I saw this item on Gamasutra: a 2013 GDC talk about inexperienced devs creating Tokyo Jungle. Yohei Kataoka is the speaker. The video is about an hour long, though the Q&A is the last 10-15 minutes or so, and you can skip it in my opinion.
From my notes, the interesting part is how many concepts the studio developed before finally settling on Tokyo Jungle. Some of those, like a lone cartographer charting a 2D open world, sound like they could have been good games. Some of the seemingly serendipitous events Katakoa describes contributed to his studio’s success with SCE and their product. The critic reviews weren’t great, but they did manage to ship a game on a console. I call that a big win.
I rather like the idea of the team handling most of its marketing materials. That initial keyframe animation for Tokyo Jungle done in After Effects was probably far more effective than any talking pitch they could have done. I instantly got what they were shooting for, without having to sift through a ten-pager or even glance at a one page DD.
In the five years since the talk, I think some are still debating what’s going on with the Japanese game front. But beyond a short anime game in 2014, I can’t find anything else that the Crispy’s team has worked on. So that’s kind of an anti-climatic feeling after the inspirational talk. The main takeaway though is to use some good business sense when getting into indie dev. Kataoka and his initial team knew that they needed funding to continue working on games, or as he puts it, to be profitable. That should be the only concern if you’re reaching beyond the hobbyist level.