From idea to playable (and fun, that’s important too)
Everyone has ideas. I mean everyone, and I think we can all agree that only half of them are ever any good, and among that half, only 10% of them are even marginally lucrative, and only 0.001% of those actually get a chance at funding.
Well, ten years ago that was a hard truth. The world of software development took a neat turn when the iPhone came out. Suddenly $100 gave you a chance to try your idea out on the entire country, and see if people actually liked it. Xbox had offered it’s XNA development platform for small time developers to try their hand at, but that was such a competitive market that it was hard to say that the average Joe could really compete on Xbox Live Arcade.
iPhone and then Android offered for the first time, instant access to a huge market of consumers who wanted, wait preferred, quick and small games to play in downtime. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who play the more involved and long-term games available, but the average phone user plays five to ten minutes at a time. This allowed average Joe developer the opportunity to spend his time after work building his idea that he’s had locked away, convinced that no one would give him a chance with. Not only that, but these games do well, browsing through the market you find countless games made by individuals that are doing well.
This new generation of developers are to the software industry what modders were ten years ago, except the entrance requirements are significantly lower and the results are instantly accessible by nearly anyone, rather than simply the people who owned half-life or whatever other game already.
It’s exciting, it allows those of us with little experience and little funding the ability to get our foot in the door. I personally plan on Textual Indices working it’s way up, starting with mobile devices and working it’s way up into the major leagues. That’s not to say that I feel it will be easy, or even happen very quickly, but I’ve watched so many small time studios slowly build their way up to the big time that I know with plenty of planning and careful financing we can do it.