In college I studied CAD drafting and the systems were advancing rapidly but still slow and low memory.

    I have been making games pretty much all my life from board games, sport and recreation games for outside and some computer games but when I became disabled I took up an interest in computer game design again and I have been teaching myself the different creation programs like C2, 001, Gamemaker and Unity.

    I like C2 because the games are HTML and no download required so people can play instantly but it has limitations for true 3D games.

    What I like about it is I can do a complete game ready to play in a couple of days and make it available on several platforms.

    I hope to get a game good enough for Apple or Steam and make some money but right now I am developing my skills on all sorts of games and it is just fun for me.

    A little advice for you young game developers: Develop games of all styles and you will incorporate your skills into new games as you design them and all games developed are a learning experience. Do it for the fun and if it is popular and makes you some money then that is icing on the cake but you can enjoy cake without icing.

    Here is a list of my C2 games and please come check them out, leave a rating and some feedback for an old Commodore game programmer.

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/action-ga ... edder-2078

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/action-ga ... aders-2054

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/undergrou ... ellar-1989

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/undergrou ... -game-1852

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/undergrou ... umper-1806

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/undergrou ... umper-1806

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/undergrou ... treme-1720

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/shooting- ... -hunt-1700

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/undergrou ... -hunt-1627

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/action-ga ... ebird-1521

    https://www.scirra.com/arcade/game-mana ... me?ID=1512

  • What can I say? Being older and making games is... Painful. Painful enough to make me want to quit every now and then. At least once each month.

    You are making a simple game. A game that normally would take you up to a week to develop. But then your kid gets sick. And have to stay home. For a week. Then YOU get sick. And being sick - you still keep yourself glued to the chair. Trying to code in what you have in mind. Falling asleep on your own keyboard. Then your wife gets sick too. And working becomes very annoying. You have troubles focusing.

    Once all the sickness are gone - you go back to work. But you have to do laundries. Shopping. You have to clean dishes, floor. Cook some dinner for the family. Pay the rent, the bills. Then you get into a fight with your wife. And this leaves you pissed and exhausted. You loss all the motivation to code. You have troubles thinking straight.

    Due to game delay, your bank account gets dry. And you have to stop the developing and take some casual jobs, to earn some quick cash. Meanwhile your fans are emailing you. Your facebook account needs attention. Twitters twists like mad. People are asking what's going on. And you have neither time or stamina to reply. Even if they are dear to you. Then the your building administrators, in where you live, decides that the gas pipes needs to be replaced. They rip the walls, the floors. You cannot work. Harsh noise of drills interrupts your every thinking, concentration. You go outside. For a walk. You recharge batteries. Come back and continue fighting.

    Then you have to get your kid from preschool. Do some homework with him. Play with him. Trying to raise and teach this young human being how to be a good man. Then evening comes. You finally have some time to work again. But the TV is right next to you. So you put headphones on and play some loud music. The music is to distract you from the TV right next to you, but it also gets in the way distracting your own mind. You are exhausted. 10:00 PM comes, and you stop working and watch a movie with your wife. Then you go to bed and fall asleep like a dead body. At the morning you wake up. Make breakfast for everybody. Take your kid to preschool and back to work. Day by day. Week after week. Month after month.

    And suddenly your "One Week game" is getting finished.... In 8 weeks. Its not polished or optimized. And you are just freaking burned out. You have no stamina left to patch and polish the game. You just want to get rid of it already. Publish it and forget. Move to the next project. Because you already started to hate your game.

    Good things happens for a change. The game goes a bit viral. You gain fans and followers. But the game due to lack of time and funding and stamina ended up maybe 1/10 of what you wanted to develop. So you promise part 2. A sequel. A good one this time. With HD graphics, awesome audio, rich gameworld and story, standalone, in fullscreen. Not some shitty embed on Newgrounds or Kongregate. But you know you cannot afford such project on your own. You cannot afford spending 6 months to develop such game. So you look for a publisher, an investor.

