You may already know that the former Sony Interactive Entertainment President, Shuhei Yoshida is now the head of Independent Developer Initiative at Sony. Since his new role, he has been busy in bringing same great Indie experiences for fans on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
In an interview with Dengeki Online, Shuhei Yoshida shared some valuable advice for the Indie Devs on different topics. While discussing on how an Indie Dev should go about planning a game he said (translated):
It’s best to make what you want to make. The good thing about indie games is that you can rush through them with the creator’s thoughts. At first, you can imitate your favorite game. It’s okay to start by thinking about how your favorite game is made and trying to make it yourself, and I think it’s important to improve your skills in that way. Making a game is hard, so if you don’t have a lot of thought, it won’t last. It’s okay to make plans with an awareness of what can be sold only after you have a lot of skill, a team, a fund, and an environment like that.
When he was asked that Indie developers usually don’t know what to do next when their game is released and it’s a success, he replied that the devs should use community to find the next step of their journey:
This is connected to what I mentioned earlier, but now there are various platforms. It seems that there are many cases where you add content while porting and warm up the next one. I hear that it’s hard to guess the second one, but now if you build a community well, you can give people something new early and get feedback. I think it’s easier to make than the first one, including getting people to know about it. The good thing about indie games is that we can communicate directly with our users. You can also create a Discord channel, and if you nurture your own community, it will lead to the next title. IP is an asset, but so is the community.
He also advised Indie devs to show their progress to the community as often as possible. If you keep quiet for a long time, there is a good chance that people would forget about it as there are a lot of games being released each month. So it is better to keep your game in the memory of the with regular updates on your project.
That’s right. There are too many games. In the case of major companies, there are times when they don’t announce it sooner, but the hardest thing is to let people know about indie games. As long as the title is not one that can be spent on marketing, I think it is better to show it more and more. Steam released over 10,000 titles last year. It’s a really amazing number. There are many good games that do not sell, and there is a possibility that publishers will invest in them by showing them.
There are some other interesting insights about the overall indie scene in the interview so you should definitely check it out if you are interested. As I said earlier, Under the leadership of Shuhei, PlayStation Indie scene has improved significantly and during the last State of Play, we saw some interesting Indie announcements including Eternights. We had an interview with the developer as well which you should also check out. We are hopeful that the Indie scene on PlayStation will continue to grow and we will get more great hits in future.