How to start your indie game studio

Written by john leather Google
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How to start your indie game studio
Setting up an indie game studio can be rewarding, but could take years to perfect. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Looking to take a leap into video game development? Starting an indie game studio? There are literally hundreds of studios out there backed up by multi million pound publishers creating blockbuster games. However indie studios have produced notable titles such as Ratchett and Clank and Mojang studios produced the immensely popular Minecraft. This evidence suggests there is a place for indie studios. The phrase "patience is a virtue" is extremely suitable here, as a project of this nature will take considerable time. Vast technical experience, marketing know how, and knowledge of law are vital ingredients for a successful indie studio.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Develop a hobby into a profession. Time is needed to perfect the craft of game development, and for the dream to be achieved, developing games as a hobby at first will help, along with being familiar with a host of game genres. Try using programs such as GameMaker which is free or Unity (see Resources). Using these programs will be the first step in realising a talent which can be fine tuned in to the profession of game development.

  2. 2

    Create a unique brand name and select a team. Without the financial backing of a publisher, a notable brand name is key in setting out the studio from the huge list of others. Choose the name carefully to fit studio ideology and type of games intended to develop. Creating a team of professionals is advisable including a designer, programmer and marketing professional.

  3. 3

    Ensure everything is legal when setting up the studio. Register the Company with Companies House (see Resources). There's enough to worry about without a potential lawsuit on studio hands when making games. Clear up payment issues, individual game ownership and development rights and who controls creative decisions within the team. This will verify the roles in the studio and save disputes later.

  4. 4

    Start production on a game. Decide on the type of game intended to develop and create a plan of how this will be achieved from inception of the game to it's release with a projected time frame. Co-ordinate the team to carry out the steps for maximum efficiency. Ensure good communication between the team from the designer to the programmer to ensure for the best possible results.

  5. 5

    Market the game and studio through whatever means possible. Social media has never been so popular, if the games developed could be incorporated somehow with social media sites then there is a viable chance a good game could drum up interest quickly. Be mindful to advertise to the right target audience as the budget will likely be tight.

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