Progress Report

Hey everyone, I wanted to check in and give a quick progress update on the game. In short, things are coming along very well!

I went to LA last weekend and spent both days recording VO for the two adult characters, Dan and Linda. I’m happy with the results, and I spent this week editing it all and adding it to the game. It was a huge amount of voice to process (14 hours of sessions that ended up as over 800 individual files), but I think it makes a huge difference in the game.

To that end, I just fired off a new playtest build so that friends and family can check out the new voice work and give their thoughts. If all goes well, the only things left to do on the game will be recording new VO for Tommy and re-implementing the old introduction chapter to match the new gameplay loop.

The game is (gasp!) getting pretty close to done! I’m still not ready to pick an exact date yet, because of course unexpected things can happen. The playtesters will find new bugs, they’ll probably have great suggestions about how to further polish the game, and there are still some bugs and small features I want to work on before picking a date. As discussed in previous blog posts, after missing my September 22nd deadline I want to be 100% sure I have a date I can hit before I announce anything, but I’m hoping that time will come very soon.

Anyway, that’s it for the moment. I’ll be taking some time off next week, as some family will be in town for a trip that was originally planned when I thought the game would be out in September … but honestly, I could use a break. “Burned out” doesn’t begin to describe me right now, so working half-days next week will probably be good for the game overall. It will give me some much-needed space from the game and recharge my batteries for the final hardcore push.

As always, thank you so much for your support. Your emails, tweets, and comments on the Steam page are a constant source of encouragement for me, and I truly do appreciate every single one.

Coming Up for Air

Hello, there! It’s been a while!

For the past few months I’ve done a blog post every Saturday, but the last two Saturdays have cruised right on by without an update. Why? Because I’ve been working around the clock trying to finish the game. The last few weekends I decided to just put my head down and keep working on the game instead of doing blog posts. I don’t even know what the blog posts would have said, other than, “Hey guys, I’m … uh … working on the videogame.”

But last night I wrapped up a brand new build and sent it out to the playtesting group, so I’m taking today off. In the past month I’ve had exactly one day off, for a family visit, so things like blog posts and email correspondence and press requests have fallen by the wayside. I look forward to taking a deep breath and catching up on all of that stuff soon.

So what’s the state of the game? If you remember from my prior blog post about the alpha build, I sent an alpha playtest out to friends and family in early August, and it wasn’t up to my quality standard. I got some great feedback from some very smart developers and built a one-chapter demo of an updated core loop w/ lots of new features. I iterated on that a few times, and once I was confident in that direction I started propagating those changes throughout the entire game.

That’s the build I sent out last night. The entire game has been updated with the new core loop, which includes new types of memories, more diverse writing, tons and tons and tons of low-level feature refinements, and updated artwork and animations from my friends at CGBot. The game is playable front to back with the new style, and almost all of the content is implemented. My friend Tynan Wales (mentioned here) was a huge part of getting this build done. He did all of the posed scenes and chapter wrap-up dioramas for the entire game, which make a massive difference. Thanks, man!

The next step is to record all-new VO for the game, which I’m doing this weekend in LA. That’s a really exciting prospect, as even the small amount of temporary VO I have in the game now adds a ton of flavor and depth to the characters. The Novelist is a text-heavy game, but hearing the characters provide voiceover for their writing really brings it all to life.

Other than some final animation polish, VO is the last big chunk of content that needs to go into the game, and that will happen very quickly; the pipeline and functionality are already in the game, so adding the VO is literally just copy/pasting new .wav files over the temp ones.

There are, of course, small bugs to squash and little polishy bits to do. And once the playtest data starts rolling in I’m sure there will be other things to fix or change. But the game is, in large part, done. I’m still not ready to announce a date, as I want to see more playtest feedback and get more opinions on the game before deciding exactly what I need to do to finish it, but I’m working as hard as I can to wrap it up soon.

I know the press coverage has gone dark for a while, which was a byproduct of focusing 100% on the game to the exclusion of everything else, but I’ve got plans for sharing much more information about the game soon. I’ll definitely posts some new screenshots, and I’ve also been thinking about doing a commentary video that shows off one chapter of the game so that you can get an idea of what it’s like to play moment to moment.