    You finally find one. He is all hyped and everything. Promises you golden mountains. Speaks with you via phone and IRL for hours. And then you get the papers. You read the papers. And its all shit. So you discard the publisher. You look for another one. Same story. All hype and then shitty papers. You starting to get heartbroken. You decide you'll go crowdfunding. But you have no access to Kickstarter so you are forced to use inferior IndieGoGo.

    You slowly prepare for the campaign. You read billions of arts, FAQ, post mortems and tutorials. You ask for advices from fellow, successful developers. You take notes. And you finally get to work. You make a tech-demo of the Sequel. You compose and master Soundtrack. You write script for the trailer. Then you record the trailer. You master it, polish. Upload to all media. You prepare the presskit. Graphics for the campaign. You write hell load of content. Spellcheck them like a extreme grammar nazi. And you are finally ready. You wait till the beginning of the month. You start spreading the hype. And then you click the launch button. And it goes live. The fire is burning. And you are burned out.

    You answer emails, messages, twists. Dozens of them. Daily. You observe how little cash is flowing in at IndieGoGo. And you feel sad. But you cannot give up. You have a wife and son. Quitting is not an option. So you keep on pushing. Trying not to ask the difficult question. Ignoring the what's coming. Hoping its a mirage.

    You keep doing what you were doing. Making more buzz on the net. Using all sort of cheap tricks, guerrilla tactics, grayhatting. Everything. You throw out everything you got. One of you fans, out of pure devotions - donates money to you. So you can buy a developer pass on Steam. You cry. Because this is the first bright thing that happens. On a pitch black canvas of your situation.

    But everything still fails.

    Half way to your target goal someone donates a huge amount of money for the campaign. You rush to thank him. As it appears, he is a rich guy. And he believes in you. You talk via Skype with him. For hours. Two of you cry, laugh, joke around. And a shy spark of hope is starting to ignite in your heart. The guy wants to fund your projects. Forever. Because he believes in you. Due to amount of stress and hardship you had been enduring past months, you lower your guard. And that's your mistake.

    After some time, the investor starts to smell weird. You Xray him. And find all sorts of nasty facts. Facts you cannot deny. Its over. Your game gets Greenlit. But long after IndieGoGo ends and fails. You don't have funds to actually develop the game. And your Greenlit game profile becomes a tombstone. A monument of what will not happened. At least, not anytime soon.

    So you go to the store, buy a bottle of vodka. Which you normally never drink. And you get wasted. You shout, you cry, you fall into depression. Night ends, morning comes. You pull yourself back in one piece. And you start a new project. Rise and repeat.

    Rise.

    And repeat.

    From mathematical standpoint - you have to success. Sooner or later. It will come. Even a monkey will write Shakespeare if you give it enough time. At least that's what you are holding to. Because at this point, after so many years - you have nowhere else to go. Developing games is all you can do and all you want to do. The only hope for a better life. For you, your wife, you kid, your old mother. The only hope. Which you ceased to believe in, long time ago. But you are on this train with a One-Way ticket. And there is no coming back. So you keep riding the train. Giving out everything you got. Doing everything you can. Hoping for the best. Praying it'll be enough.

    TL;DR

    Well lol YEAH! Being a an adult with a family and age and game developer - is a pain in the ass. Its a fun ride at times. But those moments are rare and precious. Mostly after publishing a game. Reading feedback and interacting with the players is also great. The coolest thing is when your kid is playing your games with all the "Wows!" on his face. Thats one of the brief moments when you really feel that you are fighintg the good fight.

    Kudos

    EDIT:

    w00t! 400th post!

  • Umm...could you go into more detail, please? LOL!

    What can I say? Being older and making games is... Painful. Painful enough to make me want to quit every now and then. At least once each month.

    You are making a simple game. A game that normally would take you up to a week to develop. But then your kid gets sick. And have to stay home. For a week. Then YOU get sick. And being sick - you still keep yourself glued to the chair. Trying to code in what you have in mind. Falling asleep on your own keyboard. Then your wife gets sick too. And working becomes very annoying. You have troubles focusing.

