Going Full-Time Indie

Empty Cube

Last Monday, I gave my two weeks’ notice to my day job. I’m going to run GBGames, LLC full-time.

After 5 years of part-time development and not much to show for it, I was frustrated. I had no urgency. I found myself losing focus often, even after I admonished myself for doing so. Week after week, I’d get disappointed in my lack of productivity. I’d identify the problem as a lack of seriousness or a lack of clarity or a lack of efficiency, and I’d claim, “No more! This time, it’s for real!”, but then I’d find myself at the end of another week with little to no forward progress and hardly any change to my work habits.

Well, no more! This time, it’s for real! B-)

I’m cutting myself off from the peace of mind of a regular income from a salaried position, with nice benefits, at a really good company, with great coworkers. I could work in much worse environments. I was able to spend money on food, clothes, utilities, and toys without generally worrying if I had enough money to cover it. The people were great, and the company policies were what you thought of when you thought of best-practices.

So why walk away from that? Because I’m also cutting myself off from an obligation to be anywhere for 40-60 hours a week. Those hours are mine now. I have the freedom to use them however I want. Instead of being a cog in an otherwise pretty great wheel, I’m making my own wheel.

Of course, with that freedom comes great responsibility. I’m solely responsible for the success or failure of my business. My future income depends more on my marketing, sales, creativity, and productive output than the time I spend sitting at a desk. It’s going to be hard work, and I’ll encounter challenges the likes of which I’ve never seen.

But it’s time. I have an opportunity to make a mark on the world. I am done with feeling like the lion’s share of my attention is being given to what I should to be doing to the detriment of what I want to be doing. I’m only going to get older. I turn 29 in a couple of months, and before I know it, I’ll be 30. And then 40. And 50. And so on. If I’m going to run my business full-time, it might as well be now, when I have less responsibilities and obligations. I’ve prepared for years to do it. I’m as ready as I’m going to be.

Let’s go, World. I’m ready to rock.

(Photo: Empty Cube | CC BY 2.0)

35 comments to Going Full-Time Indie

  • Woo! Welcome to the indie fold! Best of luck to you. Be sure to reach out if you need anything.

  • Gecko

    Great news!

    It is a sensational example of commitment and, especially, of courage, to change to this new way of life.

    …and of course, Good Luck!

    (excuse my english, i’m following you on twitter, and i NEEDED to comment this.)

  • Congratulations on having balls to do this! Best of luck!

  • TimS


    Don’t you just love those decisions… the ones where you can’t go BACK, and you know you don’t want to go back. When you’re 40 you’ll have to come back and revisit this post — give us an update on how this decision defined your decade.

    I look forward to the first posts about what the new GBGames LLC is up to!

  • X-Out

    Good luck!

  • You’ve got a great cheering section, Gianfranco! We’ve all got your back. Let your creativity run wild and have fun making all the new connections you’ll develop through marketing and promotion. I’m so excited for you! Taking that leap into something big is as much exhilarating as it is terrifying. If you’re ever feeling more terrified than exhilarated, let loose a great big Tarzan yell! It’ll remind you how much fun it is to jump off the safe sturdy branch and swing through the air. šŸ™‚

  • Iā€™m solely responsible for the success or failure of my business.

    You’ll find out that this isn’t quite the case. There are still a lot of issues that are beyond your control. But, you definitely will have a lot more responsibility and control.

    I ran my own small game company for nearly 10 years. If you need anything, drop me a line. šŸ™‚

  • Gianfranco,

    you’re an inspiration for the rest of us still trying to grind it out in the trenches!

    Best of luck, and I second the necessity of a Tarzan yell.

  • Congratulations!

    I hope you much success! =)

    My biggest dream is to soon have the courage to do the same! I hope that my time will come soon!

    Good Luck!

  • Casey

    Congrats man. I hope to be doing the same soon. Let me know if your interested in porting anything to XBox Live.

  • I’m right behind you, dude! I go full-time indie next month! Of course, in my case, I waited until I was 41…

    Good luck to you!

  • Go get ’em, GB! We’re all proud of you. Track down that dream and wrestle it to the ground. šŸ™‚

  • Codexus

    Yay! Good luck!

  • Thanks for the kind and encouraging words, everyone!

  • Congrats Gianfranco. Let me know if you need anything. Also, finish Killer Kittens, so you can finish the post-mortem to put as a full page in ASPects. If you can get it to me by the 25th of the month, I will push for it to print in the following month’s issue.

  • Go for it man, it takes balls and a dream, but you’re doing it! šŸ˜‰

  • Being in the same situation I fully understand what you’re going through and I admire your decision. Wish I’d be able to do the same … but again maybe seeing other people do it might just be what I need to push me …

    Keep us updated as I’m greatly interested to hear about your experience. You know just in case I decide to make the jump too … šŸ™‚

  • […] I just discovered his blog today in the most awesome way you can discover something. The guy just recently announced that he was going full-time indie […]

  • Rock on, man. You won’t regret it!

  • Awesome – congraz for taking the bold move!

  • Way to go GB!

    I wish you the best of luck! Like others have said–definitely reach out if you have any questions, concerns, need to get support / vent etc…

    I went full time indie a little over a year and a half ago and the journey has been awesome so far. I have definitely relied on my fellow indie devs for mental sanity (at the very least) A lot of remote IMing, emailing, chatting etc. to keep from freaking out sometimes… šŸ˜‰

  • Unbelievably awesome.

  • Wow! Big step. Good Luck! šŸ™‚

  • Woo! Another full time indie, good luck! Feel free to drop me a line any time, indies need to stick together šŸ™‚

  • Ben

    I took the plunge 6 months ago and it has been the craziest ride ever since. I hope you have a great support network.

    Good luck!

  • You’re completely nuts, and I salute you for it! šŸ™‚

  • […] on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress Plugin As you might know I’m now following an indie game dev who recently quit his job to become a full-time indie. In the last entry of his blog he points that it might not be a bad […]

  • Congratulations, I hope this means you’ll pop into #GameDevelopers a little more often and actually say stuff šŸ˜‰

    I’ve been “indie” for 10 years and have got squat to show for myself. I’m going to be 35 in August. Here’s to the next decade…

  • Wow, just saw this post. Good luck, you have more balls than I do! I am newly full-time indie as well but that was after securing funding and deals with console manufacturers :p.

  • […] wrote about some of the reasons why I went full-time indie, but part of it was freedom. Spending 40-60 hours a week on stuff unrelated to my business meant I […]

  • Hey, great to see your site!

    I’ve been ready to do this for a few months, but out of curiosity, what did you tell your co-workers / boss?

    Also, did you have any plans for supplementing your income while working on games as an indie?

    I’ve been working on games and game prototypes for several years, but need more time to finish them up! Have several games working, but not ‘polished’ enough to release… and that takes a lot of time!

  • […] been meaning to write about this topic for some time. Back in May of 2010, I put in my two weeks’ notice at my day […]

  • […] then, I had saved up a chunk of money, quit my job, moved from Chicago to Des Moines, Iowa, all to go full-time indie and live the dream. I got quite a bit of feedback from people in the industry which I promptly […]