There probably won’t be a blog post this weekend, as I’ll be in the middle of a marathon VO recording session, but I’ll try to keep you guys up to date more frequently than I have lately. Thanks, as always, for your continued support.

So … About Summer

When I announced The Novelist in May, I set a release window of summer 2013. When asked in interviews, I always made it a point to say that summer lasts until September 22nd and that I didn’t know enough about the final game to set an exact date yet.

What I know now is that when the autumnal equinox occurs on September 22nd at 1:44 P.M. Pacific Standard Time and summer turns to fall, The Novelist will still be in development. It won’t be in development for too much longer, but once I became 100% certain that I would miss the summer window I wanted to let everyone know.

Now, the game isn’t going to slip too far. I’m adding finished content every day and completing features that I won’t ever touch again. Large parts of the game are 100% locked down. The game is close, it’s just not done.

When I sent out my alpha build on August 2nd, I had a game that I could have finished in 6 weeks and shipped in the middle of September. The problem was that the game wouldn’t have been good enough (see this post for more details). It was a really disappointing and difficult moment, but I’ve spent the last 19 months of my life on this game and the worst thing I could do would be getting it this close to completion only to release something I’m not happy with. I don’t want it to be a near miss. I want it to be something special. I want it to be the game I see when I close my eyes at night.

And I don’t want to be the thousandth game developer to break out the Miyamoto quote about how “a delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad” … but I guess I just became the thousandth developer to break out that quote.

And since I’m sharing quotes, here’s another personal favorite: “Once you finish the first 90%, all that’s left is the last 90%.” I don’t know who said that originally, but I learned it back at Ion Storm Austin and I’ve always found it to be true.

I know a lot of people will be disappointed that the game is missing its original release window, but rest assured that this is only a mild slip. I haven’t rebooted the game. I’m not junking it and starting over. I just had to take an extra month to refine what I had and get it into a form that really delivers on the core promise. I believe it was time well spent, and I’ve even considered releasing the alpha build for free down the road as a curiosity, so that people can contrast it with the finished version of the game.

As for where the game stands right now, I have a schedule and a release date I think I can hit, but I don’t want to announce a date until I’m 100% positive that I can make it. I’m working 7 days a week, and I’m also getting help from a friend of mine named Tynan Wales, a really talented designer/artist who made the excellent Ryan Amusements level in BioShock 2. He’s building some really cool content, and though he’s only been on the game a week it’s already been amazing. He’s doing great work, and it’s a huge load off my mind to have a big chunk of content that I just don’t have to worry about.

Starting Monday, I’m going to take the changes I made during the alpha revamp and propagate them across the rest of the game. I’ll then send out another build to friends and family, and unless there are any major surprises I’ll shift into bug-fix mode and start shutting the game down.

I apologize to anyone who’s disappointed by this news, but the wait will only be a little longer and I think the quality improvement will be worth it.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who’s taken the time to leave a comment or send a supportive email. You guys are amazing, and I really hope the game meets your expectations.


Interviews + Progress Report

Hey everyone, Kent here with your regularly scheduled Saturday update. It was a good week for The Novelist, despite being cut a bit short by a family visit. First off, here are a few interviews:

  • Paper Droids: I really enjoyed doing this one. Tracy asked great questions, and you’ll probably learn some new stuff about the game in this interview.
  • Weeaboos with Controllers: Check this one out to learn about the consequences for being caught during stealth gameplay, as well as some general thoughts about the AAA and indie scenes.

As for the game itself, I got a bunch done this week and am really happy with where the game is now. I still don’t have an exact release date, but I feel like I’ve turned the corner and know what the end product is going to look like and how I’ll get to the finish line.

As a recap, I sent out an alpha build to friends and family on August 2nd, and they sent me some great feedback about the flow and core loop. There were a number of things that left players confused about how to progress in the game, and some features were so buried that they were giving a really skewed perception of what the game was about and what kind of stories the player could tell. It’s always disheartening as a designer when you’ve put a lot of work into features, and you know that what your players are asking for is already in the game if only they could find it. But that’s also your fault as a designer: if players can’t find a feature, it doesn’t count as a feature. It basically doesn’t exist.

