All posts tagged: indie

Steambirds: Why indie games are good for fans

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Here’s a rough sneak peak video of an indie gem called SteamBirds. As I was playing, I started thinking about questions of authorship and authenticity in the game industry. The gameSteambirds is a rare treat. The magical design equation = Steampunk + Turn-based strategy + Air combat. Despite my immense love of turn-based strategy games, I’ve found two problems with the genre over the years. First, very few people make them any longer. This is […]

Flash Love Letter (2009) Part 1

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Flash Love Letter (2009) Part 1 Chapter 1: Introduction Hello Flash game developer, Over the past couple months, I’ve spent a bit of time looking at Flash gaming on web portals like Kongregate and Newgrounds.  There are over 14,000 games spread across 30,000 portals with hundreds of new games coming out every month.  The output alone is amazing.  Let me cut to the chase.  I think that you, Flash game developers, are some of the most talented […]

How to bootstrap your indie art needs

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A goodly number of indie game developers are lured into by the free game graphics. Every few days an email pops into my inbox, “Hey, could you draw the graphics for my cool game design idea?” I’m honored more than you can imagine when I get such a letter and they mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, I have my fingers in so many projects at the moment that squeezing in an additional graphics […]


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As I sit here, listening to the Flame Trick Sub’s rendition of ‘Plastic Jesus’, I am brought back to their rocking performance at the Gathering of Developer’s Holy Lot back in 2000. “Sing loud. Sing strong. Sing like the beer in your hand was brought to you by the Lord.” G.O.D. created a trailer park of sin and gratifyingly poor taste in a parking lot next to the edifice of E3. The free beer required […]

Bursty Indie Sales Cycles

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I had a delightful lunch today with Amanda F. and her handsome, watch loving friend. She is the driving force behind the new indie RPG Aveyond and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what she does next. Most of my contacts with the game industry go back to the old PC shareware glory days, so it is quite enjoyable to connect with one of the rising stars of the new generation of entrepreneurial game […]

Notes from FlashForward 2006

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Matt and Mike Chapman, the artistes that draw Home Star Runner (and Strong Bad!) are Nintendo DS fans. They had put on a talk at FlashForward in Seattle and the first thing they did was announce that they had started a Pictochat session. While one guy talked, the other guy would doodle away and read messages from folks responding in real-time to their talk. They also showed an early version of their cartoon that they […]

Costikyan: Death to the Game Industry (Long Live Games)

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I couldn’t have said this better myself. Here is the view of Greg Costikyan on the state of the industry. I enjoy it when a game designer curses violently out of passion for his choosen profession. 🙂 Much of the work on Lostgarden is there to provide practical tools for accomplishing many of the goals that are outlined in Greg’s PowerPoint. “Death to the Game Industry (Long Live Games)” describes a movement made up of […]

Oasis: How to create an ineffective game demo

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I just played through the demos of Oasis, Clash N Slash, and Future Pool. I’m admittedly a demo whore. I’ll play them, form an opinion about the mechanics and move on. It takes a truly rare game for me to plunk down my hard earned money. Of the three, Oasis had the most innovative gameplay. Others have compared it to Civilization meets Mine sweeper and I’d agree with the characterization. It plays with the well-honed […]

The brave new world of Indie console games

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I had a dream about next generation consoles revolutionizing indie game development. In this dream, the indie game development community was fragmented and suffering. A gleaming savior with tens of millions of eager customers appeared on the horizon. He spoke in a booming voice “Bring me your games, both small and weary. I will distribute them and you will finally be able to feed your family. You will rise and rule the world!” He ends […]

Short Games rock

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Here’s a wonderful article on short games by the fellows who made Strange Adventures in Infinite Space: I like this design philosophy for several reasons: Innovation friendly: You can try a bunch of interesting systems and you don’t have to rebuild a dozen levels. Design testing friendly: You can test these games rather quickly and gather interesting statistics. Gathering 3 – 4 game play data sets per day from a user is a lot […]