DIY: Indie Game Dev from Napkin to Profitability | BIRKETT, ROGULA, NEVILLE, BAXTER

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”Working on games you aren’t passionate about? Want to be your own boss? With the explosion of new platforms and distribution options for smaller games, casual gaming experiences have more options than ever to reach wider audiences and achieve profitability. This panel discusses stories from the trenches from independent developers who have built their own companies, many of them having left larger companies in the Triple-A and Casual Gaming spaces, to bring their personal passion for games to the forefront of their livelihoods. This panel explores the following topics:

1. Making the switch: stories from the trenches.
2. More than a hobby: key funding, revenue and distribution opportunities.
3. Sustainability: how the panelists are achieving (or plan to achieve) financial stability.
4. The challenges of being an indie developer, and how to deal with them.

Delivered at Casual Connect Seattle, July 2011.


Jake Birkett is the owner of Grey Alien Games and has been producing, designing and programming casual games since 2005. He has seven casual games under his belt including the top-selling Fairway Solitaire and Unwell Mel download titles. Having been both an independent developer and an employee in the casual game industry at Big Fish Games, he can offer his perspectives of these different approaches. Jake is also co-founder of Full Indie, a 450-strong Vancouver-based meetup group for independent game developers. [Email Jake

Ola Rogula started dabbling in Flash-based dress up games in 2008 as a hobby. As her website grew in popularity, she started getting more serious about game development. In mid 2010 she made the switch from geneticist to full time indie developer, and hasn’t looked back. Her website, Doll Divine, is pushing the standard of traditional web-based fashion games and is attracting female gamers of many age groups. [Email Ola]

Shane Neville is an award-winning video game producer and solo game creator who develops games and consults at his company, Ninja Robot Dinosaur. Since joining the game industry in 1997 Shane has been a studio manager, producer, marketing manager, creative lead, writer and tester before starting Ninja Robot Dinosaur full time in 2010. Shane is an expert in agile development, game design, interactive narrative and mobile games. Shane lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada with his beautiful wife, wonderful daughter and the most annoying cat in the world. [Email Shane]

Mark Baxter is VP Product & Creative and Co-founder of Vivity Labs, a developer of life-relevant casual gaming experiences across Mobile, Web and Social platforms. He was the President & Founder of Gnosis Games, a casual games studio with multiple #1 titles that was sold to Threewave Software. He has been in the games industry for more than 10 years as a designer and producer of Console, Casual, Serious and Multiplayer games. Mark believes that games have great potential to be a powerful medium for self-improvement, and is dedicated to making this a reality. [Email Mark]


DIY: Indie Game Dev from Napkin to Profitability | BIRKETT, ROGULA, NEVILLE, BAXTER , 4.9 out of 5 based on 9 ratings

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