Let a billion videogames bloom

Everything game development: news, lessons, discussion

Weekly Links #287

15 September 2019 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! Just over a year ago, Discord opened its own game store. Yesterday, it closed down, as reported by much of the gaming press. I couldn't be bothered to look up the details. They deserved it. Anything else is fluff: that subscription services tanked in the e-book world, too, and for that matter it hasn't been easy with audio and video either. Or that the market was already crowded, which is a red herring in the first place. There's something to be said about a business branching out of its comfort zone: it seldom goes well. And all the MBA bullshit you might hear about the reasons why is bunk.

Maybe stop treating everything as a business first. Maybe stop trying to nickel-and-dime everyone all the time. We suffer from an excedent of capitalism and a deficit of humanity, and that's ruining the (global) economy instead of helping.

Itch.io started out as a labor of love, and look how far it got. It wasn't even a proper store yet when I joined. It probably still doesn't earn even its owners enough to live on (don't take my word for it, this is only a personal suspicion). Yet its mindshare is such that if the service ever failed to sustain itself, many people and organizations would be willing to help, and not for a profit, either.

In the way of news, this year marks a rather unusual anniversary: Spiderweb Software, the (in)famous developer of hardcore RPGs that did indie right years before the word existed, is 25! To mark the occasion, they've released an equally unusual strategy RPG, and they're even selling it on Itch, a first for them. Our curator-in-chief took the opportunity to interview Jeff Vogel, and it's definitely worth a read. Won't take much of your time. Note the remark on people being driven out of the industry by burnout before they can pass on their experience, thus leaving each new generation make all the same mistakes anew. Then we wonder why crunch persists and games are still buggy.

For something more cheerful, check out my recent article on interactivity in games. And while you're at it, maybe help keeping No Time To Play afloat. Thank you very much.

Tags: business, rpg, interview, game-design

Comments? Tweet