Tangent on Paetron:
> you get your money as a subscription instead of a one-time thing. The second part is REALLY important.
I agree that this is often good. Especially for some types of creators. However I think a lot of people have abandoned the store model when it would suit them well. For example I run a lot of RPG campaigns and like to grab maps often from people on Paetron. However often I only need a couple of maps for a specific campaign or one specific map that I like from the backlog. I think you can usually subscribe for one month and grab what you need, but Paetron doesn't make this obvious and it is certainly awkward. I have no interest in subscribing to an artist whose next map is likely not relevant to my campaign. If these people had stores I would be buying maps frequently, but they don't so I pass them by.
If you are making content where most of your audience is going to appreciate every post (for example producing entertainment or information) then the subscription makes a lot of sense and is hugely valuable. However I see this model being used even where a substantial portion of the potential audience likely has interest only in a small section of the work and I suspect that choosing only this model is closing off potential additional income.
I can see why Paetron doesn't offer setting prices for individual posts or similar, the subscription model is lucrative when it works. However there is definitely a missing piece in some situations.Reply
I pretty much learned English from Jeff's games, so it's partially his fault now I'm here to annoy all of you.Reply
As a related tangent, Vogel (and Spiderweb Software) were responsible for many enjoyable hours in my youth playing through Exile III and Blades of Exile. I appreciate the world building and storytelling that he's done throughout the years, even if the newer game interfaces and graphics feel clunkier.Reply
The author did a great GDC talk about being an indie developer in the brick and mortar, pre-steam days. He talks at one point about how people had to buy a shareware cd from some kiosk, then phone him, argue about the price, mail him a cheque or money order, then wait for a cdrom in the mail to buy a game from him back then, but he made it work and is still goingReply
I have mad respect for anyone who is willing to take the risk of not being able to eat, on the hopes that strangers will support them, in order to do what they love.Reply
My experience is that Kickstarter and Patreon combine nicely. Patreon lets my wealthier fans fund the process of drawing whatever weird shit the Muses ask me to draw; Kickstarter helps me get all my fans together to make sure I have enough pre-sales to pay for a print run of a graphic novel or art book or whatever. And no, I don’t draw pictures of corporate characters getting it on.
Kickstarting the funds for the entire creative process of a thing is risky as fuck. Scope creep happens. External events happen. It’s become the norm in some fields like games but it is risky as fuck no matter how many projects you have taken to completion.Reply
Very fun article. I do think there is another way that is very much The Long Game but may offer the highest payoff / security in the long run:
* become very good at a highly gamedev-relevant and marketable skill (e.g. graphics programming)
* parlay skill into well-paying job that uses and further hones that skill
* as you work the job and save/invest aggressively, start building games on the side using the skills you've developed
* after 5-15 years, if you still want to make indie games, you'll have enough money to do it full time without needing outside funding, plus a vast amount of relevant skill and experience to help you succeed
Con: takes forever, to the point where you might die before you get to finish a game
Pros: you are not truly fucked if you fail at indie gamedev / realize you don't want to do it anymore; if you manage to carry out the full plan, you can make exactly what you want, since you won't need your games to make money
This is the route I'm taking - I'll update with my progress in 5 years or soReply
I really, really enjoyed the writing style. It made me smile, it made me laugh and it also showed potential way of making money for artists/indies on the net.
For me it also showed how the net created new gatekeepers (be it app stores, patreon, kickstarter or any other platform) that feel like the new lords while creators still are but the serfs (albeit with a little bit more freedom to choose ones lord).Reply
Speaking of busking, how could you leave out YouTube? It might not be particularly useful for indie game devs, and you might not like it, but nobody can deny that YouTube is currently the most well-known place on the planet for people to sing, dance, do crazy shit, or maybe just film their cats and make money out of it. YouTube even has a system that allows channel owners to collect recurring donations, somewhat like Patreon.Reply