Create an indie game

This article first appeared in issue 239 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

Most web designers were born into the era of the console, so it’s unsurprising that there’s a growing trend towards them creating indie games.

HTML5 promised to bridge the gap between the hardcore coding skills needed to create a game and those that every web designer has. But the web is a small market compared with the enormity of the Apple App Store and Google Play. Real success can only be achieved via notoriety in one or both, and that demands more than a flair for JavaScript and CSS. It also means developing for mobile devices. While there are impressive examples of HTML5 web games out there – see Save The Day, A Grain of Truth and Cut The Rope – it’s hard to match the performance of mobile games written in native languages such as Objective-C (iOS) and Java (Android).

The good news is that a handful of companies are creating software development kits (SDKs) any web designer can use to produce games with limited experience – creating a boom time for indie games.

One of the SDKs available is Corona. Corona co-founder, Walter Luh, compares mobile games to the film industry. “Think of apps as just another kind of content, like movies,” is his advice. “Fifty years ago, you had to have big Hollywood budgets to produce a movie; today, you can create amazing movies with shoestring budgets.” The same is now true for games.

But is more people developing games a good thing? Deniz etin, CEO of SDK Gideros Mobile, believes it is. “I think there’s always room for great games [and] indie game devs should be supported,” she says. “The technology barrier should be as low as possible.”

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