Some encouraging news, for a change.
My last post, back in November (really?), discussed how the parent company behind the Torque Game Engine, the engine I’m using for Vespers, was shutting down the portion of the company responsible for engine development. I think a lot of people saw that coming. The original company, GarageGames, was a small, friendly, down-to-earth group of people that had a passion for helping other people make games, and it helped them build a strong game engine and a large, fairly devoted community. The employees spent a good deal of time on the forums interacting with the customers and developers, and this created a nice connection that a lot of people appreciated. Then things started changing. They expanded [More...] Read the rest
Thanks to Rampant Coyote for bringing this to my attention, but for those of you who haven’t heard, InstantAction has decided to shut down its operations. While this is certainly sad news for a number of people who will be out of work, a lot of you are probably saying, “Who?” The truth is that I’m not sure I could accurately explain exactly how this relates to me, even though it does.
About three years ago, GarageGames – the company responsible for developing and selling the Torque Game Engine (TGE), the 3D engine I’m using to make Vespers – announced a ‘partnership’ with InterActive Corporation (IAC), which is just another way of saying that GarageGames was bought out by IAC. The idea, at least [More...] Read the rest
As I was cruising around GDC Austin from one session to the next, I began to gain a greater appreciation of how much of the conference was geared toward the business side of game development. This isn’t surprising, of course, given that game development is an entertainment business, and GDC is all about how developers can do all parts of their jobs better. But whether it’s because of the tough economic times, or the rapid saturation of the iPhone game market, or the wide proliferation of MMOs and social games, or the plummeting price point for online and mobile games, it just seemed like there was a greater emphasis on economics than I experienced last year, unless I’m just forgetting.
There were many sessions at [More...] Read the rest
It all started with a link. It always does.
I can’t even remember now where I first saw the link, but I was easily drawn in by the shiny little object: “Mystery House”, the 1980 aventure game by Ken and Roberta Williams of On-Line Systems (later Sierra On-Line, later later Sierra), had been ported to the iPhone by Artsiness (Josef W. Wankerl), in all of its original white-on-black lineart glory. This is the game that GamePro tagged the 51st Most Important Video Game of All Time — nine spots after E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, although I guess that’s fair since it wasn’t the list of Best Video Games of All Time.
My first thought was, How cool. What a sweet idea, even if today’s [More...] Read the rest
Also posted in adventure games
Generally speaking, this is a good time to be an indie game developer. There are scores of inexpensive development tools and environments to choose from, many potential opportunities and channels for marketing and sales, and a number of great online communities for discussion and support. It’s tough to make it as a full-time job, though. A few individuals or groups have done consistently well over the years, and of course there are the recent stories like Braid making everyone drool over the possibility of big-time success even for small developer groups. But for the most part, it’s incredibly tough to find that sweet spot of just enough critical and financial success.
Take the story of Mousechief’s Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, for instance. [More...] Read the rest
Also posted in indie games