The barriers to entry may have lowered, but setting yourself as a new games developer is no less complicated.
Over the last year, more than 100 new studios have opened doors in the UK, with even more start-ups emerging around the world.
And while it may sound like the development community is getting crowded, there’s always room for bright new faces with shiny new ideas and the determination to bring their unique games to market.
But getting started is no easy task. While indies are able to code from the comfort of their homes, those with larger ambitions need to consider much more before they can get started.
Start-ups need to recruit a team, find an office, register themselves as a company, protect their IP and other assets, network with other developers and potential publishers or investors, begin work on actively promoting both themselves and their games, maybe join a trade body – the list goes on.
But fear not – Develop has compiled a complete guide to setting up your own studio. We’ve spoken with experts in business, law, PR, networking and more, as well as trade bodies and developers who have already survived the rigmarole of opening new studios.
In short, we have everything you need before you begin your own development journey. Who knows? Next year, we might be asking for your advice.
START-UP SPECIAL 2013
You can find the best of our Start-up Special in the November 2013 issue of Develop, but keep your browser pointed to develop-online.net/startupspecial all this month as we publish more tips from both established and new developers.
Got something to add? Email James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk to find out how you can get involved.
Here’s a taste of what’s to come:
27 tips for starting your own studio
Developers from the UK and beyond share their tips on handling those tricky first steps, including those oft-forgotten obstacles like finding an office
Lean, mean, developing machines
TIGA CEO Richard Wilson discusses how Eric Reis’ book The Lean Startup applies to developers, and the benefits of joining a trade body
Innovation vs Evolution
Space Ape COO and co-founder Simon Hade talks about the importance of choosing your first project carefully. Is it better to reinvent the wheel, or simply improve on it?
How to build relationships
UKIE CEO Jo Twist ponders the best ways fledgling developers can establish a rapport with both their peers and potential investors
Never give up – Six steps to success
Dan Kenny, creative director at Irish studio Eyesodie Games, offers tips on how to deal with rejection and why start-ups should persevere on that dream project
Do you need a publisher?
In the age of indies, UK studios debate whether start-ups need the support of larger games firms in the same way their forebears have
Nine vital steps to establishing your business
It’s not all about the coding. Andy Esser, lead programmer at Zero Dependency, explains why new studios need to dedicate themselves to the business side of games development
How to handle your own PR
Natalie Griffith, owner of indie agency Press Space, offers advice on how new studios can handle their own PR and video game promotion
It’s all about the people
Waterfront Entertainment CEO Stephen Swan explains why people are so important to new developers – and not just the studio team itself
Navigating the legal minefield
Harbottle & Lewis associate Nic Murfett breaks down the legal hurdles new games developers can expect to face in their early days
Try something different
Eloy Ribera, CEO at Spanish studio Ninja Fever, advises that new start-ups don’t follow established companies too closely
Graduating into games development
The founders of UK start-up Toxic Games reflects on the challenges of setting up a new studio straight out of education
Branching out on your own
Game Lab Social discusses what currently employed developers need to bear in mind before leaving their studio to start a brand new one