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this was posted by me in a topic called "who is your favorite indie dev" on the tigsource forum. reposted here because it was in a hidden forum there


best at interesting design: increpare
best at visual design: cactus
best at art, traditional gameplay, and bosses: konjak
best all-around talented at everything: mrpodunkian

other indies who i'd look forward to at least trying out any new game by: YMM, chevyray, clysm, ultimortal, teegee, dustin gunn, allen, cosmind, edmund mcmillen, amon26, pug fugly, pixel, nigoro, charlie, derek yu, jason rohrer, hpapillon, tale of tales, tale of games, nifflas, amanita, notch, terry, yahtzee, locomalito, zun, jesse venbrux, pixeljam, e. hashimoto, jeff vogel, puppy games, cliffski, jforce, jon blow, 2dboy, thecatamites, radix, messhof, binary zoo, jonathan mak, supershigi, phubans, pocketwatchgames, mr.chubbigans, metanet, amaranthia, and ex-indies thatgamecompany

also the members & ex-members of my team rpgcreations: fyrewulff, charbile, harlock, komera, orchard-l, longebane
rinku: (Default)
since a lot of my writing is on tigsource nowadays, i thought i'd re-post posts that i first posted there that i think also may have some value out of context. i'll start a new tag for this: "indie games"


a lot of indie game devs are at heart programmers more than game developers. that is, they enjoy the technical challenges of programming more than the psychological and craftsmanship challenges of game design and level design

consequently, they tend to want to implement things that are *interesting* or *challenging* to program, just because they are interesting or challenging to program. and proc gen is just one of many such examples. people who love programming too much tend to focus on the programming and not the game, just as people who love grammar and vocabulary too much tend to focus on those aspects when writing a novel and not on the storytelling. thus a lot of indie games have analogous problems to novelists who love obscure vocabulary and tricky turns of phrase and who tend to over-write their novels, or as another example, film directors who love cinematography and getting the perfect shot or the craft of editing film to the exclusion of having the movie convey an engrossing and exciting story

i've seen a lot of fellow indies who love programming too much fall prey to these 'programming traps' -- a common outcome is that they spend forever working on a game's engine or its collisions, controls, AI, physics, special visual effects, various game "systems" (dialogue tree system, upgrading system, leveling system, whatever), and so on, and never make enough content for their scaffolding to turn it into a game, and wind up with the skeleton of a game

most games are at their core not difficult or interesting to program. 99% of the code of any game is interchangeable, boring, and trivial to code. people who are programming geniuses *should* be bored by coding games, because game code is not supposed to be challenging or interesting, it's just supposed to work. similarly: strunk and white for writers, which emphasizes choosing simple grammatical structures, simpler words over more complicated words, clarity above everything: it's not technically challenging to write a good novel, the challenge is in the storytelling, the characterization, the plotting, the theme, and so on, not in the grammar or vocabulary or other parts of writing


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Paul Eres

March 2015

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