Indie Game Development has a lot of hardships!

Not just the technical and creative aspects but also the financial side!
When living of savings or part-time income, it’s important to watch were your money goes!
Here are my tips on how I made my ‘Cut backs’

How not to do it!
After watching this indie game developer so called ‘documentary’:

DON’T WATCH IT!!
This guy is mostly on a downer about being broke, having to wake up at 4am for paid work then having to work on his game after.
Personally, I think he’s bringing his team mates and game down with this.

I felt sorry for this guy, he’s doesn’t eat well but drives a new 2013 car??
Anyway, below are my tips on how I get by!


Home phone/internet

My home internet/phone bill was $80AUD a month.
But with very little income coming in, this had to go!

Now days you only need one device.. of cause it’s the mobile phone!
Tethering internet (via USB/WIFI) from your mobile’s GPRS data to your PC/Laptop/tablet etc is pretty straight forward and works well with the right tools.
Update: GPRS data doesn’t work very well in wet weather!

1. Add ImageBlock and FlashBlock
ImageBlock is a button which you can toggle image loading, pages load quicker and saves your data also!
FlashBlock, disables flash automatically loading and starting.

2. wget (Downloader manager)
wget (on every OS) is a console executable download manager and can resume downloads from any disruption due to GRPS dropout.

3. Video downloader
There are many of these available for web browsers I use flashgot.
I mainly use youtube-dl (Linux) with this script:

#!/bin/bash
youtube-dl -f worst -k -c --console-title -t $1

-f worst gets the smallest version, yeah it’s crappy mobile quality but it watchable (just) and audible!

If your connection drops, re-running the same command continues the download where it stopped.

GameDev tools
I try to use the right tool for the job, yes this means spending a bit money wisely.

* Mint Linux
No reason why I picked Mint, Don’t like Ubuntu UI, RedHat/Fedora is bloated.
I also have windows XP partition (I downgraded from win7)

Benefits: Not a bloated OS, No viruses, Stable and highly scriptable.
Bad: None, everything works as expected if not better, ie IntelHD drivers are better in linux.

* Blender3D
It took me some time to realise the power of Blender!
As a programmer, I was intimidated by it’s UI.
I checked out all the free/budget 3D Programs, fragmotion, Art of illusion, Wings 3D etc
When I came across TrueSpace, with it’s interface worse then Blender!! and lack of updates and community.
I realised Blender was the way to go!

Benefits: All in one tool, scriptable
Bad: the Z+ UP is annoying, steep learning curve.

Update 2nd Oct 2013:
I again realised that Blender is great at a lot of things!
But not lacking on the fundamentals, ie the Zup issue in modeling and poor FBX support.
Now I’m using Shade 3D for Unity it’s a works well, but limited (but it’s free) I’ll be buying the $99 or $250 at a later date.

* Gameplay3d.org
It’s an opensource C++ engine which supports:
iOS, Android, BlackBerry, PlayBook, Windows and Linux , Android, BlackBerry, PlayBook, Windows and Linux!
The And flexible to support more platforms, ie ARM embedded devices (mobiles).
Light weight designed, specificaly for mobiles (openGL-ES)

Benefits: 100% opensource, very flexible
Bad: Supports FBX only, small community, slow development cycle, no game/world editor and no MMO/networking features

* Unity3D
Industry standard for mobile development, large community.
Although not my preferred development platform, I plan on using the free version for testing/prototyping:
So manly testing 3D models textures, animation etc..
Update 2nd Oct 2013: I don’t plan on using Unity 3D


This isn’t a complete list, just my rough notes of what I find helpful.
Do you have any budgeting tips? If so please leave a comment below or tweet them to me :)

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