Next Generation Indie Game Development
December 21, 2013
•IADT General, Game Design and Production
• 0 Comments
Game development is a tough business to get into. For many recent graduates, one of the best ways to break into the industry is to start with indie game development. These games generally have slim budgets, and don't attract as much attention as blockbuster franchises, but it is easier than ever to get an indie game project off the ground. Here's how the new generation of game consoles work with indie developers.
Nintendo's Wii U has a great track record of working with indie game development companies, and is on course to have more than 100 indie games in its Wii U Shop. The first step to developing games with Nintendo is to register on the Wii U developer page. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself and your potential game. Once you have registered, Nintendo will reach out to you with next steps. You can register with Nintendo at any part of the development process, but it's best to have at least some work completed on your game beforehand. From there, you will need to keep working on your game and ensure that it meets all of Nintendo's standards before it can be released on the Wii U.
Much like Nintendo, Microsoft requires developers interested in creating games for the Xbox One to register via its ID@Xbox website. Once registered, Microsoft will allow developers to access development tools on their Xbox One that are pre-installed. Depending on the size of your team, developers can also apply to get one or two development kits from Microsoft. All indie games developed for the console must go through a rigorous certification process that checks potential games for bugs and vulgar content. There isn't much content on the Xbox One independent games platform at the moment, but Microsoft has partnered with several well-established indie game developers to ensure that their new program is a success.
Of the three big consoles, the PlayStation 4 gives indie developers the most flexibility. Users have to register with Sony via their PlayStation Developer site. Indie developers can set their own release schedules, decide their pricing structure, set up micro transactions, and retain the rights to their own intellectual property (which is a truly notable difference from Microsoft and Nintendo). Submitted games still need to go through a screening process to ensure that they meet quality standards and don't contain any offensive content, but the PlayStation Network is much more open and allows indie developers to self-publish.
If you've got a great idea for an indie game, all three console makers want to talk to you. Each has its own process that developers need to follow, and burgeoning developers need to be aware of the differences between them in order to make an informed decision. No matter which console you want to develop for, the first step towards becoming a true indie game developer is to register with each company's development community, and then decide where you want to go from there.
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