There have been a lot of thread recently about layoffs, and insane crunch at big AAA developers. One option to avoid all this is to go "indie". This often means you code, do the art, and market your own game.
First, is it smart to go indie? Probably not. The risks are massive and you will work as hard or harder and you will not just have to learn, but master a lot of new things. To carve out your own audience takes great ideas, a lot of interpersonal interaction, and a fair amount of luck.
So why would anyone do that to themselves? Well, the alternative for a lot of us is crunching on a game you don't really care about, pigeon-holed into modeling crates and working under morons making bad calls, just so you can come to work one day to find the project you have spent years of your life on has been canceled. If you're lucky you will get to go grab the shit from your desk.
So you still want to make your own game, even though you are going to be competing tooth and nail with hundreds of other games, many of which are free, or sell for a dollar, or get pirated?
Well, ok. Here are some thing I would seriously consider:
-do you have a few years to be poor, have a trust fund, or someone who is willing to help support you?
This doesn't mean you will have zero income. Depending on how you run things, you may have Kickstarter funds, or pre-order income or ad revenue. This may or may not be enough to live on, depending on how frugal/lucky you are.
-can you model, animate, draw, code and design compelling levels?
If you are not at least great at two of the above things, I would probably not go indie. Any skill you don't have from the above list, you need to find a guy to team up with to fill in those skills. Finding the right guys to team up with is hard -- they need fit these criteria also.
-can you work fast for long hours, with little or no external motivators?
This is kind of important. You need to get a lot done. If you don't, nobody is going care. You will just fail. Almost every indie I know has been in a point where they feel like their project will literally not ever be finished. You need to be able to get out of bed and get to work on those days.
-can you gather a community around your work?
This will take blog posts, videos, interviews, and tons of one on one interaction. This stuff needs to go viral. Getting media attention is great. This requires great ideas, good video production skills and awesome writing/communication skills. Forum, blog, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are all necessary tools.
I personally suck at this stuff, and it may be the most important. If you don't have that x-factor that lands your content on Reddit, Kotaku and RPS, then you need someone who does.
-do you have a great idea for a game?
You need something in your game that normal people will recognize is clearly better and different than what they have played before. I don't know what makes an idea great, but I can tell you 99% of ideas that people think are great are probably not good enough.
One final note: I don't know shit. My game is not even done yet. There are no rules as far as I can tell, other than maybe be really awesome.
 Oops, looks like there is already a thread.