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How I Went From Massive Consumer to Massive Producer (Business Venture)

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...
Hello everyone,
A lot of people seemed to take interest in my introduction where I briefly explained my career as an indie game developer, so I thought I would write a detailed article of my journey from start to present. I will be as open as possible with my numbers, failures and even struggles as it was a long, rough road for me and hopefully you can take something valuable from my story.

The Beginning - Mid 2016
I joined a platform called Roblox back in mid 2016 as a regular player to experience some of the games shown in my favorite gameplay videos from my favorite streamers. At this time, I was a consumer on the platform. I spent at least $100 in total on virtual currency to purchase special passes in games and virtual accessories for my character/avatar.

The Spark - Late 2016 - Early 2017
Just a few months after joining the platform, I realized that I wanted to create my own experiences. I installed the creator app and got to work. I used preset maps supplied either by Roblox or other users and mashed it all together into one "game". Most of my early games consisted entirely of "free models" (or, in other words, things built/scripted by other users that were available for use by anyone). I still remember that one game I made where you got chased by random characters without any objective... Ah, the good old days. But if it hadn't been for "Person Survival" (or whatever weird name I gave it) I probably wouldn't be where I'm at today. This game gained a total of 50 plays (which was incredible to me back then even though half of the visits probably came from just me playing it). Regardless, seeing 50 visits on my creation back then was insane and encouraged me to go further.

Starting Slow - Early - Mid 2018
At this point I was starting to gain some skill in creating games. It's been a while since my first ones but these were still very primitive. I decided to create a spider simulation/survival game. A few days/weeks after publication, I noticed it was beginning to gain a few visits (a couple hundred). I began updating this game frequently with new content to keep my players and it was working! Sort of. It had a high of 15 concurrent players but usually had 2. But still, to me, this was amazing. This was when I began experimenting with monetization (by selling exclusive character packs). I made a maximum of a few cents per day from these sales. This game may not sound all that great, but out of my dozens and dozens of games this was the only one that had gotten some players, it had been the base of many games to come.

Finding Success - Mid 2020
With much more knowledge and professionality, I decided to create a sequel to my spider game. This time, I gave incentive for players to return (which is the biggest key to creating a game). As they played, they would collect in-game money which unlocked new characters for them to play as. This time, people would come back to continue progressing in the game as I added new characters on a regular basis. I had more decent purchasable characters and made about $20/day. Had it not been for my first spider game, despite its low quality, this would have never become.

The Explosion (not literally) - Early 2022
I noticed that people enjoyed my spider games so I decided to make a big one. With lots of connections to other developers and tons of money earned from my first spider games, I was able to hire experienced coders to help out with the coding of my newest one. After two treacherous months of building, coding and bug fixing, my new game was completed. We had issues with character hitboxes, animations and UIs which helped delay the release of the game but luckily we were able to solve them. It has the same concept as my first two, but this time it was professionally executed. All I need is two words to describe this: Instant Success. Well, almost. I wasted a lot of money on ads as they only provided a temporary boost in players. I needed something consistent, so then an idea hit me. I put an optional teleport to lead players from my spider game to my new game and I had gotten more players than I could have ever imagined. Now, I make over $100 /day, and I can still scale it even further (currently working on that).

Now - Mid 2022
I am now growing my newest game while working with some of my old dev pals to create a giant PVP combat game which has been an idea we've had for ages.

Things I wish I knew early on (AKA my mistakes)
- Do NOT partner with just anyone to create a game (or any product for that matter) - make sure they are legitimate and trustworthy first
- Make your product stand out from others. Consider: "What would make consumers use/buy my product over a competitors?
- Don't give up, even though it may seem like the easiest option, it isn't. You could be right around the corner from success.


Ending
I sincerely thank you for reading this thread and hope you were able to take something from this whether it is motivation or a lesson. Remember, you can do anything if you are committed to it.

If you have any additional questions I will gladly answer them for you.

- iivalky
 
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Last edited:

Ing

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2019
1,390
1,363
Bavaria
Very good story.
I wouldn’t dare tothink about programming a game. I have no glue, where to start.
Well done, wish you success!
 

iivalky

Contributor
Jul 9, 2022
59
79
Canada
Very good story.
I wouldn’t dare tothink about programming a game. I have no glue, where to start.
Well done, wish you success!
If you looked inside of a large game it would overwhelm anyone, but it always starts with a first step. To this day, despite having multiple successful games, I still cannot code anything complex and is why I had others do that part for me.

