“…The games that make money are the “celebrity” games…”


indies

From a recent conversation with indie game developer and “games industry polymath” August Zinsser

Question: How do you feel about the prediction that indie games are merely a “flash in the pan” and that the games industry at large cannot sustain this many indie developers?

Listen to this gamer story (4 min, 01 seconds):



Or, read the transcript:

I think there’s some truth to that, but I think it’s an oversimplification. It comes down to the price of art.The price of artistic media, I guess.

For me, it’s kind of like music. Way back in the day when music was, like, new, I guess, it didn’t really have any value because it was ahead of culture and modern economies and so forth. Now, I’m talking, you know, tribal music and drums and that kind of thing. And then once economies became sophisticated enough, you had things like, you know, the classical music era. And you had some composers there that could start to make a living off of that, but they were really like performers. But then, with the advent of recording, that was basically an explosion in the golden age of music. And you had the relatively small number of people who had enough talent and access to recording equipment to produce these records and the records became this thing of really high value. Really in the last 10 to 20 years, as the cost of producing those records went down, so many people could do it and it flooded the market and then music became this thing that most people can acquire people. And a subset, well, a subset of some people even believe it should be free. And, I guess I don’t know where I stand on whether music is intrinsically valuable or not, but the fact of the matter is the market says that because the cost of acquiring music is really, really low, the price, if you want to actually charge people for it, needs to be about the same. I mean, this is basic supply and demand.  Continue reading

“I’d walk into work and see people coming down with boxes in their hands…”

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Question: What’s it like working in the games industry?

The editorial side is brutal, just because of how unpredictable it can be. I witnessed too many layoffs at Ziff-Davis to ever sleep well again. I’d walk into work and see people coming down with boxes in their hands and be like “what closed now?” That’s disheartening. And then there’s the whole thing about writing about other people’s creative efforts. The game industry opened a lot of doors for me, but it’s such a machine at this point I couldn’t do it any longer if I wanted to. 

Making games is equally stressful, but more creatively satisfying. One of these days I’d just like to make my own games with a small team, that really only need to be successful enough to keep making games for a living. It’s impossible to know how successful your game will turn out, but not having to answer to anyone besides the taxman is a pretty liberating thing.


JamesAbout James Mielke

My mother calls me ‘James’ and my dad calls me ‘Jim.’ Everyone else seems to call me ‘Mielke’ which sounds like ‘Milky.’ I produce video games, and before I got into the business of making games, I wrote about other people’s games while enjoying a 10 year run at Ziff-Davis Media, running EGM and 1UP.com by the time I was done. 

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“It was a huge moment for me…”

kfuQuestion: What’s one of your earliest memories of video games?

The first really memorable moment with a video game was the day I bought Kung Fu. I remember my parents let me stay up a little late to play the game and I was on my last life before I had to go to bed. Somehow, I managed to go from the first level to the final boss all in one life. It was a huge moment for me where I felt this major sense of accomplishment. My parents even made a point of congratulating me, but I’m sure they were more excited that everyone was finally going to bed.


cat!

Mike Thompson used to be a games journalist, now he works in the industry itself as an art producer. He spends way too much of his free time refereeing roller derby and uploading ridiculous photos of his cat to the internet.

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Kill Confirmed


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Listen to this gamer story (3 min, 06 seconds):



Or, read the transcript:

So, my fiancé is not much of gamer, but over the last, maybe 7 of the 14 years we’ve been together he’s really come around. He’ll play some couch co-op with me and even occasionally play some games on his own, which is pretty amazing. But, more often than not, he will just watch me play video games. He’ll sit on the couch and give me his really good advice.

So, this one time I am playing Call of Duty and he’s not split-screening it with me which is odd because that’s a game he will split-screen with me. But, anyway, he is just sitting on the couch, watching me play, giving his usual advice like: “Oh, over there!” or “Look out!”

This time, however, he goes silent for a bit. And, I can feel him looking at me, but I’m playing Kill Confirmed. Dudes are trying to kill me and I’m trying to kill them, so I’m not really looking back. I just feel him looking at me. And he’s quiet. And then he says, “I like your grey hairs.”

Continue reading

“In the end, we all love video games.”

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Question: How do you feel about terms like “casual gamer” or “hardcore gamer?”

I hate terms. A Flappy Bird addict versus an MLG player, both love what they’re playing. Some people are just more passionate about a certain game or genre than others, and others play professionally. Whether it’s competitive gaming or full-time commentaries on Twitch or YouTube.  Someone calling themselves a “hardcore gamer” is as ridiculous sounding as someone calling themselves a “girl gamer.” We get it. In the end, we all love video games.


 

beauryan

 

My name is Beau Ryan and I’m the Head of Entertainment at Robotoki. I’m basically leading a brand new entertainment division at a indie video game studio. I love the entertainment and game industry, so as a creative, it’s pretty much the dream job for me.

 

 

 


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