Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thank god for the internet

Call me a crotchety old fart if you like (and I know you will - .z.), but I'm becoming more and more thankful for the internet.

There is a notion amongst all game developers and indies are no exception, that there is some magical path to riches. Basically it usually involves making some mega hit game and then selling out to a hyper rich sugar daddy of a company.

Frankly, I'm getting weary of the whole games industry as it is. I hear so many stories and I've seen it enough myself to know that in general, I'm far better off where I am (meaning part game dev, part academic). At least I have the happy position that I dont have to kill myself to get a game shipped only to make millions for someone else.

But even a good thing like the indie scene has its downsides. Mostly these are down to the naive attitudes of many indies.

1) They believe they will "make it"
2) There are plenty of people who will prey on that naivet'e

I have no misconceptions or delusions of grandier about Air Ace. I dont expect it to make anything much. Its in a niche of a market that is itself a niche. If we get 500 people subbed it would be a miracle.

But thats not why we are doing it. We are doing it, because frankly, there is no other option. Because it is a project we need to complete. Because we have faith in it as a game. Because we have had enough false starts that now we know we have a game we can finish, we will finish or be damned.

The end result really doesnt matter. Having something finished is far more important to me than anything. It means that no matter what, no matter who gets in our way or the curveballs that are thrown at us, we will continue. We are the unstoppable force.

The reason why I say I'm thankful for the internet. Is that once we ship the game, we are then directly connected to our audience. We become symbiotic in nature. No matter what happens from then on, we can fundamentally feel satisfied in the knowledge that we have created something SOMEONE values.

It wont be some shallow pride in shipping. It will be full-on pride in knowing we have achieved some measure of enjoyment by entertaining a few souls. That is something that is important to me. We arent doing this just for kicks to be sure, but also, we arent doing it as some cynical money grinder. There is at least some integrity in knowing that at the end of this long road, we will achieve for a short time at least, that special thing that comes from entertaining others. You see it from all entertainers, the sheer pleasure of making someone else's life less miserable or unimportant.

I guess I'm getting all new age and stuff. I guess reality is that people dont think of thier developers when they play games. I know I havent thought about how great someone is for developing a game I love. But they SHOULD feel proud that I love thier creation.

So forget the business. Forget the marketing and all of the other stuff. For now, its because this is where the heart is.

Man, I'm a soppy git sometimes!!!!