I wish you the best as well
 
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Issi007

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Apr 27, 2022
27
49
Hello everyone,
A lot of people seemed to take interest in my introduction where I briefly explained my career as an indie game developer, so I thought I would write a detailed article of my journey from start to present. I will be as open as possible with my numbers, failures and even struggles as it was a long, rough road for me and hopefully you can take something valuable from my story.

The Beginning - Mid 2016
I joined a platform called Roblox back in mid 2016 as a regular player to experience some of the games shown in my favorite gameplay videos from my favorite streamers. At this time, I was a consumer on the platform. I spent at least $100 in total on virtual currency to purchase special passes in games and virtual accessories for my character/avatar.

The Spark - Late 2016 - Early 2017
Just a few months after joining the platform, I realized that I wanted to create my own experiences. I installed the creator app and got to work. I used preset maps supplied either by Roblox or other users and mashed it all together into one "game". Most of my early games consisted entirely of "free models" (or, in other words, things built/scripted by other users that were available for use by anyone). I still remember that one game I made where you got chased by random characters without any objective... Ah, the good old days. But if it hadn't been for "Person Survival" (or whatever weird name I gave it) I probably wouldn't be where I'm at today. This game gained a total of 50 plays (which was incredible to me back then even though half of the visits probably came from just me playing it). Regardless, seeing 50 visits on my creation back then was insane and encouraged me to go further.

Starting Slow - Early - Mid 2018
At this point I was starting to gain some skill in creating games. It's been a while since my first ones but these were still very primitive. I decided to create a spider simulation/survival game. A few days/weeks after publication, I noticed it was beginning to gain a few visits (a couple hundred). I began updating this game frequently with new content to keep my players and it was working! Sort of. It had a high of 15 concurrent players but usually had 2. But still, to me, this was amazing. This was when I began experimenting with monetization (by selling exclusive character packs). I made a maximum of a few cents per day from these sales. This game may not sound all that great, but out of my dozens and dozens of games this was the only one that had gotten some players, it had been the base of many games to come.

Finding Success - Mid 2020
With much more knowledge and professionality, I decided to create a sequel to my spider game. This time, I gave incentive for players to return (which is the biggest key to creating a game). As they played, they would collect in-game money which unlocked new characters for them to play as. This time, people would come back to continue progressing in the game as I added new characters on a regular basis. I had more decent purchasable characters and made about $20/day. Had it not been for my first spider game, despite its low quality, this would have never become.

The Explosion (not literally) - Early 2022
I noticed that people enjoyed my spider games so I decided to make a big one. With lots of connections to other developers and tons of money earned from my first spider games, I was able to hire experienced coders to help out with the coding of my newest one. After two treacherous months of building, coding and bug fixing, my new game was completed. We had issues with character hitboxes, animations and UIs which helped delay the release of the game but luckily we were able to solve them. It has the same concept as my first two, but this time it was professionally executed. All I need is two words to describe this: Instant Success. Well, almost. I wasted a lot of money on ads as they only provided a temporary boost in players. I needed something consistent, so then an idea hit me. I put an optional teleport to lead players from my spider game to my new game and I had gotten more players than I could have ever imagined. Now, I make over $100 /day, and I can still scale it even further (currently working on that).

Now - Mid 2022
I am now growing my newest game while working with some of my old dev pals to create a giant PVP combat game which has been an idea we've had for ages.

Things I wish I knew early on (AKA my mistakes)
- Do NOT partner with just anyone to create a game (or any product for that matter) - make sure they are legitimate and trustworthy first
- Make your product stand out from others. Consider: "What would make consumers use/buy my product over a competitors?
- Don't give up, even though it may seem like the easiest option, it isn't. You could be right around the corner from success.


Ending
I sincerely thank you for reading this thread and hope you were able to take something from this whether it is motivation or a lesson. Remember, you can do anything if you are committed to it.

If you have any additional questions I will gladly answer them for you.

- iivalky
Congratulations mate !

You transitioned to the production side.

