Chilliwack's James Broth-erston isn't exactly getting rich off the iPhone game he developed with partner Kevin dela Cruz but it's a start.
"Right now it's just a trickle," Brotherston says of the sales of his game Fruit Flies which is available at the iTunes app store and on Google Play.
"Not even enough to buy myself lunch."
Fruit Flies is no Angry Birds, at least not yet.
In the world of independent app development, somewhat like the music scene, sometimes you just have to get lucky or be spotted by one influential person.
One of those ways you can get lucky and turn on the flow of money is if Apple decides to feature a game in the Apple store.
But while a guy who creates gaming apps in his parent's house is a little like the indie musician writing pop songs, many musicians don't have a plan B quite like Brotherston, who graduated from UBC's engineering program.
"I could probably go and get a job as a junior engineer somewhere," he says.
He doesn't want to do that, however, nor does he want to hook on with a big company. Being indie is important to Broth-erston and even if Fruit Flies never really takes off, it's just a start.
"It was super fulfilling to release my first game even though it's not taking off," he said. "It still feels really good from a creative standpoint and just, hey, I did that."
Brotherston started tinkering around with game development while he was still studying engineering at UBC. What was a hobby at first turned into a serious passion that he hopes he can stick with. But his first foray into gaming was even before university.
"The first game that I ever made was on my Texas Instruments graphing calculator right in [high school]," he said. "There is an editor built right into those calculators."
He and his partner dela Cruz started their own business Lunch Game Studio, in August. They took about four months to develop the game and deal with bugs (no pun intended).
And while they are moving forward trying to find success in independent game development here in B.C., Brotherston says the industry isn't what it once was.
"It's been on a decline for the past five years or so," he said. "Everybody is moving to Montreal or Eastern Canada or closing up because of the fact the tax breaks are so much better."
Brotherston had a stint working for Matt Toner at Zeros 2 Heroes.
Toner is a big-wig in the Vancouver digital media scene who has taken the mantle of saving the film/TV/video game industries into a campaign as the NDP candidate for False Creek in the provincial election.
Next up for Brotherston is designing a game for a new video game console called Ouya set for retail launch in June. The Ouya project was started with $8 million raised using crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The console will have an open concept so that anyone who owns one can become a game developer without licensing.
"Everything is hackable, open," he said.
Brotherston's working title for his game is Gouya Cart Wars and he's hoping to have it ready for the console release date in June.
? Check out Brotherston's website at lunchgamestudio.com.