Monthly Archives: August 2008

Pirate Adventure

Indie Developer Cliff Harris (‘cliffski’) of Positech Games has been running an interesting experiment of late. In his search to answer the question, “Why do people pirate my games?”, he decided to take the question directly to the pirates themselves. A public, genuine request for opinions, posted on his blog. The request was also submitted to slashdot and the Penny Arcade forums, and made its way to other sites like ars technica, digg, and bnet. The response, as it turned out, was huge — hundreds of comments on the blog, hundreds of e-mails, and many more responses at the other sites. And, interestingly, it seemed as though people really did have something they needed to get off their chests.

cliffski’s summary of the results [More...] Read the rest

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The Money Factor

Seems that money is on people’s minds lately.

Jay at The Rampant Coyote recently published an article on The Escapist about mainstream developers going indie. It’s a good read that involves a number of interesting folks from around the indie scene, including Steven Peeler from Soldak Entertainment, Steve Taylor from NinjaBee, and one of my Torque heroes, Andy Schatz of Pocketwatch Games, among others. The article nicely summarizes many of the issues driving and confronting indie game developers — creative freedom, independence, marketing and publicity, piracy, and distribution. Of course, underlying most of these issues is the money factor. It is, of course, the focus of the main question (“Why give up a steady paycheck in order to labor in relative obscurity?”), and from the [More...] Read the rest

Posted in games as art, indie games, interactive fiction | Leave a comment

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Such is the life of an indie developer, or at least it seems to be when it comes to character animation.

So far, the experiment with our student animators has gone…well, slowly. With five students on board, things were bound to take extra time. It’s tough to move forward while making sure everyone is on the same page, setting up their model skeletons the same way, making sure their model heirarchy is consistent for exporting to Torque format, and so on. There was also the added delay in moving our models from 3DS Max to Maya, which introduced a whole variety of issues. As I’ve learned, there is a long lead-in period when starting with a new modeling program making sure your models play nice [More...] Read the rest

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