Sorry, I realize this question has been asked before, but the last record I could find was nearly 2 years ago and I’d prefer a more up to date perspective.
Essentially I’m wondering whether or not it would be worth it for me to upgrade from free to an Indie account. I’m weighing the pros and cons as they relate specifically to me, and I’d like some input from experienced users.
Pros I’m considering:
I enjoy games, and I enjoy making games, I would love to be able to make unlimited games with unlimited levels and objects
The price point seems pretty reasonable for a 1 year membership
While I am mostly just playing around with this tool as a hobby for now, I like the prospect of being able to maybe potentially earn some income from my games in the future (once I get the hang of how everything works)… have any of you successfully made money from any of the games you’ve created here? I would love it if there was actually potential for a noob like me to earn a living doing something I actually enjoy (even if it was a very meager living)
Now on to my personal cons against upgrading (at least right at this moment):
I’m still just barely learning how everything works. It could be wasteful of me to upgrade before having the knowledge to make full use of the upgrade, maybe I should just keep practicing with free for now?
While the price for Indie is very reasonable, I am on a tight budget, so I’d really need to justify the purchase to myself as being more than just for my own entertainment…
Which brings me back to the potential to make money from my games. I’ve seen a lot of really creative designs made with Flowlab, games that I imagine could at least bring in a small amount of revenue once polished and complete… but I want 100% honest unbiased responses here - if one of my goals was to earn a small profit from my designs, is Flowlab a legitimate route to use for that? Or would I be better off just going back to school and learning how to code from scratch?
I can easily justify the cost in terms of entertainment, as I do thoroughly enjoy creating things (and would gladly do it all day long for free if I didn’t need to also earn a living). Unfortunately, at the end of the day I do need to justify my spending, and I can’t let my personal passions turn into a time and money sink while neglecting my more important household expenses…
Sorry for the TL;DR (I’m bad about that)… short version:
Is Indie worth?
Yes just for fun, but will never actually pay for itself?
Or yes for fun and potential profits?
For me, personally, the pros outweigh the cons. I use Flowlab on a semi-regular basis, and very rarely am I ever disappointed. If you are in a financially strong situation right now, you can upgrade to Indie if you would like. It would also grant you access to beta behaviors (behaviors that aren’t 100% finished) and multiplayer, though the latter might require some extra practice first.
And yes, you can make money off of your games. If you decide to export your game, you can sell it on platforms like GameJolt, Steam, Google Play Store, the Apple Store, etc. This will also allow a wider variety of people to see and play your game.
The only bad thing about getting indie is mainly you have to pay for it, but in my opinion it’s totally worth it. Although I’m broke to actually afford it, but when I was apart of another user’s student account, I had indie and I have to say you won’t regret it. Especially if you have a huge project in mind.
I’m not in a financially strong situation currently, that’s the only reason I’m hesitant. Ordinarily, if I had plenty of expendable income, I’d upgrade in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, Coronavirus and life circumstances blah blah, I’m stretched a bit thin right now. But… if I could justify it as an “investment” into projects that might earn me money? Then heck yes, I’ll buy in. Though if I end up spending the better part of several months or so making a game just to earn like 50 cents from it, I will feel like an idiot.
Yeah, in that case, I wouldn’t rely solely on video game creation as a source of income, especially if you are still practicing with it. I’d suggest taking some other job (one that has a good pay), and working on game development almost as a “side-job”. And then when your games become successful enough for you to make a profit, and when you become skilled at it, you can start relying on your games more for your money. That’s kind of how some famous game developers got their careers started: they had small jobs, like retail workers or cashiers, and when their games became popular, game development became their full-time job.
No matter what choice you make, I hope that you have a fun time. Good luck on your games!
I agree with @MetaNinja 's latest reply. I’d get a small job and start working on your game in your free time, if you have school take a programming class so by the time you’re finished with the class you’ll have enough money saved up from your job to buy a bigger engine, perhaps UE5 (if it’s out by then) or Unity (Godot is also rapidly growing). If you didn’t know, they both take different coding languages so you kind of have to make pre plans. UE4/5 takes C++ and Unity takes C#. Godot takes GDscript and C# though. If you DID look into programming. I’d start with C# as your first coding language, easier to start with than C++ or C, but once you got one down the others aren’t so hard.
Even after that, I’d still recommend to start at a video game development company to make some money at something you know you can do, but on your free time make your own indie game. Release it while still at work and if you make enough profit, quit your job and keep updating and growing the community around your game, I know a lot of people who did that to get a better understanding on game development and start off an indie career, that is. If you wanted to start making good profit on your games.
