Welcome to The State of Independent Games, the first edition of our planned annual dialogue with our followers, the independent game development community, and the wider community of players and fans.
As we celebrate independent games, it’s important to better understand the members of our community, why they make games, how they make them, and how they market their projects.
Since this is our first attempt and we had no idea whether our community would be interested in completing a long survey, we asked all the questions through Twitter polls.
This means that the results need to be taken with a pinch of salt as the respondents won’t always be the same people or the same projects. However, we do believe the results we’ve attained are fascinating and more than enough to give everyone with an interest in independent game development some food for thought.
As we mentioned, all of this data was taken from polls conducted via Twitter. All data was self-reported and there was no way for us to follow up or verify this information.
Like all self-reported data, this can be subject to issues with bias and honesty. Fortunately, as these polls were anonymous, we hope this offset or at least mitigated some of the issues with respondents giving what they thought would be more “socially acceptable” answers.
Similarly, we tried to keep polls binary where possible and include an “other” and “N/A” option where possible so that respondents interested in the results wouldn’t skew the results by picking yes/no results. When reporting “yes/no” percentages, we’ve removed “other” and “N/A” responses.
However, we were still able to use the comments and responses for these options as qualitative data to give more insights into some of the questions.
We also avoided asking respondents for subjective responses except in cases where we were looking specifically for their opinion on something personal like the performance of their game or their opinions on aspects of making games.
For us, the polls that should be viewed with the most scepticism are those about social media use and presence as all the polls were conducted on Twitter.
We feel that it would be fair to say that other social media platforms have higher representation on the platforms themselves rather than on a different/competing platform, but as our community is predominantly run and maintained through Twitter, this still felt like the best place to conduct the polls.
We hope you find the findings as enlightening as we did.
In the coming months, we’ll be sharing our insights from our findings and also discussing more how we make games and how to better market them.
For early access to these sessions, support us on Patreon.