Some indie guy named Shamus posted his "5 Questions For Indie Game Developers"
, so I figured I'd answer them! He didn't ask me to, and he probably knows I exist as little as I do him, but the questions are there, so I answer them.
1) RPGs seem really over-represented in indie games. (Or, you could say they are under-represented in mainstream games.) Why do you think indie developers favor RPGs so much?
I think there's a false premise here. There are lots of indie RPGs in the realm of "indie games that indies are talking about", but as a percentage of all indie games being released, I'm sure they are well below 5% (with 95% being match-3). However, given that the RPGs are getting talked about a lot, it's fair to say indies seem to have an interest in RPGs, so I will say something on that.
I love RPGs myself. I'm an indie. So I guess based on those statistics, indies love RPGs, and thus make them. Also, indies are geeky. Great demographic for RPGs. That's about all I've got for you on this one, though there's more to consider like technical issues, storytelling interest, and so on. Whatevz.
2) Naturally indie games have to use older technology, which is less labor intensive and doesn’t require (as much) expensive software. But I don’t think that’s the only reason to do so. Certainly the older graphics - done right - can have a certain stylistic appeal as well. The other reason to aim low on the tech tree is so that you can hit the widest possible base of users instead of just the fanboys with $3,000 computers. If you could use any graphics technology you wanted - from Infocom to Crysis - where would you choose to go?
I don't know what game uses this tech, but I know exactly what I want. It's something that would look just like WoW, but rather than building the world in a 3D modeler, you put it together out of prefab blocks and items (like you do in a 2D tile-based game, just in 3D - and of course, you can make new block types too). And needless to say, the tools for creating it would be dead simple. Click & drag & make up formulas and skills as you wish. Ah, easyness is nice.
3) If you got a million bucks in no-strings-attached funding, how would you use it to make your game more successful?
I wouldn't have even the first piece of the fragmented shards scattered across the land and guarded by big bosses of A Clue. I guess with that kind of money, I could just hire people to do the work for me, and all I'd need to do is come up with ideas! That would sure make for better art! Then I could spend the rest of it on advertising, but again, not a clue how that is done. Hire a PR firm - there, problem solved on that end too! So I guess the answer to this question is "make someone else do it."
4) Amanda Fitch and Jay Barnson have both said in the past something along the lines of, “Making the game is one-third of the job.” Or words to that effect. The idea being that once you finish the game, you’re one-third of the way to having it where someone can buy and play the thing. What is the other 66% of effort required after you finish the game, and is this a challenge unique to indie developers?
I don't agree with that, only because I do so very very little
of the remaining 66%. It's a little thing called marketing, and since I spend about half an hour per game doing it, it doesn't come near 66% of the work. But for success, yes you should. And yes, it is unique to indies for the self-evident reason that dependies don't have to market their work at all. They make it, and then the publisher does the rest. I think they only call it 2/3 of the work because it's not something indie-types enjoy or are good at. It definitely doesn't take nearly the time, even for those who actually do it. I know this is true, because games can take a year or more to make. If they also took a year to market, we'd all be playing year-old games rather than super buggy ones that got released before they were done. Of course, marketing's an ongoing thing that never ends. And never fails to bore and confuse me. Go away, question!
5) At the end of the XFire interview the mod asked everyone what their favorite game was. I’ll ask this: What game (any game, new, old, mainstream, whatever) do you wish you could have worked on and taken part in?
I think I would have learned a lot and had some fun workin on the Ratchet & Clank or Sly Cooper series (serieses?). But in the end, I of course don't
want to work on some game, however cool. I want to make my
games, and my games only, and definitely not under some boss, however nice the boss may be. Indie forever!