Should your next indie game be for Mobile, PC, or Console?

By: Adrian Bardan | 3/19/17

Hi fans and indie devs,

In this post I will try to answer the question, what kind of game should you make for your next indie game project?

Here's what I've learned so far about making different types of games.

Mobile Games


Mobile is for people who know how to:

I started making a mobile game. I didn’t know how to market anything. I got no traction in the few months it was on mobile stores. I then tried getting my mobile game on Steam. I got attention there right away, (some very negative). So, I decided to focus where I was getting real attention, meaning mobile ended up not being my thing.

PC Games


PC dev is for people who are:

I tried to port a mobile game to Steam Greenlight in 2016. Some people hated me (apparently the Steam community doesn’t really like mobile ports - who knew?), but I ended up with real attention right away. So, I decided to turn that game into a “real” PC indie game. (That's Grim Dragons, by the way.) I managed to get Greenlit. I work on improving my game all the time. It’s been exciting and frustrating. I’m pretty sure the work will never actually end… “we cannot get out… the end comes soon. We hear drums, drums in the deep…”

Console Games


Console game dev is for people who can:

Well - I have no experience with this one yet... But I will certainly try to port my PC games to consoles once I finish them. I'll let you know how that goes.

The Answer


So, now to answer the original question: Should your next game be for Mobile, PC, or Console? The answer is obviously…

YES!

The longer explanation: think strategically (long-term strategy) not tactically (short-term “make it or break it” sales campaigns). Consider your long term strategy and where you are now. If you’re working on your first commercial game and think you’re working on the next Minecraft or Angry Birds… well… good for you - reality will sink in soon enough. :)

Here’s my experience: I worked on a game for 1.5 years, got tired of it and put it on hiatus. (Money made: $0) I worked another year on the next game, Grim Dragons, and got tired of that one too. But, I managed to get this one greenlit on Steam. So, I decided I’d better commit to the grueling effort of getting this one done. 6 months later, with tons of upgrades and improvements, 25% of the game is completed. In Feb 2017, I went to Early Access.

And my sale stats for month 1:

Note to self: congratulations, you’ve just moved up from a full time hobby to a failing business! You can now afford a year’s worth of toilet paper! (WHY MEEE!!!) :'(

Still, I love what I'm doing, I really believe in it, and I'll keep going until I make it work!

You'll probably find you'll need to develop the same type of attitude if you haven't yet. That means that after running a marathon, you'll basically have to become someone who can eat marathons for breakfast!

10 points of advice

With the above caveats, here are 10 pointers to help you decide what game to make next:

So, Indiepocalypse aside, learn about the market you’re trying to go into. Make a "good" game that fits that market. Slap a real price tag on that bad boy. And remember, a game won't sell itself. Once you're ready, your number one goal should really be learning how to effectively reach more people with your product!

Simple!

(y’know - if you can commit to reaching 500K people…)

Additional Reading