    Once all the sickness are gone - you go back to work. But you have to do laundries. Shopping. You have to clean dishes, floor. Cook some dinner for the family. Pay the rent, the bills. Then you get into a fight with your wife. And this leaves you pissed and exhausted. You loss all the motivation to code. You have troubles thinking straight.

    Due to game delay, your bank account gets dry. And you have to stop the developing and take some casual jobs, to earn some quick cash. Meanwhile your fans are emailing you. Your facebook account needs attention. Twitters twists like mad. People are asking what's going on. And you have neither time or stamina to reply. Even if they are dear to you. Then the your building administrators, in where you live, decides that the gas pipes needs to be replaced. They rip the walls, the floors. You cannot work. Harsh noise of drills interrupts your every thinking, concentration. You go outside. For a walk. You recharge batteries. Come back and continue fighting.

    Then you have to get your kid from preschool. Do some homework with him. Play with him. Trying to raise and teach this young human being how to be a good man. Then evening comes. You finally have some time to work again. But the TV is right next to you. So you put headphones on and play some loud music. The music is to distract you from the TV right next to you, but it also gets in the way distracting your own mind. You are exhausted. 10:00 PM comes, and you stop working and watch a movie with your wife. Then you go to bed and fall asleep like a dead body. At the morning you wake up. Make breakfast for everybody. Take your kid to preschool and back to work. Day by day. Week after week. Month after month.

    And suddenly your "One Week game" is getting finished.... In 8 weeks. Its not polished or optimized. And you are just freaking burned out. You have no stamina left to patch and polish the game. You just want to get rid of it already. Publish it and forget. Move to the next project. Because you already started to hate your game.

    Good things happens for a change. The game goes a bit viral. You gain fans and followers. But the game due to lack of time and funding and stamina ended up maybe 1/10 of what you wanted to develop. So you promise part 2. A sequel. A good one this time. With HD graphics, awesome audio, rich gameworld and story, standalone, in fullscreen. Not some shitty embed on Newgrounds or Kongregate. But you know you cannot afford such project on your own. You cannot afford spending 6 months to develop such game. So you look for a publisher, an investor.

    You finally find one. He is all hyped and everything. Promises you golden mountains. Speaks with you via phone and IRL for hours. And then you get the papers. You read the papers. And its all shit. So you discard the publisher. You look for another one. Same story. All hype and then shitty papers. You starting to get heartbroken. You decide you'll go crowdfunding. But you have no access to Kickstarter so you are forced to use inferior IndieGoGo.

    You slowly prepare for the campaign. You read billions of arts, FAQ, post mortems and tutorials. You ask for advices from fellow, successful developers. You take notes. And you finally get to work. You make a tech-demo of the Sequel. You compose and master Soundtrack. You write script for the trailer. Then you record the trailer. You master it, polish. Upload to all media. You prepare the presskit. Graphics for the campaign. You write hell load of content. Spellcheck them like a extreme grammar nazi. And you are finally ready. You wait till the beginning of the month. You start spreading the hype. And then you click the launch button. And it goes live. The fire is burning. And you are burned out.

    You answer emails, messages, twists. Dozens of them. Daily. You observe how little cash is flowing in at IndieGoGo. And you feel sad. But you cannot give up. You have a wife and son. Quitting is not an option. So you keep on pushing. Trying not to ask the difficult question. Ignoring the what's coming. Hoping its a mirage.

    You keep doing what you were doing. Making more buzz on the net. Using all sort of cheap tricks, guerrilla tactics, grayhatting. Everything. You throw out everything you got. One of you fans, out of pure devotions - donates money to you. So you can buy a developer pass on Steam. You cry. Because this is the first bright thing that happens. On a pitch black canvas of your situation.

    But everything still fails.

    Half way to your target goal someone donates a huge amount of money for the campaign. You rush to thank him. As it appears, he is a rich guy. And he believes in you. You talk via Skype with him. For hours. Two of you cry, laugh, joke around. And a shy spark of hope is starting to ignite in your heart. The guy wants to fund your projects. Forever. Because he believes in you. Due to amount of stress and hardship you had been enduring past months, you lower your guard. And that's your mistake.

