It’s that time of the year again. We all look back at what happened and have high hopes for the coming year.
For me this marked my fourth year as an indie developer. It’s not a huge milestone by any standard, but the fact that I’ve been going at it for this long and I’m not broke yet means it’s a sustainable business. Actually, as you know if you followed some of my numbers posts, this was the first year that income from my apps finally became (reasonably) profitable. Now, *that* is something worth celebrating!
Doing this kind of small-scale game development is exactly what I would do if I didn’t have to worry about money at all, so this is truly living the dream for me.
All is not sunshine and roses in Noel indie-land though. I accomplished some of my goals for this year, but missed others by a mile and a half:
I released a bunch of Flower Garden updates and ran a bunch of promotions that kept bringing revenue up. That went very well. Check.
Miguel and I also submitted Casey’s Contraptions to the IGF (with three hours to spare the day of the deadline). I’m very proud of that one. Even if we’re not selected as a finalist, the experience of submitting it and finally participating in the IGF was fantastic. Check.
Games shipped. Hmm…. That’s the total fail. The only new game I shipped this year was Lorax Garden, a very short project in collaboration with Oceanhouse Media, mixing their Dr. Seuss license with the flower technology I had already developed. I didn’t even manage to ship Casey’s before Christmas like I was hoping to do. I could make excuses but there’s no point. Real life happens and things go slower than planned (that topic is already brewing for a future post).
My goal for next year is to ship three new games, but always of the quality that I can be proud of. I’ll have to be very careful about design and scope to achieve that (I’m hoping that hanging out with Ian and Dave will rub off some of that genius they have for making awesome games on a crazy-short schedule).
Games From Within
I started my blog, Games From Within, exactly 7 years ago today. I guess that counts as my longest-running project. Some years it was sorely neglected with just a few posts, but this year I spent a significant amount of time on it, thanks in large part to #idevblogaday.
These were the most popular posts for this year (based on page views, which RSS readers make much harder to track):
- Making A Living (Barely) On The iPhone App Store (aka The Numbers Post)
- Data-Oriented Design (Or Why You Might Be Shooting Yourself in The Foot With OOP)
- The Const Nazi (This one is a total surprise that it made it this high up!)
- Making A Living (Comfortably) On The App Store (aka The Numbers Post #2)
- Prototyping: You’re (Probably) Doing It Wrong
- Google App Engine As Back End For iPhone Apps
- Increase Your App Ratings On The App Store
- GDC 2010: The Best of Both Worlds: Using UIKit with OpenGL
2011 should be an exciting year for me personally and for all indie game developers out there. Happy new year everybody!