Indie vs AAA studio

Being  a game developer is not an easy task. There are so many things you have to think about before you can even make the decision of going in that path. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there, all along your time and career as a game developer, you'll have choices you'll have to make to further your career in the direction you want to take it.

Where do you see yourself?
That sounds trivial but it's the number one thing to know how you see yourself in the next few years. By seeing the end result and where you want to be, you'll be able to trace back and see how you want to get there. One of the questions that is very important to ask yourself once you're done learning and studying is: Should I aim to stay indie or do I want to work for a AAA studio.

Only where you want to end matters
Everyone has to start somewhere. It's normal that you're not exactly where you'd like to be when you first enter the industry. You have to be reasonable with a certain time frame of when you want to reach some goals that you put for yourself. What's important is, again, where you want your end destination to be. whether you'd like to go the indie route or the AAA studio route, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let's start with the indie developer.

How is it to be an indie developer?
Ahhh! Everyone's dream to an extent. Why? Because a lot of people have this glamourous and idealized thought of what an indie developer is. Not to say that it can't be that but there's definitely the other side that needs consideration as well. Well first, it's great because you get to really take advantage of your creativity and you have full control over the game you're making. Whether you're by yourself or with a team, you get to dictate what you want. You also get to work on your own time whenever possible, although sometimes you might have to have another income on the side to support it. Freedom of time and creativity are the two most sought after pros that indie developers are valuing. Now, that usually comes with lack of capital on one hand. A lot of indie developers have to maintain another revenue source to keep afloat since their game usually is not making any money for the first few years. Another con is that you're not surrounded by a team of seniors that can help you if you encounter a bug or something that is out of your expertise. Therefore, you either have to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out by yourself all the time or pay someone to help you do it or to simply do it which adds to the overhead.

How is it to be a AAA developer?
Benefits!!! Say it again for the people in the back... BENEFITS!! Well, you'll get a lot of benefits and perks from working in big studios like these. You'll be with like-minded people, surrounded with professionals more and less experienced than you which gives you opportunities to learn and teach and you'll have a structured way of doing things, rolling out releases, game plans, etc. Sounds perfect, but there are a few cons. Notably the pros of the indies, so freedom of time and freedom of creativity. You'll be stuck being at the director's mercy to tell you the vision of the project. It can be good or bad depending on what you're expecting from the job and if you like to flex your creative muscles. Just know that there's something for everyone.

It's not a one-size-fits-all
Different people will value different things and that's what your choice should be about. There's no wrong or right choice. Some people suggest that you get experience in a major studio before and then start your own. It's your choice!
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