Why Self-publish? Part 2: Are you sure you want to run a business...?
15-second version: Self-publishing lets you call all the shots, but it's also a huge amount of work, including in areas you never thought you'd be interested in. Are you ready for the challenge?
So if you've decided to self-publish a game (whether by crowdfunding or another means), then that's great, right - you get to do things the way you want, you have full creative control and ultimately you get to decide what the game (or any other product) ends up being. So why wouldn't you self-publish? Well, loads of reasons actually:
- If you're really calling ALL the shots, you'll significantly increase the chances that you'll overlook something or miss an opportunity on the creative side, on the business side, or in holding the whole thoing together. Get some other people on board to offer ideas, sanity check and generally keep you honest - maybe even consider having a full partner on the project if they can bring skills that you can't.
- Exponentially more time, effort and work on your part. And if it feels like work rather than fun, ask yourself if yu're really up for this - there is a huge amount of stuff that needs to be done. You'll learn a lot as you go, but make sure you've got the will and the capacity for what's involved;
- Costs - even if you're going to crowdfund, you will probably need to put your hand some way into your pocket to get the project off the ground, like early artwork, prototypes and maybe advertising fees;
- You have to do all the other stuff - finances, tax, producting & manufacturing, logistics and fulfilment and all that glamorous stuff.
So how interested are you in running a business? As I'd said in the previous posting, I started off designing games because I love designing games, not because I was passionate about tax returns and was aiming to fulfil my lifelong dream of planning a global fulfilment network...
...but actually, it's really fun. It's really rewarding learning about the whole end-to-end process, all the way from some drawings and scribbles in a sketch pad, to something with cardboard and scissors, to a printed prototype, to testing it out on real people, right through to, eventually, a proper game that people everywhere can play and enjoy. There's a lot of stages along the way and it takes a lot of planning, but that really is part of the fun and you learn some more every single hour you spend on it.
Are you designing at the moment? Does the idea of the business side fill your heart with joy or despair?