A few days ago IndieDevKit, an online resource for self-publishing game developers, went live. According to the founders, Leonie Manshanden and Tim Ponting, the site was created because “…the lack of expert information and transparency on marketing and operations topics pained us. You shouldn’t have to rely on anecdotal information to make critical decisions for your studio or game launch.” They go on to say that their materials have been carefully created after months of vetting by other experts and official data sources. They plan to keep adding content to their libraries, and they encourage users to reach out with further requests or ideas.
The site features downloadable guides on specific issues like how to write a press release, the legal basics, and how crowdfunding works. The material isn’t free, however. Each topic costs somewhere between $5 and $15. Then there are “wizards,” tools that will help devs figure out budgeting, localization, and product messaging details specific to their games. An ongoing blog offers tips and advice, as well as industry announcements. There’s also a list of vendors and developer resources in case you’re looking to outsource some aspect of your game. Users are encouraged to send in more recommendations for individuals or companies they’ve had good experiences with.
There are also several calendars that indie devs may find useful—a list of upcoming events for devs looking to showcase their work or make connections; a list of upcoming big game releases so your release doesn’t coincide with, say, the next Halo; and finally, a list of holidays and other notable dates that may impact vendors, retailers, journalists, and PR folks you want to work with.
All in all, IndieDevKit seems like a pretty neat deal for indie devs want to make something but don’t want to work on selling it themselves. Marketing and PR can be a little opaque, and all that social stuff takes away from the time you spend actually making the game. If nothing else, this site can help explain the process, I think, and could help kid and teen developers get a feeling for what kind of work they’re really in for if they want to make games.