Going Back to School and Starting an Indie Game Company… At the Same Time

Grunt Birthday Party

As I briefly mentioned in a previous blog post, I will be going back to school at the end of August for Computer Game and Simulation Design, which is my college’s fancy way of saying “video game development.” It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting financial aid this semester because of the fact that I already earned an Associate of Arts (before I knew what I wanted to do with my life), but I should be able to afford at least this semester with what I have saved up. I have an appointment to speak with a guidance counselor in a couple weeks (which is the earliest appointment they had available).

I am also in the process of starting my own independent game company. I’ve always dreamed of starting my own business, and this will give me a lot of extra industry experience by time I finish my degree in game design. It might be crazy to be starting my own company while still in school, but plenty of other people have done it, and I’m just crazy enough to give it a shot. My plan is to start out small and offer my first few releases for free (supported by ads on the download pages) to generate buzz around my company while I gain more game making experience before actually trying to sell anything.

I’ve just started a new social media project on an independent contractor basis, so I’ll have some money coming in. I haven’t yet figured out what I’m going to do about my regular job. I don’t think I’ll be able to work 40 hours a week between the two jobs, plus work on getting my own company up and running, plus going to school full time. I don’t want my school work to suffer from lack of time that I’m able to spend on homework and studying.

Aside from applying for tons of scholarships for next semester and beyond, I’m brainstorming other ways to fund my education, such as crowd-funding. Have you tried crowd-funding to pay for your college tuition? Please post in the comments of this post what your experiences have been, both positive and negative.

Also, I’d like to hear from anyone else who has majored in game design or started their own indie game studio. How did you like your classes? If you already graduated, what are you doing now? If you own an indie game studio, how successful have you been thus far?

I’d really like to hear from anyone who’s on a similar career path. In this modern internet age, networking with like-minded individuals is probably one of the most important things you can do to become successful in your career.

I’ll keep this blog updated with my progress in school and in my indie game business.

(I don’t have an appropriate picture for this post, so I’ll just use a random Grunt enjoying his Grunt Birthday Party that I took on my phone many months ago.)


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