I just found out by checking (Jim Guthrie’s site) that Indie Game: The Movie won Best Editing at Sundance. That’s pretty cool, and I bet when they started making the doc in Winnipeg they never thought they would go this far!
Here’s a great interview with the brains behind the movie, Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky.
Official trailer for Indie Game: The Movie:
Indie Game: The Movie Official Trailer from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.
February 3rd, 2012 by Adam
I finally added a list of audio resources to the list of game making resources.
Some of the new links lead to the ever-so-wonderful Pixel Prospector. In fact, they have a really good collection of links for indie developers in their resources section.
January 30th, 2012 by Adam
Bent Spoon Games has put up a postmortem budget post on their most recent game Girl With a Heart of. It’s always nice when developers open up their numerical experiences because it gives people entering the industry a good framework with how to move forward.
I’d love to see more detail in how the PR was spent, but for assets and everything else the breakdown is rather clear.
For example, for art I spent: $8,080 on characters, $4,485 on backgrounds, $1,705 on portraits. Outside of art: $1500 was spent on PR, $775 on music, and $600 on dialog editing. Ideally, you can come up with these rough breakdowns before you start producing any assets. And once you do start paying for assets, be sure to keep track to make sure you are not spending beyond your means. Here is a quick calculation I did to make sure I was staying within budget:
Budget left: $17,000
Primary characters’ designs and skeletons: $90 * 11 = $900
Primary characters’ animation: $10perFrame * 12fps * (9chars * 5anims) = $5,400
Portraits: 10chars * ($70 + $40 * 3) = $1900
Secondary characters’ designs and skeletons: 14 * $40 = $560
Secondary characters’ animations: $7perFrame * 12fps * (14chars * 1anims) = $1,176
Creature design and skeleton: $90 * 4 = $360
Creature animations: $10perFrame * 12fps * (4chars * 5anims) = $2,400
Backgrounds: $85 * 48 = $4,080
Read the full post-mortem.
December 5th, 2011 by Adam
Jonathan Blow is the main dude behind the really nifty video game Braid and he’s been making a new game called Witness. Both of these games explore storytelling in new and interesting ways that push the medium of video games to the edge. It’s really neat to see how an independent developer can really push the boundaries and be quite successful commercially.
Edge magazine interviewed him recently and in the interview he talks about everything from storytelling to industry issues to his thoughts on Minecraft.
Here are some snippets I found to be particularly interesting.
Here he talks about puzzles and linearity, I enjoy his take on fake puzzles because I think we all get frustrated by them.
Is The Witness playable from start to finish yet?
Yeah, but I recently broke the ending again! I moved a building and didn’t really hook the design back up again. But you can play it from start to finish in about ten hours or more. Especially if you want to be a completionist, because you don’t have to get everything to finish. It’s a choice. As soon as you get any five of seven [challenges], you can get access to the end. It lets me keep the puzzles really hard sometimes because I don’t expect players to solve them all. In many modern linear games it’s as if puzzles have been beaten out of them. They’re still there, but they’re fake puzzles. It gets to be almost a stupid time-wasting activity a lot of the time. To me a puzzle is something you might never figure out, but a lot of modern game design just isn’t conducive to that. If you come to a puzzle in a linear game that you can’t get, then you can’t play the rest of the game you just paid for.
On the business side the most inspirational thing he says is in regards to funding and profit (of all things).
You’re self-publishing The Witness – what do you need for it to break even?
We have a two million dollar budget, but to make that money back this game doesn’t have to sell as many as Braid did. So it’s not super risky. I don’t think there’s much competition with a game like this. But I think there’s a lot of people who want to play a game like this. Even if it’s ten per cent of gamers, to an indie developer that’s huge. As a small developer you have certain freedoms. Embracing the possibility of not selling any games and not making any money allows you to do things that bigger developers would never be allowed to do. Even if a publisher said they would fund such a game as this, after a while they would stop you. Try and justify The Witness to a publisher who doesn’t really play games!
Read the full article here.
October 13th, 2011 by Adam
One issue that a lot of aspiring game developers run into is how to talk about their “super-awesome-game-changing-paradigm-shifting-genre-smashing” game to other people. It can be quite a challenge to pick which parts of the game are relevant and what the audience will know and what is unfamiliar to them.
Essentially talking about your game is hard.
Lucky for all you aspiring indie developers Bubble Gum Interactive has put together a good pitch deck template for you to use!
August 22nd, 2011 by Adam
We’ve put together a presentation template that provides a good structure for any games business seeking funding. We’re putting this out into the public domain and welcome you to use it! Of course you’ll need to do a fair bit of work to pull together the content and plan your messaging. You may also want to spice it up with some great artwork – something that shouldn’t be too hard for creative games developers.
The presentation deck is ten slides. This is intentional. Investors don’t want to sit through long-winded overly detailed presentations. Another rule for you – keep each slide to a maximum of a few points and make sure you use a reasonable sized font. You can insert tables and charts to show information. Remember, when presenting, your slide deck should be a concise summary of information, not a huge document full of text. You do the talking – the slide emphasizes the key points and is really something to “talk to.”