Not that long ago I posted a statement on the indie dev community on facebook.
Hey folks. I want to discuss a statement of mine before i blog about it.
The statement is: Designers should only design, developers only develop and publishers only publish.
There are a series of discussions that I had, papers I read and my own experience that lead up to this statement.
A friend once told me: "If a company invests in people, it should be in specialisation. Not in the broadening of a person's abilities."
I also noticed this when I was doing the market research for my company. Publishers mostly dropped their development department only to focus on publishing. Like Spillgames , Yodo1 and many others.
Some developers are focussing on development only. The belgian company previewlabs focuses on rapid prototyping only.
Game analytics and distribution are another example of this industry specialisation.
The most positive but also disturbing specialisation is that of user experience. Companies offer help in game testing and defining what experience the player is going through, making a better game in the end. I find this disturbing because I can't believe that developers have so few links and understanding of their target audience.
My plan for my company is to do UX from the beginning to the end and let the developers do the development and the publishers do the publishing.
So what do you guys (and girls) think?
Some would disagree because they think companies should invest in people the way people want to be invested in.
Someone else told me that I was destroying the term indie developer.
And so on...
Some people did agree but thought that specialisation is only for the big companies because indie studios don't have the money to hire specialists.
So... i explained myself a bit better:
You all have some good points.
I was wondering this because I have the feeling that I kinda lost my overall sight of my latest project. I have so many things on my mind since the development started.
You're all right. I didn't express myself clearly and also too one-sided. The way I see my company is UX and eventually some publishing for indie developers.
Imagine that some indie dev studio (artist and programmer) knocks on my door asking for feedback on a concept or asking to design a concept for them. I will do a thorough market research and come up with feedback and suggestions. Together with a marketer, we can improve and make the game far more successful then before.
With everyone having a specialisation, but also with a wide range of skills I believe a lot of improvement can be made.
Or is this idea ridiculous?
The 3 reactions that came afterwards where more positive. Although the people who answered pointed at some important obstacles.
One was that I should only hire UX-designers, because the idea still sounds bad for a development studio. Now let this be the whole point of my businessplan. At the moment I'm forced to wear many hats. But I'm not planning to do much development myself if (big IF) my last project takes off.
Another obstacle is that the business model itself. It's complicated because you need a partnership with a development studio. That means more contracts and share of profit.
Everywhere I go, people encourage me to be different. For when you do the same as everybody else, you can expect the same result.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.