Start by Making a Free Game

The title of this article is my advice to anyone trying to get started as an indie game developer. If you’re quitting your job to make games full time, make sure you have enough money saved to make your first free game and your second game.

What Do I Mean By Free?

I mean a game that is completely free. No ads. No in-game purchases. Provide a complete game that people can play for free.

Since this game isn’t going to make you money, you should make a small game. Don’t spend a year working full time on this game. Make something you could finish if you spent 2-3 months working on it full time.

What’s the Point?

Use the free game as practice for getting the word out about your games. Getting people to know your game exists is as difficult as developing the game. If you can’t get people to play a free game, how are you going to get them to buy a game?

With the free game you can figure out what works and doesn’t work in publicizing your games. Use that knowledge on your second game. If you spend 12-18 months making a game and screw up the marketing, you’ll be out of business before you get a chance to make a second game.