Default Tester

Help people get better with video games. Donate to Child's Play for karma Achievements.

Join Default Tester and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Oh crap sorry! Extra Credits! Along with Heathcliff, I dedicate this story to the following people, in no particular order:

Ada Lovelace

Kurt Vonnegut

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Grace Hopper

Ray Kurzweil

Gabe Newell

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

The Fam

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Default Tester : Issue Games : Independent Games Festival 2015

The Independent Games Festival just opened it's call for submissions. Its  is an event honoring the best indie games of the year. Think "Sundance Festival for Video Games," and you are kind of there. You should check it out, even if you don't make games, or like games. It's something to do.

Video Games have historically been a binary thing. A game can either be a story driven experience, or a game-play driven experience. A 0, or a 1, as it is. And that's cool, but in that binary nature things get pretty complicated for anyone trying to make art out of the experience. Unlike in other artistic endeavors where the creator only needs himself to create the art, in video games if you want to create an interactive story, but you don't know how to draw, or code, you are kind of fucked.

A movie takes a director, actors, boom grips, etc.. A music album takes mixers, producers, singers, and sometimes songwriters. But you couldn't play Thriller. I wish you could play thriller.

So you hire people to do these things, and the more you hire, the more the vision gets spread out, until one day you wake up and there is a building full of people that have no idea what the original vision was about, they are shading boxes all day, or building sprint plans, or testing disparate parts of the whole that they never fully understand. You end up playing art by telephone.

It's weird that it started out with on ore two people making a complete game, and then it grew to 50 - 200, and now technology has made it so that one or two people can make a game again. "You have to go forward to go back." That's some Will Wonka shit.

I think independent games are freedom, I think they are the future. I work(ish) in large scale game development, but I am under no illusions that it is a dying business model. It cost too much to put out the stuff we make nowadays. There are too many platforms, too many choices for a customer to have big companies retain the revenue they are used to. It's just not realistic to believe we can carry on this way. Can't make a game for two hundred million, and make twenty million.

And the games are just not growing either. The same FPS's every year, the same game mechanics, the same franchises. Gaming is an industry with a big bag of tricks, yet we use the same ones, because they are safe. Not to say that Indie games aren't susceptible to this, honestly a majority of them suck, and these games make it apparent why sometimes publishers, timelines, and experience exist. But it's not about hitting a home run every time, it's about people finally being able to see their vision come to life, on their own terms, and there should always be a place in the world for that. Innovation can't come any other way.

So long story long, for folks asking how do I get a job in games, this is the answer. You make one. Make a game, there are a million ways to do it, it's cheap, it's not as hard as you think, and there has been no better time in the history of gaming to do so.

Wheeew! That job wen't south quick, didn't it P3#PZ? Can either be famous or free, can't be both. That's why it's IRC quiet. But for what it's worth, I get why you tried, and I don't live there, so I really can't say, but It's ok to be scared. Anyway, I hope information makes it out to Seattle, faces to names and all that. And also I'll be back to No Heroes soon, and also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.XX : Issue : People : Canadaigua

Blog Archive