Thursday, November 8, 2007

We are back!!! ok not really.

Well sorta.

Drew has taken the machine that was at one time my workstation and set up the Skill City game servers on it, and the database, and the dispatching server, and the chatting and world and banking servers...

You'll have to be a little bit forgiving if the machine seems slow. It is anything but idle now that it's thread cup runneth over.

Oh did I mention its running the games on a cable modem? Yeah ultra slow. You got some lag issues before when we were on a t3, just you wait.

But the good thing is that Skill City actually runs again. You can like, login and play Explodinator again, which is honestly something I have been thinking about a lot lately and not just because I want to explodinate a lot of the idiots I work with at my new job.

I thought about all the "I'll share more reasons why Skill City died" promises I made to you, all 15 of my readers, and then I decided to just let that lion sleep. It is over.

However I will say this: Do you have marketable skills? DON'T GO IN TO VIDEO GAMES

Drew put it to me one day when he said "I'm not doing this for the fun of it, I'm doing this for the money." I was mostly in it for the fun of it, honestly I was having a blast, but I also could move at my own pace.

I look at job postings that places like Big Fish post and decide that being a professional producer is actually a shit load of work (omfg I cussed). The thing is, you would expect that to come with a big salary to make up for it right?

Not so. The video game industry is very very lop sided. Nobody makes phat salary, the hours are long, and often your product is forgotten as soon as something else shiny wanders across the vapid gaze of your target consumer.

I went back to being a Linux administrator and once again realize that not only am I good at this job which makes it tolerable and often simply easy for me, but it pays really really ridiculously well. Like six figures well if you are keeping track at home.

Nobody in the game industry makes a salary like that unless you are the CEO of something doing crazy well. A small games studio, even a medium one, won't be paying anybody salaries that big.

It's ok though, you aren't in it for the money. Just pay your rent with what you make, walk or bike to work, and gaze through my window at night wishing you too were drinking an obscenely tall glass of very expensive bourbon. All your friends will be jealous because you "make video games" and thats good enough for those 12 hour days you work.

Then you will turn 30 and realize the best years of your life are gone, you have no money, and you are ultimately replaceable by any high school kid willing to work 80 hours a week for peanuts just because he wants to "make games."

Yeah I know, I'm so harsh.

I'm also the only person who is telling you the truth.


The Mayor said...

So whats the answer?

Keep your day job, and work on your passion at night. I don't mean masturbation either you sicko. Jeeze.... I mean go home and make games.

Your freedom from financial tyranny will allow you to explore and create in a way that will allow amazing things, as long as you are motived.

Patrick said...

I came up with an even better way: build a web-game that has a high profit margin and live in Argentina.

Devin Rose said...

Hi guys,

The Mayor, I have followed your journey with interest; I am sorry that Skill City worked out the way it did.

I work at a big company and write software, and do indie development as a hobby. Like you guys, I've done the math a number of times to figure out how successful I would have to be to make my current salary, or even half of it, as an indie developer.

The number of downloads/page views/subscribers/conversions needed is daunting, to say the least.

Patrick, you have found a way to do it, in part by living in an inexpensive country (compared with U.S. or Europe anyway). I also thought about living in Thailand because it is dirt cheap ($3 per night at a bungalow, $3 per day for meals, I kid you not).

It's a great idea, but not one for me in my life at this time, so I hope to release various indie games over the years and slowly build up revenue, eventually being able to make enough to retire early. For me, it's like real estate: one more stream of income.

I commend both of you guys for making a go at full-time indie development. The Mayor: I think you should continue your projects on the side and see if you can build them up while supporting yourself with your linux admin job.