LET'S GET SERIOUS HERE. Making video games always seems like the dream job: be creative, get the world addicted and get paid for it. But is it really that easy?
Turns out, it actually might be, as the INQUIRER found out when we went to a showcase of Microsoft's upcoming ID@Xbox indie games content and asked the developers on the scene lots of difficult questions.
Our two interviewees had sufficiently different stories. Joe Brammer is straight out of Derby University with an animation degree and is executive producer at Bulkhead Interactive, developer of the soon to be released Portal-alike The Turing Test and Kickstarter-born Call of Duty-botherer Battalion 1944.
Phil Duncan, meanwhile, is one half of two-man outfit Ghost Town Games along with Oli De-Vine, and spent seven years at David 'Elite' Braben's Frontier Developments. He is working on a cutesy co-op cooking game called Overcooked.
Here are Brammer and Duncan's top six pieces of advice on going it alone and making the games you want to make.
Have an idea, and be ready to prove it
"It definitely helps if you have something to show them," said Duncan, speaking of how he managed to wangle a development Xbox One console out of Microsoft's ID@Xbox team.
"You can't just turn up out of the blue and say: 'I've got an idea for a game.' We took an early prototype of Overcooked. It was about wanting to make a co-op-based game.
"You see games take different approaches, and how the disciplines break down. Sometimes you'll see a small studio that's had a lot of experience with, say, art and the game's beautiful, and it doesn't so much matter if the core ideas aren't particularly unique because it'll still stand apart.
"If you boil down Ico it's a game about pushing blocks, but the world is such a wonderful place to be."
Slightly further along the line as a fledging developer, a good idea makes it possible to launch a successful Kickstarter, even with only one small game under your belt.
Moving from first-person puzzler Pneuma, which "cost nothing to make" and picked up mediocre reviews at best, Bulkhead Interactive raised over £300,000 to take on Call of Duty's multiplayer shooter crown.
"We basically said we wanted to take what they did in those classic shooters, but it's not about doing World War II, it's about making a balanced game, about simplifying a shooter and remembering why it's fun, because you can just shoot the shit out of each other," said Brammer.
"People love sniping, right? So it's just about taking the scope off and adding an iron sight.
"If you've seen the Infinite Warfare trailer and read the comments, there's a massive core of people saying: 'Ah, it's all about Battlefield and Battalion for me. Call of Duty's dead.'
"But the irony is that we were inspired by Call of Duty II and Call of Duty I, so we'd be nowhere without them."
Liberté, égalité, no piracy
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