Archive for March, 2012

2 podcast interviews with me and other indies

Monday, March 26th, 2012


Back in 2011 I was recorded for two podcasts along with some other indies and I thought I’d repost them here on my blog in case you are interested.

Podcast 1

The first podcast was recorded on 9th July 2011 at Alex Vostrov’s house in Burnaby, B.C. Chevy Ray Johnston was the host and Graham Jans was also present. The main focus of the podcast was about finishing and shipping your game with quite a lot of talk about working with artists.

Here’s a link to the podcast on youtube.

Podcast 2

The second podcast was also recorded in July at John Geoffrey Newman’s condo in downtown Vancouver. Alex Vostrov and I discuss a bunch of things related to being indie including the founding of Full Indie, and “asshole” developers.

I’ve remastered this podcast (with permission) to boost the volume.
Here’s a link to the podcast on Youtube.

The original blog post/recording by John Geoffrey can be found here.

Self-employed parents: advice about home office

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

do not disturb

Self-employed parents: Do you have a home office? How have you been avoiding interruptions from your kids?

For years I’ve had a home office and for years my kids have kept coming in and interrupting my work and phone/skype calls despite continual attempts at training them to not do that. The same happens for my wife too who also works at home. It’s not so bad when they are at school but in school vacations like Spring Break my wife and I often have to keep on working (for financial reasons and due to obligations to third parties) and so we attempt to tag team spending time with the kids so the other one can work. Interruptions aren’t so bad if I’m doing some mindless admin, but most of the time I’m doing something mentally taxing and my train of thought gets shattered. I’ve ended up shifting my schedule to working in the middle of the night, which naturally creates other problems.

I know some people prefer to have an office in a remote location, but we can’t currently afford to do that and also then there’s travel time and having to buy another computer and furniture, plus the fact that I’d be out of the house all day which defeats the point of being an indie game developer and working at home so I can see my family a bit more than the average 9am-6pm worker. Ideally I’d have a home office that is separated from the main house, but that will have to stay on my wishlist for the moment.

I know it seems like I want to have the best of both worlds of working at home and being able to do that in peace, and perhaps it’s not possible, but still I’d like to aim for that. And thus I am seeking advice from others who are doing this too.

If you have had experience in working at home with kids, please post a comment. Thanks!

Why you should go to GDC and other conferences

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

image by mrtopp

The three main conferences I go to each year are GDC (San Francisco), Casual Connect (Seattle), PAX Dev + PAX (Seattle).

Someone on a forum I frequent asked what the benefits are, and so I thought I’d list what I specifically find useful about them. Your mileage may vary:


– Meeting press so you can build personal relationship (Friend of mine gets taken to dinner by well-known press. They always write up his news.)
– Showing game demos to press (Another friend of mine came to GDC the first time this year and got tons of press mentions including a GameSpot video.)
– Meeting new publishers/distributors.
– Strengthening relationships with existing publishers/distributors so they remember you when you ask them to feature your games.
– Initiating or making deals.
– Getting your brand out there. (I wear a Grey Alien Games T-shirt and obviously have lots of business cards)

Other Devs

– Interesting educational/motivational talks with useful takeaways.
– Helps keep your finger on the pulse with regards to what’s happening in the industry as a whole and within your niche.
– Discussing business/marketing strategies and sales figures with other indies who are willing to share.
– Meeting new indies (and people you’ve only spoken to online) and strengthening relationships with indies. Apart from the fact that hanging with indies is enjoyable to me, sometimes it can result in future alliances, or key bits of useful info, or introductions to people etc.
– Checking out the IGF games in one place and meeting the devs. Plus getting a feel for what sort of game wins awards.

Misc Cool Stuff

– Getting motivated to get on with your work when you get back.
– Helping you to decide on new directions to take your business in and give you new ideas about what to do with your old IP.
– A break from your normal routine, and in my case, better weather than at home too!
– Being in another country/city.
– Parties, free food/booze, music.
– Hanging with Notch (or insert game dev celebrity of your choice)

Jake n Notch

There’s probably more but that’s a good start.

What reasons have I missed that you go to conferences for?