Full time developers

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Kinmoku
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Full time developers

#1 Post by Kinmoku » Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:59 am

I'm randomly wondering how many of you out there are full time visual novel developers? :) I suspect a few people already (*shifty eyes*), but I also see a lot of VN devs juggling a ton of work/ projects and I don't know how they do it! Impressive, to say the least.

Guess I'm wondering who exactly is out there is doing this as their main job/ career? I'm lucky enough to be doing it full time at the moment, but I've only just put up my first game for sale. It'll have to do well for me to keep doing this full time, but I plan to :)

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Re: Full time developers

#2 Post by RotGtIE » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:55 am

I would hate to be full time on this stuff. Most of the enjoyment is in having this as a hobby - it's what I actually want to do when I'm finished with my real job every day. Gives me something to look forward to and takes the pressure off.

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Re: Full time developers

#3 Post by Kinmoku » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:02 am

RotGtIE wrote:I would hate to be full time on this stuff. Most of the enjoyment is in having this as a hobby - it's what I actually want to do when I'm finished with my real job every day. Gives me something to look forward to and takes the pressure off.
I understand that. I'd been doing comics and art commissions for years along side my job at the time... But it reached a point for me where I wanted to go into creating stuff full-time, a game in particular, but as I worked for a games company, it was against contract to create one in my spare time. Also, I'd be sat at a desk constantly -_- For me, it was becoming frustrating to not have time/ energy to do what I really wanted to, so I made the leap :) I see it as "lucky" for me, but I totally understand for others it sounds like a nightmare XD

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Re: Full time developers

#4 Post by NialGrenville » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:43 am

Wow. "A contract where you can make no indie games while working for the company." That is a nightmare.

Full time development would drive me insane. It would be a "finish or die" sort of thing. Riding on that idea: I already find it difficult to code for 6 hours. Doing it for a living will murder any chances of ever finding enjoyment out of the hard times.
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Re: Full time developers

#5 Post by Divona » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:14 am

A full time developer here reporting in. Well, until the current project is complete that is.
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Re: Full time developers

#6 Post by indoneko » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:17 am

@Kinmoku : a friend of mine (at local VN dev. forum) also resigned from her job at a game company in Japan to move back to her home city and started working solo (mostly making otome games). She's been successful, and although she often freaking out on her fb status about the programming nightmares, I think she's happier now than when she was working for her game company. In fact, another game company offered her a position afterwards, but she choose to keep working solo instead.

Putting her success story aside, I'm curious of what will you (and other full time developer) do if your first (or your second or even third) game's result didn't come out as good as you expected? Will you keep digging the VN field until you hit the gold nugget, or do you have a side plan in mind? How do yo cope with the (growing) expenses?
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Re: Full time developers

#7 Post by Kinmoku » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:52 am

indoneko wrote:@Kinmoku : a friend of mine (at local VN dev. forum) also resigned from her job at a game company in Japan to move back to her home city and started working solo (mostly making otome games). She's been successful, and although she often freaking out on her fb status about the programming nightmares, I think she's happier now than when she was working for her game company. In fact, another game company offered her a position afterwards, but she choose to keep working solo instead.

Putting her success story aside, I'm curious of what will you (and other full time developer) do if your first (or your second or even third) game's result didn't come out as good as you expected? Will you keep digging the VN field until you hit the gold nugget, or do you have a side plan in mind? How do yo cope with the (growing) expenses?
That's awesome to hear! It gives me hope :)

I'm half-way through my second game, so if game both games absolutely tank, I may have to give up and find a studio to work for, or freelance full time as and artist and graphic designer. So far though, things are going well, so I hope it doesn't come to that! ;) Another idea of mine is to maybe move out of VN and make different kinds of games, but I don't plan on it any time soon.

Working for a big games company was restrictive, but it paid well so I keep afloat with savings from that. I don't think I'd have taken the plunge without that. Also, my expenses are minimal, and now that I'm earning a little, it's beginning to re-coup! :D
Divona wrote:A full time developer here reporting in. Well, until the current project is complete that is.
Nice! Your project is looking good too! I love the artwork :D What are your plans for when you finish?

