Apr 272012

A sad video, for sad times. Farewell, India – you were a good cat. :~(

  10 Responses to “DevVlog EP9: Am I a one-hit wonder?”

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  1. “It’s scary not knowing where my next cheque is coming from.”


    Go do something crazyinsane but with really good intentions. Works for me.


  2. Wow,

    That was really honest Andy. Thanks for being so candid.


  3. Hey Andy,

    First off, sorry to hear about your cat :( It’s hard when stuff like that happens, mixed in with all of this other stuff.

    So, I just wanted to say that I completely believe you’re capable of making more awesome stuff. I think after a big success, it can become really easy to lose motivation and feel like you’ll never make something to that scale again. I can’t say I’ve ever made anything as successful as Steambirds, but from my personal experience, after I create something that feels like a “big success” in terms of my previous accomplishments, it’s really hard to get motivated and make the next thing.

    I can’t say I fully understand what it’s like to rely on indie game development, because I haven’t had to (yet), though I intend to in the coming years. I just wanted to say that your creativeness and game jams and all that cool stuff has really helped shape me as a developer. I hope one way or another you continue to make awesome stuff and come out to and organize game-making events.

    (ps. I might be going to Pax as well! If I end up going, I’m look forward to hanging out with you there!)

  4. I sympathise with you Andy

    Most folks don’t even achieve the success of Steambirds, so I believe you to be very fortunate.
    Your honesty is one of your most compelling qualities; your DevVlogs are evidence of such.

    My advice would be put more of yourself into your games or if you are feeling a bit lost collaborate with someone were you can leverage your strengths and regain some ground.

    For example, Ice Burgers is a charming game one you are proud of and should be proud of
    But in all honesty it doesn’t ooze “Andy Moore”,… Steambirds on the other hand, couldn’t have been made by anyone else.

    This is where you will further your success

  5. 8-9 years ago I got laid off from a telecommunications company and decided to “do my own thing.” I’d been poking at a piece of software I made for myself and decided to sell it. It brought in $5K the first month, and the next, and the next… It stayed like that for about 5 years — it basically paid all the bills.

    During those 5 years I updated the software several times, but didn’t start working on anything new until sales started to tank. No big deal, though, because I had a couple new things “coming out soon.”

    Those were launched and I heard crickets chirping. The next product did okay, then a couple more flops. Meanwhile the original software became obsolete due to technology moving on. And the mortgage was overdue and the kids needed clothes…

    Looking back I think the *worst* thing that happened to me was that I had a “hit” right off the bat. It made me think I was hot stuff and that everything I put out would do as well.

    At one point I talked to a guy who was doing what I was doing, but he’d been in the business for a couple decades (offline and then online) and he said he figures he needs to create about 10 products in order to get one home run. And this is a guy who was a PRO in the business.

    You *may* very well be a 1-hit wonder, but you also may just need to play the numbers a little more. If it takes (on average) X games on the market to get one hit, maybe you’re just not putting out enough product.

  6. Something I’ve noticed about your projects, is that you tend to make games in 2 ways. You either make fast projects, or you make ambitious projects (Steambirds, Protonaut). I don’t think I’ve seen you try and make an intermediate in a long time. My general impression is that making games *too* fast results in a greatly reduced chance of success. Have you considered spending 3-5 weeks on a project? Just to make something that brings in $2000 or so, and have a modest success.
    There’s quite a few FGL devs (or there were last time I frequented it) who have a regular cycle of making good games that hit the balance between speed and ambition, and it might be a good thing to aim for if you’re worried about security.

  7. Great ideas/concepts are the thing I struggle with the most. If it means getting a day job to be sustainable as an indie, I say go for it. You may actually discover new ideas by doing something other than sitting around trying to think of the next new idea. One of the greatest things about game design [which I'm sure you know], is that we can incorporate things from anywhere.

    Do what it takes, that’s indie right? :)

    Also, I listened to this while I had this game open in another tab: http://people.dsv.su.se/~alex-bat/dudewheresmyplanet.html
    Thought you had a cute little whimsical soundtrack to back your sad story, you should try listening to yourself talk with this BGM. :D

  8. So.. quick question for you – what changed between SteamBirds and projects after that (seems like Ice Burgers was your next one?)

    It looks to me you switched from a sponsorship/ad revenue model to a mobile market model, which is a lot harder to break into. You might have been better off riding the SteamBirds success, developers would be likely to jump on the next flash game you made, but instead you went to a ‘customer buys the game’ model which is a totally different sector where you are basically an unknown developer.

    Just some thoughts.

  9. @Justin White: I’ve made a few games for the flash market since SB, and none of them have gotten traction/don’t find a sponsor. You probably haven’t heard of them, as they are some of the dozens of titles I have sitting in my “failure” heap. I guess they aren’t as good as SB.

    Even IceBurgers was destined to be a flash game, but I soon found the interface cumbersome and it lent itself to a touch device. So that was a very recent switch. :)

    @Thomas: Just remember that Protonaut and SB were both “fast” projects as well. SB was done in a weekend jam just like everything else I do :) What encouraged me to go on and spend more time on it was interest from other devs, fans, and sponsors. I haven’t gotten that in ages (from a prototype).

    @Jay Jennings: Yeah, I believe in the 1 in 10 rule (Petri Purho). I think I’m at title 8 or 9 now, so technically I’m not due for success yet, even by my own measure :) Like I say in the video though.. not sure I can make it to the next hit before my money runs out.

    And thanks everyone else for their comments too. :)

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