Due to life circumstances, I’m currently unable to work outside of my home (I live with a high risk individual and neither one of us have gotten our vaccines yet)… so right now my only “income” is what I can potentially earn from home (otherwise living on what’s left of my savings). Since I currently have more time than money, I figure even a few dollars here and there would be better than nothing. Not that I expect any of my games to become an overnight success, but even if I just published a couple as donationware or free with some ads, a small monthly check would be an improvement over my current situation. And would certainly make me much happier than working some crappy retail job (been there, done that, earned next to nothing and hated every moment of it).
Unfortunately I am not young. I didn’t have enough money to finish college, and it’s very tough to make a decent living without a degree. I’ve always had a passion for gaming though, and I’d much rather be poor but “just making ends meet” doing something I love than be financially successful doing something I hate. If that makes sense.
If I were you I’d learn everything about flowlab, then when you know you can make a game better or just as good as some of the greatest games in flowlab, then you should start trying to make profits. If you’re looking for something you can do at home and MAYBE get profits from, a devlog series on a flowlab game would be a great idea for a YouTube channel. Really been wanting a good devlog series from a flowlab user.
Creating games isn’t easy though. It takes a lot of artistic traits like making music, good art, and programming skills, not to mention the story behind a game. Another great idea would be to make a group of mature friends on flowlab to make games with. I’d be happy to teach you some things about flowlab if you needed any help. I’ve never made any profit from my games, I do it mostly for fun and to show kids at school my games lol.
I just started dabbling with Flowlab very recently, my first foray into actual game making. Free edition has so many limitations, unfortunately. I can only make 3 games, 5 levels each, and only 50 objects? I just started working on level 1 of my second game, and think I’m already nearing the limit on unique objects.
My problem is that I have limitless creativity, but very limited skills. I can probably come up with hundreds of different game ideas, I can sort of do some of the artwork, I can compose some basic music files on my keyboard, I know what I want all the characters to do, it’s just a matter of learning how to make it all work together. Which I am very new at.
Yes, I don’t know if you have realized this yet (a lot of new users tend to skip this), but you can delete an object, it will go to your object library. To fully delete a sprite from your game you have to click “delete all”, also cloning objects doesn’t take away your amount of objects you can use. If you have multiple blocks meant for platforms and such you can code some animations to fit many different blocks in one sprite, using raycasts (idk if you know what I’m talking about I’m kind of drifting away here).
You know, using a free account doesn’t mean anything. I made a game for the flowjam and got 4th place, plus I know if I can do it, then anyone else can. Yes, free edition has many limitations, but there are many ways of getting around different obstacles and you can create wonderful games with these limitations.
Which in my opinion makes the game seem much cooler if you limit yourself, lol.
Yep, I figured that out. I had to get rid of some objects I wanted to use to make room for new ones.
I actually have a free account, that’s what I go on the forums with. I have a student account from an after school club I was doing and it limits me from using the forums, so I have to use my old free account for it, all of us had free edition at some point (except for probably JR_01, Latif, or Grazer lol)
Honestly, I might go try to make remake my first free account game on my free account AGAIN to see how far I’ve progressed.
I love the challenge of creating a game with limitations, but I’m also a big fan of huge sandbox games. I’d love to eventually create a large immersive RPG that people could play for hundreds of hours (which I suppose means I’d be pouring thousands of hours into creating it, but I’d enjoy every minute of it, bringing my dream game to life and making it playable not only for myself, but anyone else who wanted to play as well).
Yeah, I’ve always dreamed of making a huge RPG, though I don’t think my school chromebook could handle it. I have a iMac but those are kinda broken with flowlab in my opinion, half the code doesn’t save over and music and all is bugged for some reason.
My dream game is The Facility, which I currently have the basic foundation of, but I need indie to finish it since I ran out of objects when my indie was let out.
Although its not much of a rpg game, but its like a top-down SCP foundation based game. So far I have a demo of it, but the entire game is supposed to take hours of gameplay with new dangers along the way.
There are many different enemies that can kill you like Subject: 002 and Subject: 009. And many more.
Hmm… yeah, that is one of the things I was wondering about RE: Flowlab. I don’t know much of anything about coding, but even on my first simple game where I was just playing around with the basics, I noticed how quickly and easily certain objects seem to get bugged. I place the blame squarely on myself in those instances for being a noob, I probably plugged the wrong command in (still trying to figure it all out!). But I also wonder if maybe Flowlab itself is maybe not the best platform to create a game on? It’s just the first one I’ve tried that didn’t require coding knowledge.
EDIT: I’m just using a generic Windows PC. Nothing fancy. I assume it can probably handle most games on here?
You can make anything with the amount of time and practice here, heck @TinkerSmith made 3D stuff and JR_01 is making lasers shot off walls and a 3D maze you can run through, all with code to make it seem 3D.