Screenwriter, Choreographer, Game Developer

My first two weeks as an indie game developer

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I've been an independent game developer for two weeks now so here's a little progress update…

The business

Always hire accountants, their specialist knowledge is valuable. My accountants are setting up my company as we speak. It will be called Richard Lord Ltd. because this is all about me and the projects I want to do.

Not all the projects I want to do are games, but the majority are. I have a list of ideas including nine games, two apps, one piece of hardware, one web service, one book, and one dance production.

I will have one project in production at any time, with pre and post production on others as appropriate. I will try to balance my time so most of it is spent on the current production project.

Working from home

I like working from home. It's quiet. I can concentrate, focus, get on without interruptions.

I can also manage my time how I want to. I start work early, at 7:30, and have broken the day into four two hour blocks of work, with long breaks between. I go for a mid-morning run after the first block of work, have a relaxed lunch after the second, and do some reading or play a game after the third.

The lack of distractions and frequent breaks means I'm very productive, so there's no need to work in the evenings or at weekends, which is good because there's other stuff I want to do with that time.

I try to use six hours a day for the current production project and two hours for other work - managing the business and pre-production for other projects. I've managed that most days so far.

I also try to get out and about a bit, particularly when there's an appropriate event on. It's good to meet other developers. I've been to a couple of evening events and this week is Mobile Games Week in London so I will be out a lot.

My first project

My first project is a 2d physics-based puzzle game. I've deliberately chosen one of my simpler ideas to start with because I want to release something soon and learn from it.

It's a mobile game. It could be a desktop game too, but I think it's better suited to mobile. I'm aiming for iOS and Android versions, with a Windows Phone version if it's not too much trouble.

I'm developing the game with Unity3d. There's a little part of me that would like to build my own ECS game engine, but I'm trying to be more practical than that and I already know Unity well from my previous work. It would be silly to reject such powerful tools in favour of more work.

I built a prototype for the game first, to test it out. The gameplay is relaxed. There's no timing element to it so players aren't pressured by the clock or their reaction time. But, painfully, a single mistake can ruin the best laid plans. I like it.

I hope to release the game in about a month. I'm building this game alone for now, but I am interested in meeting possible collaborators. I'm doing all the code but might collaborate on graphics or audio, and I certainly will need collaborators for some later projects.

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