Cross Collaboration Between Indies
In my opinion, one of the most important things in building a really strong IP is to ensure that you don’t just focus on one aspect of it.
If STAR WARS just had the movies, it wouldn’t have been anywhere close to embedding itself in the consciousness of the world. The fact that it expanded to toys, novels, comics, animations, and games ensured that everyone, who had even a passing interest in the world, got to experience it.
If you think about the larger, more successful gaming IP’s, they have expanded into many different areas. I own toys from Bioshock, and Dead Space (2 of my absolute favorite universes), novels, comic books, and animated films. It forms a greater connection to the characters, the world, and their experiences in it.
But, as an indie, how do we take advantage of that?
Those companies have millions to spend on things. They can contract out novelists, artists, and entire companies to create extended media for them.
The difference is that indies have access to a WEALTH of resources that other larger companies cant touch. OTHER INDIES. There are thousands of comic book artists, film makers, game makers, and musicians out there. People that create for the sheer passion of creation. And I know from personal experience, that artists are always willing to help each other out.
One of the most terrifying things for an artist is a blank canvas. There are people out there who are staring at the blank sheet of paper, who WANT to produce content, but don’t know where to start. If you have a ready made world, it becomes A LOT easier for people to create inside of it. There is a reason there are more Star Wars fan-film projects out there than you can shake a wookie at. The world is there. The rules are there. Creative people actually ENJOY working within boundaries.
If you have an existing fan base, or you are looking for a way to expand your world, contact other independant artists.
If you are an artist who struggles lookng for inspiration, contact someone who is working on a project that inspires you.
With an ‘indie collective’ working on a single Intellectual Property, you can create a world even richer than those of Activision, and EA.