So how can a fledgling development team make it without a huge publisher? Hitbox Team doesn't have all the answers, but they have posted an in-depth blog detailing the trials and tribulations of making their platform title Dustforce.

The developers spent a year and a half living off the $100,000 they had won from a game development contest. During its first day of release through Steam, the game sold 4,796 copies for a total revenue of $44,141.

The key to their survival, however, did not just hinge on the success of Dustforce. Hitbox Team projected that $300,000-$400,000 in revenue was needed to cover their living expenses and to create another game down the road.

After a year's worth of sales, the total revenue of Dustforce came in at $668,490. With various expenses along with taxes, the total take home for the team was $295,000. "In the end, this means that for every $10 copies of Dustforce sold, $4.41 of it ended in our pockets," said Hitbox Team member Terence Lee. "We then split this between the four of us."

Instead of pocketing the money and resting on their laurels, the group are using those funds to jump right back into the process. "We're putting all our earnings back into making our next game, Spire," added Lee. "By being independent, we can continue to develop the game as artists and not as businessmen. Like with Dustforce, it is of utmost importance that we make design decisions based solely on making the game better, not on making it sell more."