Why it’s awesome… and a real pain!

Plate Spinning

Photo by Michael Henderson

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been at this for a while. I started working as a part-time graphics and sound guy for an indie video game in 2010 with big dreams of becoming a full-time game maker. After over two years of splitting my time between game-making and other gigs to pay the bills, I can say that those dreams are alive and well – but still not realized. Flippfly’s latest project Race the Sun is showing awesome potential and I really believe we have a hit game on our hands, but I still need to take on those gigs to pay the bills. If I don’t, I run out of money and the dream dies.

I know that I’m not alone in my dreams of being a full-time indie, so I’ve put together a little listing of things to consider about raising your own capital to start a business (“bootstrapping”). The bad news first:

Why it’s a real pain:

  1. You have to split your focus (So much for all the “focus your life” advice)
  2. You have to dump (invest) money with no guarantees of return
  3. People think you’re rich (“…He must be, he owns a game company!”)
  4. People think you’re lazy (“Video games… really? That’s the big plan?”)
  5. It’s hard on your family (BTW, Thanks to my incredibly patient wife)

Why it’s awesome:

  1. Boss… What boss?
  2. There are no deadlines (we make the schedule)
  3. There are no investors to pay back
  4. There are no investors to get mad at you if you don’t deliver
  5. You get to be creative (No design docs written by a committee)
  6. Boss… What boss?

These are just a few of the things to consider (and I’m sure I’ve missed some big ones) but I’ve got to leave room for a shameless plug. I’ve decided to get a little more professional with my side-gigs by making a website: This will become my hub for offering icon and logo design services. If you (or anyone you know) needs an icon or a logo, send them my way and help an indie pay his bills 🙂 (Sorry, that was kinda pathetic).

So what do you think about bootstrapping? Are any of you on the same scary journey? It would be awesome to hear your stories in the comments.

Share this on:
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter