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"Making games is freaking hard," said The Pixel Hunt's Florent Maurin. "You’re heroes and you deserve to feel good about yourselves and your work."

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 14, 2023

2 Min Read
Title card for The Pixel Hunt's 2023 game The Wreck.

"I make indie games because..."
-Florent Maurin, co-founder of The Pixel Hunt

The Pixel Hunt is a French developer that focuses on "reality-inspired games" such as Bury me, my Love and Inua, a Story in Ice and Time. Its newest release is The Wreck from back in March, and studio co-founder Florent Maurin posed a question on Reddit: what is the point of making indie games? 

His question was made in relation to sales number for The Wreck. According to him, the game has sold a couple thousand copies since its March 14 release. 1000 of those came from Steam, and there were "roughly as many" on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. 

While he admitted the game was by no means a bomb (or wreck, rather), he did admit to feeling frustrated. Much of that comes from a visibility problem affecting media overall. "There’s so many excellent games," he said, "and so much fight for attention, that being noticed is super, super complicated."

That said, Maurin understood that part of that complication comes with the game's subject matter. The Wreck is a visual novel (of sorts) about a young woman named Junon who ends up in a car wreck, which in turn has her thinking about her own mortality and the events of her life. 

He admitted that it's not an easy game to sell, though he does know through Pixel Hunt's previous works that a game like this can make it the games market. "People tend to play games to escape from the real world," he noted. "That was bound not to appeal to everyone - even though there definitely is an audience for deep, cathartic stories."

Following The Wreck's release, Maurin asked himself why he bothered making indie games. That boiled down to five answers, all of them personal in some way. While you should definitely read them all, we've posted one of them down below, along with a snippet of his advice to other developers in a similar emotional place. 

"I make indie games because they are a way for me to open up about topics I think are important," wrote Maurin. "The Wreck wouldn’t exist without me becoming a father, and being scared shitless to discover that 'giving life' also means 'giving the possibility of death.'

"I make games because I think those topics are important and worthy of being discussed, and because I believe that, like any other art form, video games are a good medium to connect with people over those topics. [...] My advice would be to keep a list of the reasons YOU have that feel more personal and true, and get back to them when things go south and you feel like all those efforts we put in this passion of ours might not be worth it."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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