Inspired by Jake Birkett‘s game dev income chart, I decided to dig out my own data and make a similar chart. I figured it would be a good way to start the year looking at a retrospective of my time as an independent developer.
Some interesting observations:
- I made zero income in my first two years as as independent developer! I was supplementing my income writing a column for Game Developer Magazine, teaching classes, and doing some contracting. I even started interviewing thinking I would have to give up the indie life and go back to work for a company. I always tell new game developers to be ready not to make any money for a while for this reason.
- Flower Garden seems to have a reasonable tail in spite of minimal updates. Every so often I feel a bit guilty for not doing more with it, but even if I wanted to spend time on it, I can’t think of anything that would increase sales.
- Subterfuge is a blip in the radar. But what’s even worse, Subterfuge took 3.5 years to make, whereas Flower Garden was around 2 years (including all updates).
- The US tax system isn’t really set up for people with really spikey income like this.
- I need to make games more quickly.
Here’s to releasing a game in 2017 that is visible on that chart!