One question, from your mistakes, do you have any step by step guide to identify competitive advantage ideas generally speaking?
 

iivalky

Contributor
Jul 9, 2022
59
79
Canada
Congratulations mate !

You transitioned to the production side.

One question, from your mistakes, do you have any step by step guide to identify competitive advantage ideas generally speaking?
The key is to make something original. Usually common game categories have one "giant" that rules most of the niche. Sure, you can still come out with your own game of that type but it's hard to compete with an established game that already has a loyal fanbase. It's like releasing your own search engine and trying to outcompete Google. Hypothetically it's possible, but extremely difficult. What you should to do is find an original concept that hasn't been done yet (at least on your platform) that people will enjoy. If pulled off correctly, YOU will be the giant of that niche, build a large fanbase and make it difficult for competitors to enter. You can do this by brainstorming unique ideas and then doing research to make sure there aren't any/many established games in the category. Remember, if you can make a game you enjoy that's great, but more importantly the players are the ones who need to like it. Even though I have three animal games, I'm not the type to usually play one. The next thing, even more important as an original concept is that you need to create an "addictive" system. You want players to come back excited to play again, and this can be done by rewarding them for progressing in the game. In mine, players earn coins by collecting them, or by catching bugs with their net. These coins give them access to play as new and better animals/characters, therefore incentivizing a return until they complete the game. The more you can prolong completion, the longer you'll keep them. You still have to reward them throughout or they'll get bored and give up. Flashy game covers/icons are required as well as you need to draw players in. You could have the best game in the world, but if nobody knows about it it can't take off. My new game could still have been kept quiet about, but if I didn't put it out there I wouldn't be making the passive income I do.
 
Last edited:

Issi007

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Apr 27, 2022
27
49
The key is to make something original. Usually common game categories have one "giant" that rules most of the niche. Sure, you can still come out with your own game of that type but it's hard to compete with an established game that already has a loyal fanbase. It's like releasing your own search engine and trying to outcompete Google. Hypothetically it's possible, but extremely difficult. What you should to do is find an original concept that hasn't been done yet (at least on your platform) that people will enjoy. If pulled off correctly, YOU will be the giant of that niche, build a large fanbase and make it difficult for competitors to enter. You can do this by brainstorming unique ideas and then doing research to make sure there aren't any/many established games in the category. Remember, if you can make a game you enjoy that's great, but more importantly the players are the ones who need to like it. Even though I have three animal games, I'm not the type to usually play one. The next thing, even more important as an original concept is that you need to create an "addictive" system. You want players to come back excited to play again, and this can be done by rewarding them for progressing in the game. In mine, players earn coins by collecting them, or by catching bugs with their net. These coins give them access to play as new and better animals/characters, therefore incentivizing a return until they complete the game. The more you can prolong completion, the longer you'll keep them. You still have to reward them throughout or they'll get bored and give up. Flashy game covers/icons are required as well as you need to draw players in. You could have the best game in the world, but if nobody knows about it it can't take off. My new game could still have been kept quiet about, but if I didn't put it out there I wouldn't be making the passive income I do.
Amazing guide !

Come up with an original concept within a niche--- build a fanbase--- implement an addictive system---- great product packaging, marketing and sales .

Thanks for sharing mate.
 
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Aelectric

New Contributor
Jun 14, 2020
1
1
Los Angeles
Hello everyone,
A lot of people seemed to take interest in my introduction where I briefly explained my career as an indie game developer, so I thought I would write a detailed article of my journey from start to present. I will be as open as possible with my numbers, failures and even struggles as it was a long, rough road for me and hopefully you can take something valuable from my story.

The Beginning - Mid 2016
I joined a platform called Roblox back in mid 2016 as a regular player to experience some of the games shown in my favorite gameplay videos from my favorite streamers. At this time, I was a consumer on the platform. I spent at least $100 in total on virtual currency to purchase special passes in games and virtual accessories for my character/avatar.

The Spark - Late 2016 - Early 2017
Just a few months after joining the platform, I realized that I wanted to create my own experiences. I installed the creator app and got to work. I used preset maps supplied either by Roblox or other users and mashed it all together into one "game". Most of my early games consisted entirely of "free models" (or, in other words, things built/scripted by other users that were available for use by anyone). I still remember that one game I made where you got chased by random characters without any objective... Ah, the good old days. But if it hadn't been for "Person Survival" (or whatever weird name I gave it) I probably wouldn't be where I'm at today. This game gained a total of 50 plays (which was incredible to me back then even though half of the visits probably came from just me playing it). Regardless, seeing 50 visits on my creation back then was insane and encouraged me to go further.

