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Gamasutra Podcast: Costikyan Preaches His Manifesto

In the latest Gamasutra Podcast, we talk with Manifesto Games founder Greg Costikyan to hear how the indie digital distribution service continues to build community, the competitive impact of Steam
Gamasutra is proud to present the latest Gamasutra Podcast, part of our regular weekly GDC Radio podcasts, which include both the Tom Kim-presented Gamasutra Podcast show, alongside the best lectures, tutorials, and roundtables from this and previous years' Game Developers Conferences. For today's show, with Manifesto Games now open for a couple years, we check in with Greg Costikyan to see how the independent digital distribution service has fared. In the years since the service has opened its doors, the gaming landscape has changed perceptibly, though even with many more distribution channels emerging on both the PC and consoles and a broadening of the market, Manifesto Games still offers titles that appeal to particular interest groups that conventional games don't. Despite the varied offerings of casual games portals such as Pogo, online distribution services such as Steam, and classic games and new content services such as GameTap, Costikyan says that he does not feel that the marketplace is crowded. Rather, he feels that games are now common cultural currency, perhaps to the degree where people can be convinced to check out games in subjects that appeal to them, whether they are self-identified "gamers," or not, and says success is really a matter of identifying the right markets for the titles that each service offers. Costikyan explains that one of the most significant challenges for the indie space is to convince the public that games produced by independent, smaller teams don't equate to poor quality, but instead says that individual creators can work with a more singular vision to craft worthwhile experiences. The games that have done best for Manifesto, such as Impact Games' PeaceMaker and Wadjet Eye's The Shivah, says Costikyan, distinguish themselves by being particularly innovative in theme and topic or game play. In the course of the interview, Costikyan addresses Manifesto Games' plans to appeal to community building to foster a relationship with the audiences who are most interested in the kinds of games Manifesto offers. He talks about his general impressions about the indie games scene, and the emergence of digital distribution services such as Xbox Live Arcade and Sony's PlayStation Network. And he shares what accomplishments he is most proud of, and what we might expect out of Manifesto in the future. You can now download the Gamasutra Podcast: Interview with Greg Costikyan (.MP3, 32 minutes, 15 MB). In addition, you can subscribe to the Gamasutra podcasts by clicking this link for iTunes. You can manually subscribe to our feed in your favorite RSS reader that supports enclosures by using this URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GDCRadio.

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