Experimental Game Dev Interviews
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  • Do developers need to clone themselves?

    Posted on November 26th, 2013 IndieGamePod 1 comment


    There are always discussions amongst indie developers about cloning. Some people think it is evil and that people that do it have no decency.

    But maybe that is the wrong approach…maybe indie developers need to clone themselves. For example, if the folks that did Castle Crashers asked…”how would I clone my own game?”…maybe they would have created Angry Birds?

    What about the Infiniminer developer…what if they cloned their own game…maybe they would have reached Minecraft fame.

    Even Temple Run…what if they asked how the could clone themselves…they might have also created Subway Surfers?

    I know these might sound like extremes…but I think this strategy is compelling. Developers shouldn’t just copy their old game…but the cloning strategy has to be elegant…it can’t be brute-force cloning. Maybe you have to look at your own game…and ask…”if I wanted to clone this…what would I do”…and then maybe you cut out the hard parts of the game, maybe you only focus on one part of the original game … and make a clone based on that mechanic.

    Maybe you ask…what theme would I change about the game…maybe change the theme to birds?

    This may seem crazy, but cloning offers some benefits…it kind of breaks away from the current flow and structure and thinking of the original game. You can just do it in a way that is fun in a new way.

    In fact, a better question a developer might ask is…what would a clone have to do to really piss me off? Like, what if a clone borrowed the mechanic and used a “fluffy” theme like birds…and got 1 billion downloads. Ok…now how do I create that clone?

    Finally, even if you have a hit…it might be good to clone your game with cheap knockoffs so that other people can’t clone you successfully. The cheap knockoffs take up space in the marketplace.

    In fact, one of the developers from Spooky House Studios…talks about how they released a mobile game called “Doodle Train”…and how it flopped…they then decided to “clone” it…and of course, used a different strategy and approach. They changed the theme a little…and then released it as “Rail Maze”…and got several million downloads on IOS and Android for the new game…

    So…a developer cloned their own game to success. Now, maybe, they could have iterated on their own same game…but it was the ability to clone…from a different perspective…that helped to make a success.

    Maybe one can “clone” by iterating on their initial game…as long as they have the courage to make drastic changes to theme, design, and details…as they iterate on the game.

    What do you think…do experimental game designers need to learn how to clone themselves?

  • Designing a Card Game…

    Posted on November 23rd, 2013 IndieGamePod No comments

    Erick, from Starcat Games, talks about designing a card game…

    You can download the podcast here…

    Or listen to it here…

  • Is the journey required to have indie success…

    Posted on November 12th, 2013 IndieGamePod No comments

    I interview a fair amount of aspiring game developers that are working on games on the side while they do their “day job”…with the hope that they “get their chance”…and can turn game dev into something full time in the future.

    I found this video on YouTube…it is one of those clips that went “viral”…about some old lady that went on one of those Reality TV shows to sing…she was an unemployed 47 year old… and during her audition, she mentioned that she wanted to be a professional singer…but she “never got the chance”…she dreamed of being as famous as Elaine Paige…the equivalent of Will Wright in the games industry.

    Check out the video…

    Despite the audience’s doubts and hesitations about her situation…she is still optimistic and hopes to amaze them.

    I find it interesting that her journey was probably a huge part of why the video went viral. If she was younger or any other thing going for her…I’m not sure what would have happened.

    But…she did keep developing her talent. From the sound of her voice, she didn’t sound like she spent her years complaining…but preparing.

  • Casual Connect Kyiv 2013 Videos Now Online…

    Posted on November 9th, 2013 IndieGamePod No comments

    Hey folks,

    Once again, Casual Connect is nice enough to post the videos of their recent conference in Kyiv…you can view them on YouTube…

    Enjoy 🙂