Indie Game: The Movie is an incredible documentary on the making of indie games. (I saw it on Netflix.) This documentary followed a couple of game developers as they worked toward release. They each worked on their games for years, often five or more. These aren’t fail fast inventions. They are full of love and attention, a craftsmanship that we have lost in other fields.
I love this quote from Jonathan Blow:
Part of it is not trying to be professional. A lot of people come into Indie games trying to be like a big company. What those game companies do is create highly polished games that serve as large of an audience as possible. The way that you do that is by filing off all the bumps on something. If there’s a sharp corner make sure that’s not going to hurt anybody if they bump into it. That creation of this highly glossy commercial product is the opposite of creating something personal.
Things that are personal have flaws, they have vulnerabilities. If you don’t see a vulnerability in somebody than you probably are not relating to them on a very personal level. It’s the same with a game design. Making it was about, let me take my deepest flaws and vulnerabilities, let me put them in the game and see what happens.
I spent years worried about appearing small. But I’ve come to understand that being small is fine, and in some ways has its advantages. We are small. Being who we are is perfectly fine.