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IGS: The State Of Indie Games

A gigantic panel of independent developers - including Jacob Van Wingen (Small Arms), Ryan Clark (Professor Fizzwizzle) and Jon Mak (Everyday Shooter) rounded off the Independent Games Summit with their thoughts on the future of indie

February 20, 2008

2 Min Read

Author: by Staff

A gigantic panel of independent developers - including Noel Llopis (Powerof2Games), Jacob Van Wingen (Gastronaut Studios), Jamie Cheng (Klei Entertainment), Jon Mak (Queasy Games), and Ryan Clark (Grubby Games) Starting off, Klei Entertainment's Jamie Cheng (Eets: Chowdown) revealed that he's working with Nexon to make a free-to-play, pay for items title - but only with 5 or 6 employees. He pointed out of the indie scene:"The opportunities that have come around have made us kind of come full circle" - from bedroom programmers in the '80s back to simple bedroom programmers. He suggested indie developers can, if they choose, make mass-market games that aren't quirky. Following on, Noel Llopis of Power Of Two Games tried defining the independent genre: "Indie games are like porn... you know it when you see it", he quipped at one point. Grubby Games' Ryan Clark continued with a discussion on the ethos of making games for an audience, mentioning that the expanding audience, but noting: "It's hard now... and it will still be hard in the future to earn a living making indie games." This then moved into a discussion about whether people would make games if there was nobody else to play them, with Clark suggesting he wouldn't, but Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak vehemently disagreeing, revealing: "I have a Star Control II clone that nobody has ever played." Gastronaut's Jacob Van Wingen then chimed in discussing the history of downloadable games for console, noting that "it's hard to get games on the Xbox 360 as a developer", but explaining that he makes the kinds of games that are meant to be played against people on a couch - thus his decision to use Xbox Live Arcade. Finally, Jon Mak then discussed the history of indie gaming in his signature eccentric style, pointing out that in the past, "You had to really love computers to make a game", but that new technology and game making software is making it ever easier to create games. Some of the Everyday Shooter creator's final thoghts? "Just code the game that you want to make... There's only two genres that you need... cool and not cool."

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