Indie game development can be an ambitious project. For many, it could be a chance to bring their wildest fantasies to life, or the next big game that can bring them a fortune. Whichever the case, indie game development may be a challenging task. The idea of a small team of professionals creating a video game may seem very heartwarming at first, but as you dig deeper into the project, things may start to take a dark turn. No, you will not be haunted while visiting a cabin in the woods, but there could be instances that can make or break the whole experience for you.

Indie game development is a tricky road to hike. There are many areas you should avoid, and some that you should spend extra time in. The point of this article is to show you the areas which you should avoid; the good parts will come no need to worry. 

What is indie game development?

Before starting indie genre game development, you need to understand the concept behind the idea entirely. The simplest definition of indie style game development is creating a video game with the help of a small team, sometimes even a single video game developer. Game development teams usually do not have a big budget or support from major publishers. While major projects can take years to complete, simple indie games can be developed within a few weeks. The period required to complete games can vary depending on the participants, design goals, and complexity of the game. 

The main driving factor of game development is digital distribution. This idea has created today's indie movement. Since this type of independent video game development is becoming increasingly popular, it has found its way to massive gaming platforms like Nintendo eShop, Steam, Xbox Live, and the Playstation Network. 

1. Being overly aspirational

indie game development

Now that the concept part of the idea is out of the way, let's look at the first major mistake to avoid during game development. Being aspirational is a good trait; there is no question about that. This idea translates well into everyday life and other goals. But when it comes to indie game development, it could mean biting off more than you can chew. Your game ideas can be full of fantasy and reach the stars, but your actual goals need to be more down to Earth. You might get carried away and start with an overly complex project and never finish it. Even if you would be able to accomplish the massive goals you have set up for your project, you might end up with a low-quality game in the end. 

Do not take this as a warning to not pursue big projects, but rather a bit of advice to start simple, especially if this is your first project. Most amateur game developers are advised to work on mobile game development first, before moving on to more significant platforms such as PC or console. But remember always to keep those meaningful game ideas stored somewhere. Because time might come after you have become more professional in the field and turn those ideas into reality. The key idea behind not being too ambitious is you do not want to take a significant amount of time developing a single game. Because in most cases, developers will end up feeling deflated somewhere along the way. Trying something as simple as android game development can be your first step towards creating magnificent games.

2. Procrastinating the marketing part

This aspect of indie game development is, unfortunately, often overlooked. You will focus heavily on the development process of a game, which you may see as the technical elements. The technical part of the project is, without a doubt, a very crucial part of the whole equation. But never leave the marketing aspects until the end. The marketing aspects usually start before you even begin your project. Often, indie style game development teams do not even realize it, but it is the truth. The game you create is going to be appreciated by a particular audience. The ideas you develop for your game are already setting the marketing aspects without you knowing it. 

If you do not consider your target audience from an early stage, you will have a hard time developing that interest later on. This will lead to your game not being popular, and you will have a hard time getting people to download your game and play it. You should start to build the hype for your game early on. Try getting the word out as soon as possible to save yourself time and money, which will help you save yourself the stress down the line. If you are working on IOS game development, for example, you should gather some core fans who can be your potential test team. Using them, you can receive valuable and useful feedback. In the end, you are going to have a market that is already expecting your game, which will result in more success for you. 

3. Being an absolute Idealist

indie game development

Most people see their indie game as their pure creation. This is, for the most part, true. It is entirely normal for indie game developers to want their game to be perfect. But, there should be a point in which you draw the line and stop the tweaking and adding. You should be able to launch your game when the time comes. Think of it this way; you keep adding things when you could finish up, which can, in the end, lead to more bugs. So you might harm your project more than helping it. Since game development allows for ideas to flow freely, it is easy to get carried away and start adding new levels, characters, maps, and other elements. If you continue to do this, you are never going to finish things up and, even worse, get carried away and get off-topic. 

If, for example, you are working on some arcade game development project, fix the bugs and make the tweaks that you need to launch. Make sure that the game you have finalized is the result you are proud of, but don't keep dragging things along without reason. To avoid all of this, all you need to do is set a deadline, and stick to it with the certain milestones you have made. 

4. Underestimating Music

Just as with the marketing aspect of game development, the music part is unfortunately often overlooked. Imagine playing a video game without music, or one with music that does not fit. Music is one of the major things that bring games to life. It can enhance the gaming experience for players, and help the game set the mood for various story moments and characters. In short, it is essential to create an overall feeling for the game. So imagine a regular game without quality music. Tragedy strikes when developers focus on the music after they have finished the game. It is of the utmost importance that you focus on your music early on to create that uniqueness that comes with the overall package. 

Since soundtracks can tie your players to the game, having a memorable one can help your game stand out from the competition. Spending a little extra on premium soundtracks can even work as one of your marketing tools. Remember always to be creative and never be afraid to experiment with your music. Just remember not to leave it until the end!


Your indie game project could be your ticket to a successful game development adventure. Since the video game industry has grown significantly over the years, you are never short on competition. To succeed, you will need to be unique and avoid the pitfalls mentioned above. Having a pre-prepared set of goals and deadlines will help you come a long way, and avoid the major mistakes made by other indie game development teams.