Mini Manifesto

I read about game development and the games industry a lot, and apparently, games aren’t interesting, varied or “innovative” enough. Indie game developers are supposed to be the solution, free to take risks and unencumbered by meddling corporate higher-ups.

I don’t think it’s anywhere near that simple. Most indies I know are limited by serious resource constraints; financial in particular. Some turn that around and use it to their advantage, but most are actually very cautious, sticking to technologies, mechanics and themes they know.

I’m in the fortunate position of having an independent income, meaning I can (just about) afford to work as an indie game dev full time. Bearing all that in mind, here are a few guiding principles I want to lay down:

Walk the walk
No point criticising from the side when I’m in a position to actually experiment. I’m definitely running Crystalline Green as a serious, professional business, but between working on fully realised, commercial products, I have the time, space and tools to get creative. No excuse to do otherwise.

Stop overcomplicating
Instead of endlessly hypothesising in my head about whether an idea will work or not, just get on and try it.

No space
I love all things space themed. Rockets and lasers, galaxies and nebulae. But so do lots of other game developers, and there are a preponderance of games out there to keep my inner astronaut happy for a lifetime. Better to see instead what those arts and cultures that don’t often feature in video games can bring to the medium.

2 thoughts on “Mini Manifesto

  1. From Jake Birkett’s fullindie presentation: “How to make video games and get filthy rich.” Four easy steps: #1 Make a game. #2 Sell one copy to someone not your mum or your friend. #3 Sell enough copies for spartan life and go full time. #4 Sell enough to get filthy rich. True words, and most wannabes don’t complete step 1.

    • I’m doing one-game-a-month this year. Idea will be to spend the first weekend of any month prototyping, using the above principles. Then spend the remaining weekends polishing up, so that the game is market ready by the end of the month. (During the week will be working on Exec Star).

      That way I’m going through entire development cycles rapidly and repeatedly. I anticipate some months, the prototypes will fail miserably, at which point I’ll have to consider whether to try another idea in the remaining weekends, (risk putting something crap out there and/or not finishing), or what. But will cross that bridge when I come to it