Indie Way. How I started to make games

    Welcome all! I decided to tell you my story, maybe it will be interesting to someone. And if this inspires someone to exploit, it means that it was not in vain that I took up this article.


    3 years ago since the moment I became a professional game developer. The word "professional" here is not in the sense of "cool developer", but in the sense that this is my only source of income.
    In total, from 2009 to 2011, 7 games were developed. The number of gameplay from all games tends to 100 million, and the proceeds from these games - to [censored]. But I will not write about this today, because this has little romance, and too many numbers. Today we will talk about what preceded the choice of a profession.


    1993 year . I am 6 years old, there is no computer. A friend has a ZX-Spectrum, and it's impressive! He played at a time at his party. I cut a square hole in a matchbox, passed paper ribbons through it, drawing frames imprinted in an impressionable children's brain in the hole. I drew computer games on these tapes, frame by frame. He didn’t show anyone ...

    1995 . I am 8. My father has 386DX at work. The miracle of technology! Games of that time - Prince Of Persia, Golden Ax, Flash Back. Impressive! Several times a week, after school, I run to play with him. Dendy later appeared at home, and behind her - Contra, Battle Toads, Double Dragon.

    1996 year. The computer is at home! It was a Pentium 133, 16 Mb RAM, 1200 Mb HDD. There was no sound card or CD-ROM. My father dragged Doom 2, Warcraft 2, Duke Nukem from work on floppy disks.

    1997 year . I am 10, and the first symptoms of a game dev appeared. I discovered Power Point and vector graphics. He drew "Robocop", shooting at insidious enemies. In PowerPoint of the 95th version, it was possible to do frame-by-frame vector animation, in 97th this chip was spoiled for some reason.

    1998 year . Creating vector cartoons tired. Started doing quests. The entire “scripted” part of the quests was to set up transitions between slides in PowerPoint by clicking on specific objects. These quests were played by 4-5 of my friends.
    Favorite games - Cyberia, Cyberia 2, Another World, Tomb Raider 2.

    Teenage years

    2001 year . I was 14. I watched “Masyanya”, went to the market, bought a CD with Macromedia Flash 5. I couldn’t even think that he was a pirate. I sat down to study ...
    Hits of that time - Fallout 2, Deus Ex.

    2002 year . I am 15 and I decided to make a game. We drank beer with friends, recorded a sound track with a guitar. A friend helped with the plot, wrote a script. I drew graphics in flash and wrote scripts. From programming in the game there was only an interface, the rest was script transitions between frames - gotoAndStop ().

    The game was called "Punk's Not Dead or Teletubbies Must DIE!" Alcohol, marijuana, underground. Hard childhood ... Actually, with this craft it all started. Then there was no flash game business, there was no Kongregate, there were no Newgrounds. And the games were made only by geeks and other lovers.

    My father had an Internet in a research institute! I then wrote in HTML a simple site for this institute, and they had their own hosting. I quickly built a website for the game, and got into spamming forums. A month later, we were kicked out of the hosting, because traffic exceeded 1.5 GB. I had to look for free ...
    The game was never finished, I just grew up and lost interest in it. It was made 4 levels out of 5 conceived. I can’t imagine how many people played it, but I think about 100 thousand. Until now, it can be found on torrents and file hosting services. I left my e-mail in the credits, and I still receive letters, although almost 10 years have passed.

    If you google it, you can find, for example, this:

    Year 2005. I am 17 years old. Youthful maximalism is flourishing, and it took me the head to do a cool quest about two rastamans. Grandiose ideas, a lot of script sheets, weeks spent drawing complex scenery. It didn’t take off ...

    Later I realized that it’s impossible to do a large project for months without receiving any money or help from outside. And I just could not calculate how complicated this idea was.

    On the way to the conscious ...

    2007-th . I am 19, and I moved from Pyatigorsk to St. Petersburg, to graduate from St. Petersburg SUAI. Fond of 3D modeling. It got into my head to make a remake of "Punks Not Dead", but with cool graphics. Spent a couple of months, made a dozen scenery - did not take off ...

    As usual, too many ambitions. A large number of labor costs, lack of income - and the motivation over time was exhausted.

    Year 2008 . I am 20, and I am sitting in the office of the Research Institute of Urban Studies. I am engaged in maps of Karelia (this is north of St. Petersburg, near Finland). Dull work, pay a penny. I have been working there for six months now. To my misfortune, the office had Internet access, and I stopped working.
    By an old habit, I leafed through the forum, and came across a post by Vadim ( mrBadim) He wrote that in 3 months he earned $ 10,000 on ... flash games! I got sick of working at all.
    It is worth noting that the professional career of so many indie developers in Russia began with mrBadim and JohnnyK blogs . These guys inspired me too. I left my office and went into experiments.

    The year 2009 . I am 21, and I still have not given birth to anything. Maximalism didn’t dry up; ambitions were beating with a fountain. I wanted to make the coolest Tower-Defense, with non-standard gameplay, with 3D-models and skeletal animation, with blackjack and ... Well, you know. It didn’t take off.

    Much has been done. But a commonplace problem arose - livelihoods ran out. And then…
    Straining my brains in the throes of creative search, I came up with a simple and casual game about balls. I thought I would do it in a few days. It took ... 5 weeks. Surprisingly, even now, after 7 full-fledged ready-made projects, I did not learn to soberly assess the time frame (but I was much closer to this).
    He did everything himself: graphics, code and even music. 4-5 people wrote in the credits so that it seemed to the sponsors that "the team worked." Now it seems silly to me, and then I thought that it would give an increase to the fee.

    The game was sold through the auction to the Swedish portal, for $ 11.000. And this is for 5 weeks. I could earn such an amount in my research institute ... for 2 years. It was something fantastic at that time! In a fit of euphoria, I have not worked for six months :)


    2011-th . I am 24. Further romance ended, and work began. If anyone is interested, I can tell you more about my commercial games - what, how and how much. If you want to play my games, you are welcome to follow the links:

    Laser Cannon 2
    Level Editor
    Atomic Puzzle
    Go Home Ball

    Thanks to everyone who had the patience to read this. Your Max is aka Crash-512.

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