Starting Slow - Early - Mid 2018
At this point I was starting to gain some skill in creating games. It's been a while since my first ones but these were still very primitive. I decided to create a spider simulation/survival game. A few days/weeks after publication, I noticed it was beginning to gain a few visits (a couple hundred). I began updating this game frequently with new content to keep my players and it was working! Sort of. It had a high of 15 concurrent players but usually had 2. But still, to me, this was amazing. This was when I began experimenting with monetization (by selling exclusive character packs). I made a maximum of a few cents per day from these sales. This game may not sound all that great, but out of my dozens and dozens of games this was the only one that had gotten some players, it had been the base of many games to come.

Finding Success - Mid 2020
With much more knowledge and professionality, I decided to create a sequel to my spider game. This time, I gave incentive for players to return (which is the biggest key to creating a game). As they played, they would collect in-game money which unlocked new characters for them to play as. This time, people would come back to continue progressing in the game as I added new characters on a regular basis. I had more decent purchasable characters and made about $20/day. Had it not been for my first spider game, despite its low quality, this would have never become.

The Explosion (not literally) - Early 2022
I noticed that people enjoyed my spider games so I decided to make a big one. With lots of connections to other developers and tons of money earned from my first spider games, I was able to hire experienced coders to help out with the coding of my newest one. After two treacherous months of building, coding and bug fixing, my new game was completed. We had issues with character hitboxes, animations and UIs which helped delay the release of the game but luckily we were able to solve them. It has the same concept as my first two, but this time it was professionally executed. All I need is two words to describe this: Instant Success. Well, almost. I wasted a lot of money on ads as they only provided a temporary boost in players. I needed something consistent, so then an idea hit me. I put an optional teleport to lead players from my spider game to my new game and I had gotten more players than I could have ever imagined. Now, I make over $100 /day, and I can still scale it even further (currently working on that).

Now - Mid 2022
I am now growing my newest game while working with some of my old dev pals to create a giant PVP combat game which has been an idea we've had for ages.

Things I wish I knew early on (AKA my mistakes)
- Do NOT partner with just anyone to create a game (or any product for that matter) - make sure they are legitimate and trustworthy first
- Make your product stand out from others. Consider: "What would make consumers use/buy my product over a competitors?
- Don't give up, even though it may seem like the easiest option, it isn't. You could be right around the corner from success.


Ending
I sincerely thank you for reading this thread and hope you were able to take something from this whether it is motivation or a lesson. Remember, you can do anything if you are committed to it.

If you have any additional questions I will gladly answer them for you.

- iivalky
Thank you for sharing this, great thread!
 

Nomads

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 3, 2014
40
76
This is a great story and concept that be applied to many different avenues.

We consume endlessly, but rarely step back and look at how we can turn our consumption into money-making opportunities. Whether it be our addiction to video games or our addiction to mindlessly scrolling social media. We can take this same energy and put it into becoming a producer of content/games/etc in the space we enjoy so much.

Awesome job taking that step. Excited to see your continued success.
 

iivalky

Contributor
Jul 9, 2022
59
79
Canada
This is a great story and concept that be applied to many different avenues.

We consume endlessly, but rarely step back and look at how we can turn our consumption into money-making opportunities. Whether it be our addiction to video games or our addiction to mindlessly scrolling social media. We can take this same energy and put it into becoming a producer of content/games/etc in the space we enjoy so much.

Awesome job taking that step. Excited to see your continued success.
In all honestly I accidently stumbled across success, I was making games as a hobby and eventually realized it was profitable. I regret not developing my financial mindset earlier on, I must have still been too young to understand when I started - one thing that I forgot to mention in my article is that when I began earning money from my games, I instantly blew out at least $1,000 on virtual hats for my avatar (this was before I understood the true value of money) Luckily I came to my senses before I did more damage, but now I can never get that money back which is still a massive regret I have - but mistakes can only be used to grow
 

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