Creating an indie game isn’t easy, especially for small studios with limited resources. Not only does it take extensive knowledge, skill, and an artistic flair, but also large time and financial commitments. In fact, the cost is so high that many talented artists don’t even get started. Thankfully, there are many strategies you can use to create a successful game on a small budget.
Use the public domain.
Public domain music, stories, and images are all great resources for game developers. Many copyright free works were once used professionally but their rights expired over time. Not only does this mean that they are of exceptional quality, but they can also be used at no cost. Even though many of these works are dated, there are many treasures for the creative indie developer. If you don’t want to use older material, keep in mind that current artists will sometimes release their content into the public domain.
Learn how to program on your own.
Many people want to make their own games, but lack the necessary skills. Unfortunately, getting the right training is often expensive -especially if you go to a specialized school or college. Thankfully, there are many low-cost options available, such as online lessons or textbooks, that make it easy for anyone to learn how to create games without spending a lot of money. In fact, many gaming studios are only interested in job applicants with the right skills, and don’t care if they have a degree from an accredited college or technical school.
Narrow your focus.
Making an indie game from scratch is very time-consuming, and since most indie studios only have limited resources, they must learn how to break down their game into its most basic parts. By spending your time making sure these elements work well, you will create a dynamic and memorable experience that doesn’t feel jumbled by unnecessary features. Remember; if you are running ahead of schedule you can always use any extra time to improve your game’s quality or add non-essential features.
Use 16-bit graphics.
Not only are 16-bit graphics attractive, but they also create a sense of nostalgia that many gamers love. Even better, artists using this graphical style can create sprites, backgrounds, and other artwork very quickly, freeing up time for other important tasks. Keep in mind that 16-bit characters can also be used with detailed backgrounds, environments, and effects to create a product that is visibly impressive and unique.
Now that you know how to produce a quality game without spending a fortune, you have no excuse not to get started. Who knows, maybe your creation will be the next indie sensation!