Mobile game engines and us – Why am I not afraid to be a small mobile game developer.

To many of us, who dreamed of creating their own art, actually doing it is a frightening thinking. Not only ability to fail, but competing with the quality content of the “big players” deters many of us from even trying to fulfill what our mind wants – to create!
However, in the gaming world, a clever look on the reality gives a different picture – A picture far more optimistic than one would think in first grasp. And this look is what drives the entire Indi community. 1, 2 or even 5 people studio will never ever get close to huge company like Activision, Blizzard, Bethesda, EA or Ubisoft in terms of in quality or amount of, this is true. But those huge companies have that barrier Indie developers don’t have – they cannot innovate. Each mobile game done by a big company requires a budget of tens of millions of USD to the least!

our place in the world of game creation

For creating an MMO (massive multiplayer online game) like WOW – the price will jump to 200million or more. The quality demand of their fan base doesn’t leave much room for less. With this budget at stake, taking revolutionary steps, innovative thinking or simply do something that was never done before – is a risk they simply cannot take. Very few companies have ever stepped in to this challenge, like in the case of Eve Online. That’s right – Medal of Honor, Call of duty, Crysis and all their friends will forever remain a version of each other. And GTA will always offer more delivery of the same type. While the Giant mechs in Titanfall are awesome, they don’t offer far more than Battlefield in terms of new experience – even less.

With most of the capable giants usually waiting at bay, to the shadows of exploration – exploration for new and fascinating experiences, new and untested features and game elements – the only one who can step is, that’s right – YOU! In fact, most of the vastly growing universe, of interactive experience is there for you, and other small studios, to explore. 70% of the western world plays games on their mobile devices, area that is very easy to develop to.

From the PC players, many players constantly looking for new things to try and test. With powerful game engines such as Unity and Unreal available for free, with powerful graphic tools like Blender and 3DS MAX and Maya available for free (Autodesk softwars is available for free to students), with terabits of royalty free sounds and music available just under your fingers – Learning to do – and doing – amazing things have never been easier or cheaper.
With the success of online shops like Origin and Steam, and releasing options like Steam, Greenlight and crowdfunding options, tiny studio with limited budget and enough willpower and panning can create mobile games that will be exposed to millions! Even in PC!

And most of all, due to the small budget, you CAN allow yourself to fail.

And you WILL fail, and you will try again, because you can, and at most you paid for a good lesson.

When I started my way to this industry, I haven’t realized this at first. It took me few years and over 15,000$ spent on studies I never finished to understand what I just wrote in the lines above. It seems that our generation was born into the best era possible, for those of us who want to take the uncertain way and to explore, to do so.

It is true with music, and the raise of YouTube, Louder and even Patron.

It is true with cinema with the growing stage that is given to fresh and new creators.

But more than anything, it is true to the game industry- as the fog of unknown is still dense. Many subjects are waiting to be investigated, debated, and argued though games. Many things to say have not yet been said. And to those of us who are bold, who are daring, an ocean of opportunities awaits, untouched by anyone who have enough money to do it better than us.
And for those of you, who aren’t, I would recommend giving some attention to small studios. The most addicting mobile game you will play in your life is more likely to come from them.

By: Nir Harpaz