Looking to the Future

We’re less than two months away from Indie Gamer Chick turning two-years-old.  Which is ironic, because according to father, I often have the table manners of a two-year-old.  But seriously, two years already?  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Given how bad the lineup of games I’ve recently tackled has been, that explains why this last month has felt like a fucking crawl.  Still, to all those doomsayers out there who won’t shut up about how XBLIGs are dead and nothing good is coming on the horizon, kindly shut the fuck up.  Quality takes time, and there are plenty of very good-looking games still to come.

A dungeon crawler done right warms my heart, so I have my fingers crossed from the upcoming Tales of Descent.

A dungeon crawler done right warms my heart, so I have my fingers crossed from the upcoming Tales of Descent.

Xbox Live Indie Games were relegated to black sheep status from the get-go.  But, while some developers can lean towards the whiny side over that, most have shown perseverance and dedication to honing their skills on the platform in a way that inspires me to be better at what I do.  A lot of people who follow the XBLIG scene tout the passion of its developers.  I’ve never been a big fan of flogging passion, because everyone who makes games generally has a passion for what they do.  When they don’t talk about passion, they’ll talk about the ingenuity, the creativity, or the resourcefulness.  You know what?  XBLIG developers have all of that and more, but there’s one aspect that always gets overlooked, and I’m sick of that.

Talent.

That’s right.  Talent.  Look at what this community has accomplished, with minimal resources.  Hundreds of games ranging from pretty decent to absolutely spectacular.  That doesn’t happen by luck.  I’ve always been of the belief that talent and aptitude for game development isn’t something you can learn.  You have to inherently have it.  It can be refined.  It can be built upon.  But it can’t be grown from nothing.  Talent is instinctual.  That’s why I love XBLIG.  Because so much untapped talent has converged in this one centralized location.  Some times the talent doesn’t even result in a good game.  A lot of developers are still not far into the learning curve of game development.  Yet, you can still see talent.  It’s there, and it’s starting to bubble to the surface.   And the best part is you can also see the desire to improve.  To make something transcendent.  It’s those dreams that give me goosebumps when I think of what the future of gaming in my life will hold.

On Tuesday, we’ll learn about the next generation Xbox.  Soon, XBLIGs as they exist today will be a thing of the past.  But the skills and dreams this new generation of game developers have acquired?  They’ll carry on to the future.  With that in mind, I want to hear from you, the Xbox Live Indie Game development community, about the games you’re going to make.  I want to hear how you’ll apply the skills you acquired making games for XBLIG in the future.  I want to hear how you learned from your mistakes and successes.  Last year, for the first anniversary of Indie Gamer Chick, I looked at where you were now.  This year, I want to look at where you’re going.  A future that is as bright as you want it to be.

Wyv and Keep is still coming to XBLIG.

Wyv and Keep is still coming to XBLIG, and it looks damn good.

This is a community-wide Tales from the Dev Side special that is open to every XBLIG developer, whether I’ve covered their games or not.  Well, unless you responded to my review that noted your game crashed by saying I lied about your game crashing and that I was on crack, then later admitted your game did crash but refused to apologize.  Call me petty, but I really don’t give a shit what such a person plans to do in the future.  Hypothetically speaking, of course.

There are some rules to this.

#1: No bitching or whining about how shitty Microsoft treated XBLIG.  We’ve all heard it, and I’m bored with it.  This is to be a mushy, optimistic piece, not a score-settler.

#2: You have to have a game published.  Again, it doesn’t matter if I covered your game, but I want to hear from people who went through the full experience of creating, publishing, and getting feedback on their title.

#3:  Feel free to attack me if you feel it’s justified, but there is to be no complaining about other developers or their games, the peer-review process, or other game critics.

#4: I must have something to link to for your name.  Either your website, your Twitter, or the link to your game on the marketplace.

Sound good?  Okay, here’s what I need from you: a paragraph or two (under 300 words) details what you’re going to be up to next.  With the exception of linking to your Kickstarters or other crowd-funding activities, I want to plug the ever-loving shit out of your upcoming projects.  So send me links to YouTube footage, your development blogs, your Steam Greenlight pages.  Talk about what platforms you’re targeting.  Talk about why you want to make this particular project.  I want to hear your hopes, your dreams, and your aspirations.  We all do.  If XBLIG is going out, let’s turn out the lights in style.  So do you want to participate?  Write it up, and e-mail it to me before July 1st with the subject “My Future in Game Development.”  Make sure to include all the proper links.  Don’t worry about putting it in a word file, spell checking, or grammar.   I’ll take care of it.  If you have art assets, you can provide those.  YouTube videos won’t be embedded directly for the benefit of page load times, but I will link them in.  Remember: these projects don’t have to be for XBLIG.  PC, Ouya, PSM, or anything else is fine.  I just want to know where you’re going from here.

Finally, while I’m excited to glimpse into your future, I’m also interested in what you’ve got out right now.  This is an open offer for anyone that has a game ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard: if your game exists on other platforms, send me the links and base prices and I’ll update my old reviews to include links to those other versions.  You guys really do deserve more attention than you get.  If your game isn’t taking on XBLIG, maybe it will take on something else.  There are games on my leaderboard that have sold under 100 copies.  No need to make a joke about it, because that just plain sucks.  Promoting your outside-of-XBLIG projects is something that is, quite frankly, long overdue here at Indie Gamer Chick.  Sorry it took me this long to figure that out.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

2 Responses to Looking to the Future

  1. You’re right. One of my most common criticisms of XBLIG releases is ‘they have talent and potential but don’t deliver on it’. Clearly the raw ability is present in XBLIG in abundance. I suppose one of the functions of the XBLIG market is to allow complete newcomers to practice, and the down side of that is that we see all crappy, half-finished dry runs.

    • NVO Games says:

      Well, one problem is that developers have to pay $100 just to test their game on the Xbox. Once that happens a timer starts in their head with one year on it. “Gotta finish or I wasted that money!” Sure, $100 isn’t a large amount of money for a developer, but these aren’t necessarily “developers”. Most are just one person with a dream, and no prior experience with game development (like me!). The only real solution to this problem would be to raise the bar for entry higher (much higher). That would keep the riff raff out (me included), but that already exists as XBLA… so… yeah…

      It’s getting especially desperate these days. With the end of XBLIG in sight, I see some XBLIG members trying to push out as many releases as possible rather than trying longer range projects. “Let’s see if we can get one final paycheck before MS turns out the lights!”

      Maybe the announcements in an hour will include XBLIG, but I doubt it. It’s going to be all “3D” this and “rich user experience” that. Oh well, there’s always PC, right?

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