Why do I do freelance game development?
First is to consider the alternatives:
- Make my own game
- Work for someone else
- Work for an application development company
My goals center around providing a stable environment for my family. Everything else is in support of this goal.
Making games requires time, money, a very supportive family, and a team. For as long as Ive been a game dev, Ive only had one of those: a good family. It took many years to finally find a great team. Even though I now work with my fellow consultants in this group, we are all in a similar position that we dont have money to invest.
Work for another game company? Maybe a decade ago or longer Id heard that for every game thats been successful, there were nine that never turned a profit. In the current explosion of indie developers relying on the professional tools that are cheaply or freely available, Im guessing that has risen to at least a hundred to one successful project, if not a thousand.
So why not work on normal applications? Its steady work, even pays more, and its available country-wide. Over the years Ive done normal applications. My early career I intentionally searched for application work despite already having done some game dev. I wanted to have a wide range of experience. What it taught me is that I have a special gift that applies more to games. Im at best a mediocre app developer.
But Im a really good game dev.
Clearly there are games being made. Some successful ones. Being a consultant means I get to swoop in and help people with my specialized experience and help them reach their goals in a fraction of the time and expense than for their group to try working it out for themselves.
Its not like we just leave in the middle of a project. We support the projects and hand off the work in ways so the clients can maintain what weve done long after we have moved on. And we dont simply drop off the face of the planet. We answer questions for old clients when they come up. Most of our new work comes from references given by people we have helped in the past.
So yea. This is where I need to be. Helping as many people the best ways I know how.