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Re: Full time developers

#8 Post by Divona » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:28 pm

Kinmoku wrote:Nice! Your project is looking good too! I love the artwork :D What are your plans for when you finish?
Thanks. I thought your roto work look great, too. As for the plan, currently there is no plan. :lol: Depending on how well Moonlight does, I may get a chance to work on another visual novel based on the same IP and universe. Being freelancer more than being in salary work environment since ages, I would probably be hopping from job to job once again. It does allow me to meet and work with all sort of people, and learn all the weird skills along the way. More skills kinda allow me to pick other jobs outside of my usual norm, which means more choice of jobs to choose from, and it doesn't have to be from the same industry.

P.S. Did full time works when I was desperate. It was great with steady income, but the works never full filling enough comparing to freelance works.
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Re: Full time developers

#9 Post by TheJerminator15 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:29 pm

I only currently work on my VN story when I have a free day from my game development course so it's more in between a hobby and work as it lets me development in a different way and add onto my course work yet I still enjoy it like a hobby. Jumping from things such as 3D modelling and levels to writing a branching story wihin a few hours is always pretty weird though.

Would I want to do this full time? Honestly no. I'd rather keep it as something I enjoy adding onto whilst working at a studio when I eventually graduate.
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Re: Full time developers

#10 Post by Selidor » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:48 pm

I'm not a full-time VN developer, I work on it in my spare time, but I do work full time in the games industry. I'm currently in development, but I've also worked in localisation as a translator. Work is tiring, but the work I do at home is a very different project to what I do at my job, so I don't get fed up with it.

I'd love to be able to work on my own projects full time, but while I can't, I still want to work in the industry. It's not an easy area to succeed in, but I love it and I've been able to work with some amazing people.

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Re: Full time developers

#11 Post by RedOwl » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:51 pm

Full time game developer here! Though we (Fancy Fish Games) are currently making our first visual novel, we've made and released a whole bunch of other types of games (horror, RPG, interactive fiction, point and click, etc). We also do some freelancing type work (also game related) on the side to help pay the bills, haha.

I will say - there are difficult aspects to being a full-time indie game developer - for me personally, mainly lack of direction - you really need to be self-motivated and stay on top of things. It takes willpower and focus. Which can be a challenge, depending on your personality. That, and marketing. How do you actually get people to notice your stuff if you're a tiny no-name dev? Sometimes that is quite frustrating - it feels like a wall that I'm constantly hitting. However in general I find that working for myself is just amazing. I can stay in pajamas and cuddle my cats all day while creating the worlds and stories that are dearest to my heart. What could be better?
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Re: Full time developers

#12 Post by jack_norton » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:48 pm

Fulltime and currently working on 8+ projects :D
Last years have been quite hard. It's becoming harder and harder to stay fulltime, unless you live in a very cheap country.
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Re: Full time developers

#13 Post by Kinmoku » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:10 pm

RedOwl wrote:However in general I find that working for myself is just amazing. I can stay in pajamas and cuddle my cats all day while creating the worlds and stories that are dearest to my heart. What could be better?
This is why I enjoy it so much too, haha :D I like the freedom and flexibility to alter my schedule if I need to. For example, breaking up the day to go running, or enjoying the sun if it's a nice day, is a real perk.

I've always been motivated, so I don't struggle too much with that. Really for me, I find it quite isolating and occassionally lonely, which impacts me in lots of different ways. I can also end up in a "tunnel vision" like state, where I work so much on my project I don't really see anything else. It's certainly a contrast from how I used to work in an open office!
jack_norton wrote:Fulltime and currently working on 8+ projects :D
Last years have been quite hard. It's becoming harder and harder to stay fulltime, unless you live in a very cheap country.
Wow, 8 projects all at once? :O

It certainly seems difficult to stay afloat as an indie dev... One game maybe a hit, but the next may not. It's good to have a supportive partner you can rely on, or keep living expenses to a minimum!

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Re: Full time developers

#14 Post by sake-bento » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:55 pm

I'm occasionally full-time? I have a second job but it's contract work only so sometimes it consumes my life, and sometimes I have several months of dead time with no work. I definitely need both of these jobs to make rent, so I consider dev to be more than a hobby, but it's not my sole source of income, and I doubt it could be.

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Re: Full time developers

#15 Post by jack_norton » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:22 am

Yes it's common to do contract work on the side. Many devs who were fulltime back in the "pre-Steam flood" (before 2014) now are doing contract work to keep working on games. I did this too when I started (long time ago).
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