Sponsored By

What does being an indie mean to you?

Being an indie can mean a lot of things but what does it really mean to you?

David Lin

October 2, 2013

3 Min Read

As this is really my first blog post on Gamasutra, I reckon that I should talk about something that is really close to heart. I'm relatively new to the indie game developer scene and have only started making games just a little more than 1 year ago.

To begin with...

Just a little more than a year ago, I was almost at the end of my bachelor's course. I was looking high and low for what I wanted to do after graduation. I had a developer background but I didn't want to just program and program with no goal in aim. Then it just hit me one day.

That desire!

I realized that I did indeed have a burning desire deep inside me that just wanted to express itself. I wasn't a really talkative person at all. However, I really wanted to express myself. There was only one thing in my heart that really clicked.

I discovered that if I could create something that people could get their hands on and play, it would be really awesome. That would be a very excellent expression of myself.

Many forms?

I have known people who have commented that programming itself is an art, an expression of sorts. Heck some of them even argued on which of the following is the best format:

1) Having the brackets start on the same line

-(void) doSomething {



2) Having the brackets start on the next line

-(void) doSomething




Just for your information, I sometimes do this to save space:

-(void) doSomething { doSomethingElse(); }

I have also known people who spent a lot of time drawing. To them, the pieces that they draw and create are their personal form of expression. As an indie, I can relate to both of these groups of people. I even started learning drawing in order to even further express myself.

Being an indie to me really means to express myself personally. It could be through the logic that I write into the program. It could also be through the character and monster designs that I have drawn or created. It would most definitely be through a hybrid and mix of code, visuals and audio creations.


That also means that being able to express that part of myself is really important. If the way in which I express myself is forcefully steered towards another direction, then I will no longer consider myself as an indie.

To me, being able to have that creative freedom is both exciting and scary. That are so many things that could go wrong. No one could give a shit nor enjoy the games that you make. On the other hand, there are also many things that could go right. People could identify the creativity and craziness in your expression from playing the games that you make.

It also means that I am responsible for my own expression. If I want to create something that makes people laugh and have a great time, that responsibility lies on me to do so.

In that journey of self-expression, it is a definite that one will fall and make mistakes here and there. The important thing is to learn from it and move on. Maybe that is why failing fast is really important.

Being indie?

If there are any takeaways from this post, being indie personally really means to be able to express, fail, learn and grow independently. It may be as an individual or as a team regardlessly.

So after reading through my personal thoughts, did it invoke anything inside you? 

What does being an indie really mean to you?

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like