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Everything game development: news, lessons, discussion

Weekly Links #318

03 May 2020 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! Early this week, a young developer asked the Itch.io community for advice on starting out. While it's usually hard to give generic advice, I wrote this in response:

Make the games you like to play, because you'll be playing them a lot.

Be patient, because you're not going to make great games in a week, or a month, or a year. It will take much study and practice. You'll probably fail a few times, too.

Start with something simple. Don't turn your nose at text-based games, for example. People love them, and you have to start with something you can handle.

Talk to people. Play their games, too. Then show them your games.

Try all kinds of engines. Try to learn programming. Figure out what you like best and what you can do good work with.

Don't give up easily.

Be kind.

More people had interesting contributions, so check out the whole topic. And in the way of news, we have a new old interactive fiction blog, a history of early shareware games, and a headline of great importance for No Time To Play and the internet in general. Details below the cut.


Also this week, veteran of the interactive fiction scene Paul O'Brian starts a new blog called >INVENTORY, in order to future-proof his extensive writings on this topic. Having done that kind of effort several times, I can only approve. Except here we're talking a quarter century of history, so that's really something to watch for.


As weekend comes, The Digital Antiquarian writes about the shareware games of the 1980s and 1990s. And gee, you mean...

  • that people will pay for games with modest production values, but which are simply fun to play?
  • that they'll often enough pay even if they don't have to?
  • that text-based games aren't any more "retro" or "old-school" than, you know, books?

Who'd have thought. As for the rate of success, the pair of "unsuccessful" creators Jimmy highlights in his article made more money from their handful of games than I can ever hope to make from a much more extensive catalog.

We never need have surrendered to an abusive industry. To do so now, as some people still do, is just wrong.


To conclude on a happy note, last-moment news are that you saved the .ORG domain! Its sale has been blocked, and ICANN will continue to operate it as a public non-profit. That's one less worry for the site's future. And because that's all for now, enjoy the Sunday and see you next time.

Tags: education, interactive-fiction, history, business

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