Indie Haven July Developer Roundtable – The Biggest Mistake Indie Devs Make Laura Kate July 20, 2013 Features We at Indie Haven like to get you as close as possible to the games you love and the people making them. That’s why every month we aim to bring together a wide selection of of Indie Developers from all walks of life, from BAFTA winners to teenage and student devs, to discuss the hottest issues affecting games, development, coverage and the Indie community. These chats will be broken up into chunks and released across the month, before we start all over again with new developers and new questions. This month we welcome a brand new group of developers to the Roundtable. We’ve got Tom Vian (Developer at SFB, creators of Haunt the House: Terrortown), Alan Zucconi (Creator of time travel puzzle game Still Time), Ashley Ross (lead developer at OmNomCom and creator of the upcoming game Girl With a Laser Cannon), Jennifer Schneidereit (co-founder of Nyamyam, creators of Tengami) and Andrew Roper (Recent University graduate working on the game Lazarus). Owen Harris (Studio Head at bitSmith games) also joins us toward the end of the Roundtable. If you’re an Indie Dev of any size that would like to take part in a future roundtable, please email Laurak@IndieHaven.com and let us know a little about yourself. The more the merrier. “What’s the biggest mistake you see being made by the Indie community when making games?” Tom Vian: I’d say ‘not getting the word out enough’, but I don’t see the people that are making that mistake and that’s exactly the problem! Laura Kate: @Tom, you may have just hit that nail on the head 😛 Ashley Ross: Being unique for the sake of being unique. I think some indie developers think that’s all being indie is about. That and nobody seems to be good enough at marketing. Alan Zucconi: Aiming to high. It is probably the dream of every indie developer to make the best game ever. Unfortunately there are constraints such as time and money and most of the time I see people that have to interrupt the development of their games because they ran out of resources, or they realised too late that “It was too much to do!”. Tom Vian: There’s this huge group of people making and releasing games that you never hear about, except maybe a glimpse or two. Laura Kate: It’s the eternal indie problem, getting noticed in a terribly saturated market. Is there anything the average indie can do to stand out more? Ashley Ross: Contact as many people as possible. No company too big, no website too small. Alan Zucconi: Small companies – such as indie ones – usually have small resources. And if they make a mistake in deciding what to prioritise …it is easy to fail. Laura Kate: @Alan I think often that comes from this whole indie myth people see, that you make a game from nothing and you’ll be the next Notch with Minecraft, too many aiming for the rags to riches story. Or rather, too many aiming for it right out the gate, forgetting how many games he made before that which completely flopped and nobody has ever heard of. Alan Zucconi: @laura: Yes. In my personal experience… some of the best indie games I have ever seen have never been released. Alan Zucconi: Well failure, for me, has a great value. The more you fail, the more you are likely not to fail in the future. Well, if you are able to get experience out of it of course. I have seen a couple of projects fail myself and I learnt a lot from those experiences. And with that we end another segment of Indie Dev Roundtable here at Indie Haven. Next time we Discuss The biggest mistakes Indie Developers make. What do you think? Did you back Ouya on Kickstarter? Will you be buying a Gamestick? Have you developed for either? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @Indie_Haven.