Over the last few months I’ve been working for myself three days a week on Polyology, and working for Dambuster Studios on Homefront: The Revolution the other two days. Both jobs are essentially doing the same thing, creating games, however in practice they’re extremely different.
Working at Dambuster Studios is great, particularly because of the development team, yet I’ve choose to work independently with the majority of my time for a few reasons….
Freedom – I don’t have to work on another FPS game, the last 7 years of my career I’ve worked on various shooters. Now I can more variety in the genre of game I work on.
Scale – Everything is easier with a small team and a small game. Communicating with the team, syncing builds, changing design all become trivial. It’s like the different between guiding an oil tanker and rubber dinghy.
Challenging – Working independently involved doing lots of different things; design, programming, QA, art, business, marketing. It’s making me grow as person and appreciate all the different skills that go into creating a game.
However I do still go to turn up to work, and I enjoy it more than ever.
Resources – The amount of time, from a large group of extremely intelligent people, that is going into Homefront: The Revolution is just astounding. One day’s work at the studio with approximately the amount of development time that has done into Polyology.
Support – Having other people when you have questions, bounce ideas off or just have a tea break with is fantastic.
Marketing – Something that’s hit me hard since releasing Polyology is the amount of time and effort that needs to go into marketing. I just don’t have to worry about that at Deep Silver, they have a talented and experienced team to deal with it.
A few weeks ago my boss asked me “Do you mind working on some checkpoint load bugs?”, traditionally a less fun and difficult part of programming in CryEngine, like a good employee I agreed. But I really don’t mind, work just more enjoyable when it’s not full time. I can just get stuck into whatever task I’m lucky enough to get and not have to worry about the 17 different tasksI could be doing as an indie, let alone how it’s going to put food on the table.
If you get the change to work in a AAA team and independently I suggest you take it and enjoy the variety of what both jobs have to offer.