1. Why and when did you decide to become a part of this business?
When I was 16 (I'm 25 now), I just knew I wanted to do more than just play games, I wanted to make them as well. I took a longer road to getting there; I studied Maths and highschool, Computer Science at university. I spent a couple of years backpacking and by the time I finished all that, the industry had moved on. It was no longer a case of going to work for a big game studio. Things had come back round full circle to bedroom coders, so that's what I went for2. What are some entrepreneurial skills and characteristics you possess?
I studied business at high school. I know how to incorporate, when I need a lawyer, how to do basic financial record keeping. In theory I know all the stuff needed to successfully run and grow the business. I'm in the process of finding out how much that actually holds true in practice 3. What are your biggest obstacles as a developer?
Not having another programmer to help me. Being able to bounce ideas off someone, having a sanity check and forcing me to code to standards, write code that is well structured, documented, readable4. How do you market your games to the public?
My game is very niche. The marketing strategy is to identify my core audience and market / sell directly to them. I've kinda got a whole jumble of ideas about how to market my game floating around in my head. My problem is I've dipped my toes into various things, but most of it is a full time job, which distracts from coding. I'm working towards a point where things can start to click together and I'll have both a more coherent game and the time to execute my marketing strategy. I'm also fortunate in that I have a limited amount of money to put towards marketing
Specifically the strategy is to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the problem and see what sticks. That will include (in no particular order) Website redesign, SEO, Corporate Branding (logo etc), Product Differentiation on art style and genre, Press Releases, pitching stories to games journalists, helping out on games review sites (conflict of interest?), blogging, facebook, twitter, posting on community forums, helping out in said communities, going to (and possibly stands) at conventions, promotional video, commissioning art inspired by the game (deviantart), localisation, kickstarter campaign, in-game and game-related competitions, in-game events, story writing and game-lore creation and promotion (e.g. writing a short story based in the game universe and entering it into writing competitions), closed and open betas (yes, these are a marketing tool as well as a development tool), pitching for app-of-the-day type stuff / appealing to the platform holder (android in my case, so primarily google, but also amazon and other minor markets), advertising (online), adwords, sticker/leaflet campaign. I'm sure there are some more things I'll think of later...
Please tell if you have any advice for me
Learn to program. Trying to start a games business without that skill will be difficult.
Actually, I disagree. Whilst it is useful to be able to have an idea of what to expect from a programmer (i.e. say when they are going lazy or when they have a genuine problem), I'd say it is pretty secondary to running a business. Now most indies are probably not in it for the money, or maybe have a secret hope that their game will blow up and become mega successful. After all their toiling away, people will recognise the genuis. But really they want to make games they think are cool and not starve in the process
My advice is to private message or actively get in contact with some of the more experienced developers with a few games under their belts and who look like they know how to market, or at least have some experience of what did and didn't work for them. (i.e. don't wait for people to come talk to you, you need to go talk to them). Also keep talking and listening and reading. My biggest mistake was not spending time learning all the lessons that are scattered across the internet from sites like this, to blogs, to more formal industry sites like gamasutra, develop-online.net, gamesindustry.biz before embarking on my indie adventure