    After some time, the investor starts to smell weird. You Xray him. And find all sorts of nasty facts. Facts you cannot deny. Its over. Your game gets Greenlit. But long after IndieGoGo ends and fails. You don't have funds to actually develop the game. And your Greenlit game profile becomes a tombstone. A monument of what will not happened. At least, not anytime soon.

    So you go to the store, buy a bottle of vodka. Which you normally never drink. And you get wasted. You shout, you cry, you fall into depression. Night ends, morning comes. You pull yourself back in one piece. And you start a new project. Rise and repeat.

    Rise.

    And repeat.

    From mathematical standpoint - you have to success. Sooner or later. It will come. Even a monkey will write Shakespeare if you give it enough time. At least that's what you are holding to. Because at this point, after so many years - you have nowhere else to go. Developing games is all you can do and all you want to do. The only hope for a better life. For you, your wife, you kid, your old mother. The only hope. Which you ceased to believe in, long time ago. But you are on this train with a One-Way ticket. And there is no coming back. So you keep riding the train. Giving out everything you got. Doing everything you can. Hoping for the best. Praying it'll be enough.

    TL;DR

    Well lol YEAH! Being a an adult with a family and age and game developer - is a pain in the ass. Its a fun ride at times. But those moments are rare and precious. Mostly after publishing a game. Reading feedback and interacting with the players is also great. The coolest thing is when your kid is playing your games with all the "Wows!" on his face. Thats one of the brief moments when you really feel that you are fighintg the good fight.

    Kudos

    EDIT:

    w00t! 400th post!

  • Umm...could you go into more detail, please? LOL!

    Hahahaha!

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  • 36

    I started out with click and play when i was about 13 "i think".

    With it, i could create a simple game with event based logic and that always brought a smile to my face.

    Then i stopped for some years, then i found out about multi media fusion.

    It was fun so i used that for a while but eventually i backed away from it because of limitations and other hobbies.

    Meanwhile wrote my own book, had a home music studio in which i created over 10 hours of self made music (not all great ) and got small success in bands.

    Then i was curious and got on youtube to see if there where any more recent game building programs.

    That is when i found Construct 2, i bought it instantly and started building concept games and apps.

    Yes i would like to someday make "some" money with a game.

    But, from all those other hobbies i have, i already learned that the best thing about this "for me" is the self communication while going through the creative and logic process.

    The way solutions come into thought are phenomenal, and the payoff is instant gratification.

    So yes i am also in the age range, and for me the best thing about it is being able to take the time and truly think about the next steps.

    (Doing the jean luc picard wise self reflection and then... Make it so!)

    Which in turn helps me with every day life choices: Event-->Condition-->Action-->Reflect-->Clear the bugs.

    I just love everything about it, even if i have made a lot, but money

  • Savvy001 Interesting combination of music creativity and logic for programming. Just like Steve Jobs said "Everyone should learn to code", It changes the way you think, your learn about yourself and how your mind is thinking and the very core of it, at least this is my opinion as I tend to analyse my steps sometimes when I get lucky in finding a complex solution "How can it be? I seem I got lucky finding this solution". Funny in a way, I didn't know I could get smarter, but I think everything can be learned, even being smart (which some day I will hope to become, or even wiser )

  • Cipriux

    Exactly, and well said.

    The rewards are mainly internal, because each discovery is a gem given to curiosity through progression.

    On top of that, with some time and effort it extends far beyond, reaching the outside.

    As u said: Funny in a way, I didn't know I could get smarter, but I think everything can be learned, even being smart.

    That to me is wisdom.

    And as my thoughts tell me often: Learn how learning works, and let the lessons be your endless growth.

  • Late in life? I made my first game on an apple IIe when they were state of the art!

    Now I'm really depressed! I have a hard drive of unfinished projects older than most people on here. I have socks older than a lot of people on here. I'm right there with ya buddy.

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