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We Indies Are Doing Okay

August 20, 2012

The last two months have been extremely interesting for this Indie. The launching of a new iPad/iPhone game coupled with web animated shorts was and is quite daunting.

Now, I figure you are expecting a "Postmortem of Goats R Delicious," but that article is being saved for later. In this blog post I am going to jot down some observations about the vast opportunities Indies have in today's world Just so you know, I am being a little selfish for I am using this little writing exercise as a way to reenergize myself and validate my business ventures as an Indie.

First of all, we live in a wonderful age. I don't know if we truly appreciate all that is going on and the power every individual has. The technology to reach others allmost instantaneously across the world has revolutionized how we govern ourselves, interact with friends and family members, and do business.

The business' world power structure has shifted dramatically at an increasingly rapid rate. All one has to do is login to the internet for a short while to see this monumental revolution. Today ordinary people like you and me can conceive and implement a plan to use this powerful communication tool in establishing a business no matter its size. However this is just the tip of the iceberg (I know, everybody uses this phrase, but that is all I got) when it comes to artistic and creative endeavors. Why? Let us look at some of the reasons.

In the recent past big companies such as book publishers, television networks, game developers, advertising agencies, marketing research, radio networks, educational institutions, galleries and of course governments, limit access to the consumer markets a select few. It was almost impossible for start-ups or anyone who had an idea in the for mentioned areas to get noticed without investing large amounts of money. Let's face the facts, the majority of people out there do not have the resources or connections for such a product launch.

Now, I am an indie game developer and I produce animated web series. Under the old system I would somehow have to get my idea noticed by a big company. If by chance I succeeded, I would have to pitch my idea to their marketing research department. If, optimistically, there is a spark or interest for my game, the powers-to-be would consult their advertising department (using advertising agencies). The large, cumbersome, bureaucratic and lethargic ball we all now exists within big companies begins to role. Anticipated production costs and a timeline are established (we all know about deadlines for games). If the calculated income exceeds an established set percentage over the production costs, just maybe they will take on your idea.

Wait a minute! It doesn't stop there. Do you think they will use you to produce? To direct? To rewrite? To brainstorm? To pick the animators? To have the final decision on outcomes? To design levels? The answer, of course, is no. You lose your 'baby,' your excitement and control.

Now, today, we have access to such things as web 2.0 and other budding entrepreneurs who are utilizing today's technology. A writer can publish an e-book on line. A game designer can put his/her energy and soul into their games and its videos. An animator can scrutinize every aspect of the developing process. Aspiring filmmakers can direct and launch their videos on the internet with ads in order to make some money, Painters or photographers can show and sell their work on a website. A professor who cannot find a job can produce and distribute tutorials on line therefore maintaining the ability to remain in the field he/her has a passion for. A stay at home mom can run small cafepress stores or be a prolific blogger and augment her family income through advertisement.

My friends it is hard work and more times than not our monetary successes falls short. However, in the end we are given the ways to try and that is all we really wanted. Best of luck to all you Indies no matter what field you are in. We make the world a better place.