Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

This is what they want (as tiswas used to say)

I got a lot of grief from various parts of the web for daring (how dare I!!) even mentioning the topic of games pricing, and the value of an indie game. Apparently, this topic is as off limits as anti-semitism or saying that The Phantom Menace was cool.


Free markets conspire to give people what we want. We get exactly what we deserve in so many ways. People don’t care about politics, so we get corrupt politicians. People don’t care about eating healthily, so we get hormone boosted beef and…

People like games where you just click stuff and spam your friends. So we get farmville. And to go one stage further…

People LIKE to argue about the price of games, DRM and piracy. Trust me, I know, I have blog traffic stats. I know what gets people reading, and commenting. A tiny fraction of people get abusive and angry, but then this is the internet and as charlie brooker has said, you could give people online a free massage and they’d moan at you.

It would be simpler, and pretty boring to have a blog where I just talked about vertex buffers, never said anything about the games industry was bad or could be improved, and just had some cat pictures. But that would be boring to type and you wouldn’t read it. 99% of games developers talk purely in tedious bullshit marketing cliches about “How we are excited to work with our partners to bring this compelling new SKU to the market”. I’m pretty sure we have enough people doing that already :D

xkcd gets it...


6 thoughts on This is what they want (as tiswas used to say)

  1. XKCD does indeed have it correct there, but that’s not actually the main issue with internet discussion. I think John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Theory describes a much more central part of the problem.

    Argument, yes please. Vigorous argument even. But do it with at least some basic dignity.

    Anyway, I found your words on the indie-game-price thing to be thought provoking. I’m one of those guys who wonders if there’s even a difference between one unit price and another (and if there is, thinks it favors the low end), but I wouldn’t want to never be exposed to someone who thinks differently. That would be dangerous.

  2. This is one of the few blogs I follow because of exactly the topics you cover. My own blog is mostly technical blah that I keep for clients amusement (read, “link to when the forget something basic or to remind myself in the future how to fix something”).

  3. A little bit more coverage one techy stuff would be cool.

    Also I LIKE cat pictures!

    But I think thats exactly what you *need* to give the community.
    You have some views on stuff which is important to all the indies out there
    and as you have limited time for this: go ahead and help them.

    Even if they shout in anger – some days later they will keep thinking and come to good conclusions.

    So… keep it up. I suffer from insufficient positech cat picturage… leave me here… you go have a nice life! *cough* *cough*

  4. I think I referenced you and Jeff Vogel in discussions about shrapnel games pricing a while back.

    Everybody is always screaming that shrapnel would do a lot better if they priced their games more “competitively”. Ignoring the fact that they probably did the research themselves, and it won’t work. And that they are in a niche market.

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