The Garden of Indie is an initiative here at Eden Industries designed to empower fellow indie developers and help them thrive. Unlike the traditional publisher/developer model and the funding models you may be familiar with, Garden of Indie represents a strategic partnership between us and another indie developer (whether that’s an individual or a whole team) designed to create a unique collaboration through which we’re able to help out where it’s needed most.
At Eden Industries, we make games a bit differently than most. Waveform was made by a group of part-timers around the world giving up their evenings and weekends to make a great game. We poured our passion into the game, building everything from scratch. Even though we were veterans of the mainstream industry, our first indie game was a huge challenge to overcome, both the development and the actual release. For Citizens of Earth, our initially humble attempt to make a humorous RPG for release on Steam in English only was catapulted further than we could ever have imagined after Atlus came in as the publisher to help us release it globally on 5 platforms (PC, PS4, Wii U, 3DS, and Vita) and in 6 languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Japanese). But we know there are a lot of other aspiring indies out there that aren’t quite so lucky. And just like we make games a bit differently at Eden Industries, we came up with a potential solution to this problem that’s a bit different as well.
Eden Industries was built upon the backs of a distributed network of part-time contributors. And while we have grown beyond our initial roots, we haven’t forgotten one key truth – partnering with the right people can make all the difference. We want to expand that network now to include not necessarily just individuals, but also entire indie teams. We want others to be able to plug into the network of Eden Industries and find what they need to make great games. This is the heart of the Garden of Indie project – providing an environment where aspiring indies can grow and thrive. Rather than internalize our efforts and hire more people to work on our own games, we want to externalize our efforts (at least partially, we’ll still be making our own games of course!) to empower other indie developers to make the games that they are passionate about. Passion, innovation, and fun are hallmark traits at Eden Industries, and we want to be in the business of helping others with those same traits make awesome games.
A Strategic Partnership
So what exactly will the Garden of Indie project provide for indie developers? It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a tailored, strategic partnership designed to bolster other indies wherever the things they need and the things we can provide intersect. The types of things we’d like to offer are the kinds of things that other indies have mentioned needing to me over the years, or even things that we were hungering for while working on Waveform but had trouble securing. Things like a game engine tailored to the kind of game you want to make, not an off-the-shelf solution that you have to cram your game idea into. Maybe you need help nailing down an art style in order to inform asset production and help ignite creativity. Perhaps you need some help exploring the depth of the fun in your game and could use some help building out levels.
An important key-word in this initiative is that it’s a “strategic” partnership program. This follows from our belief that a one-size-fits-all solution is not what’s needed. We acknowledge that there may very well be times that what we at Eden Industries can offer another indie team is not what they need. In which case we’ll be open with them that partnering with us is not the best strategic move for them. In another case, it may be that we can offer exactly what another team needs but due to the circumstances involved we don’t have the resources at the time to make it happen. The glaringly obvious truth is we’re just a bunch of people that love making games and want to help where we can; we’re not superheroes. We even acknowledge that there are probably a relatively low percentage of partnerships that make sense. We’re honest about our limitations, and know where and when we can partner with someone to have a positive impact. But we do believe that in those situations where an indie team approaches us and lacks the very thing we can provide that the results will be powerful and enjoyable for everyone involved!
What the Garden of Indie Isn’t…
I also want to be clear on what Garden of Indie isn’t. It’s not a publishing program. We don’t want to be in that business. We’re not paying people to make games for us like the traditional publisher-developer model. Similarly, it’s not a financial fund where we give you money to make the game you want to make. Programs like the IndieFund are doing a great job of that already and we don’t feel like that’s the business for us either. Finally, we’re not game engine licensors. We like making games, not game engines. We’ll leave that business to Unity and others who like specializing in that.
But we do want to be in the business of empowering indies to make awesome games, and we absolutely want to work with exceptional people with fantastic ideas and help them to easily overcome the kinds of difficulties and roadblocks that we had to endure throughout the development and release of Waveform.
At its core, the Garden of Indie initiative is about a few things in particular:
- A strategic partnership that helps you get your games made
- Collaboration that allows you to retain creative control
- Networking connections with publishers, platform holders (Steam, Sony, Nintendo, etc.), and talented folk that can help you bring your game to life
- Assistance developing a custom game engine, based on our internal Eden Engine, that will get you up and running with a prototype fast
- Giving you access to our experience in whatever capacity it can be of benefit to you
Sounds Interesting? Let us know!
If the Garden of Indie initiative seems like something that would be agreat fit for you or your team, we’d love to hear from you! Send us a message at the bottom of the page and we’d love to chat further!