I just read this amazing interview on Joystiq and wanted to share. This indie developer said a lot of truths about the current state of indie game development that most people don't have the guts to say (in order to not damage their profits). I'm amazed, and agree with him 100%. I think the following phrase sums it up: "I can earn much more money doing other stuff; I'm not here to become rich. I'm here because making games gives me peace, makes me happy.".
That's fine, but that's not what being an indie is all about. It merely says you're independent, and not contracted by/with a publisher of some sorts. It's nice to see that he's not in it for the money, but that's not what defines him as being an indie developer. He has problems with developers trying to get rich fast with the next Angry Birds clone. I can understand his point of view, but saying that those developers aren't indie developers just doesn't make any sense.
It seems to me that if you're not contracted to a publisher, you are going to have to cut corners on development costs and write a low profit game, though. I don't think too many of them are in it for the money. The nice thing is there is more area for this type of developer. With digital distribution, web games, etc, it has cut the costs of development way down for smaller games. It's pretty cut throat I think, though, because there are so many trying to do it. I wouldn't want to do it, myself. I think it's kind of a fun hobby, but I don't think I would want to have to pay the bills on it. It's not reliable income.
Well, the problem is it *can* be hugely succesful. Examples such as Angry Birds and Minecraft make people get dollar signs in their eyes, and so there are some who are trying to get rich fast by creating such clones, obviously without any notable succes. I don't know whether it's true, but he seems to claim that these put a bad name on the indie developers altogether as people just see indie developers as 'people who want to get rich fast'. I totally understand his annoyance in that respect, but saying that those developers aren't indie developers only because he doesn't WANT them to belong to that same category is just stupid.
"I am X, but I hate Y. Therefore, anybody who does Y can't be X". A form of (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association\_fallacy)]honor by association
Yeah, it's kind of like the "real" whatever that people put across. There's Americans and then there's "real" Americans who behave like I think they should behave, which is just a small minority most of the time. The person has built his own definition of what something should be and it's highly glorified and unrealistic. If you're not doing it for the money, you do it for free.