I just read this amazing interview on Joystiq and wanted to share. This
indie developer said a lot of truths about the current state of indie
game development that most people don’t have the guts to say (in order
to not damage their profits). I’m amazed, and agree with him 100%. I
think the following phrase sums it up: “I can earn much more money
doing other stuff; I’m not here to become rich. I’m here because making
games gives me peace, makes me happy.”.
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That’s fine, but that’s not what being an indie is all about. It merely
says you’re independent, and not contracted by/with a publisher of some
sorts. It’s nice to see that he’s not in it for the money, but that’s
not what defines him as being an indie developer. He has problems with
developers trying to get rich fast with the next Angry Birds clone. I
can understand his point of view, but saying that those developers
aren’t indie developers just doesn’t make any sense.
It seems to me that if you’re not contracted to a publisher, you are
going to have to cut corners on development costs and write a low profit
game, though. I don’t think too many of them are in it for the money.
The nice thing is there is more area for this type of developer. With
digital distribution, web games, etc, it has cut the costs of
development way down for smaller games. It’s pretty cut throat I think,
though, because there are so many trying to do it. I wouldn’t want to do
it, myself. I think it’s kind of a fun hobby, but I don’t think I would
want to have to pay the bills on it. It’s not reliable income.
Well, the problem is it *can* be hugely succesful. Examples such as
Angry Birds and Minecraft make people get dollar signs in their eyes,
and so there are some who are trying to get rich fast by creating such
clones, obviously without any notable succes. I don’t know whether it’s
true, but he seems to claim that these put a bad name on the indie
developers altogether as people just see indie developers as ‘people who
want to get rich fast’. I totally understand his annoyance in that
respect, but saying that those developers aren’t indie developers only
because he doesn’t WANT them to belong to that same category is just
“I am X, but I hate Y. Therefore, anybody who does Y can’t be X”. A form
Yeah, it’s kind of like the “real” whatever that people put across.
There’s Americans and then there’s “real” Americans who behave like I
think they should behave, which is just a small minority most of the
time. The person has built his own definition of what something should
be and it’s highly glorified and unrealistic. If you’re not doing it for
the money, you do it for free.