There’s a silver lining when this happens, though. While you might get super bummed that people are missing things that would make the game much more enjoyable, the fact that the features at least exist in the first place gives you confidence that you’re close to having something special. Training players on existing features and making them more visible is a much better problem to have than needing to invent new features from scratch late in a project.

So I made a bunch of changes to the writing and the chapter flow and sent out an updated build last week, and the response was way better than to the alpha build. There were still a few comprehension issues, though, so I worked this week to update the build again with additional tweaks to the flow. I sent that build out to friends on Wednesday night, and the response has been super positive.

It’s not 100% perfect yet, but of course the game isn’t finished either. I’ve already made 3 or 4 changes in the last two days that have only improved things more, and at this point I’m getting really excited about finishing the game. As I said, I can see the finish line and am really confident about what the finished product will look like. I actually spent yesterday putting in some polish features, and the game is to the point where the small things are starting making a big difference. More sound effects in the house, characters talking to themselves as they go about their days, Dan’s typewriter actually making typewriter sounds while he works … they’re all little touches, but together they’re really bringing the game to life.

Anyway, that’s where the game is right now. As soon as I publish this post I’m gonna dive in and start working on more cool new stuff. I can’t wait for you guys to play the game!

A Quick Update

Hey everyone, this week’s update will be a short one. I’m on a family visit and have had to take a few days off from working on the game (bad timing, I know), but before leaving for the trip I was able to finish a build demonstrating the revised gameplay loop and the results are promising. There are still some communication and clarity issues to work out, but I’m very happy with the improvements and most of the playtesters have responded positively as well. It’s getting close!

There are no new interviews to share this week, although there are a few in the can that should be coming out within a week or two, and as always I’ll share the links here when they’re posted.

In the last bit of news, I’ve found a voice actor for Dan Kaplan, the novelist of the game’s name! His name is David Pinion, and he’s friends with the actress who does Linda’s voice in the game, Kelilyn McKeever. They’re both based in LA, so sometime soon I’ll be driving down to do full recording sessions with both of them. I’ve rewritten much of the game since Kelilyn did her first round of voice in February, so we’ll be going pretty much from scratch with both her and David.

Anyway, that’s about it for this week’s update. There’s a lot in motion, but it’s a very exciting time and the game is really taking shape. More details coming soon!

Alpha Update + Press Links

Hey everyone, here’s an update on the game and some press activity. I’ll start off with the press stuff.

  • The Novelist was written up in the LA Times, which is definitely the biggest non-gaming site to do a story on the game so far. Very exciting!
  • I was also the guest on this week’s Core Elements podcast, which is a full show that’s not just about my game. If you want to hear the Novelist bits they’re closer to the end of the show, though if you listen to the whole thing you get to hear me talk about my favorite game of all time and mention three games I’ve really enjoyed recently.
  • And how could I forget my friends over at I met Landon at Indie Press Day back in May, and we immediately hit it off. They produce a great show at BigSushi, and I had a lot of fun as their guest. You guys should definitely add their podcast to your feed; they’re doing interesting stuff over there.

As for the game itself, I’m in the midst of a big push to revamp the gameplay loop. I got a lot of great feedback on the recent alpha build that I sent out to friends and family, and for the last few days I’ve been implementing a new plan for how the flow of a chapter works. Without getting into too many low-level details, there were some parts of the game that were overly confusing and restrictive, and I’m making some changes to open the game up and make it more organic and exploratory. More environmental storytelling, different types of writing, different types of memories to discover, and so on.

When you’ve worked on something for a long time you inevitably lose your objectivity, which is why getting outside feedback is so essential to making a great game. I’ve had some of the smartest designers in the industry give me feedback and suggestions for the game, and it’s been a huge help. Luckily the main features in the game are in a finished enough state that solving the clarity issues isn’t a case of inventing new features from whole cloth or dramatically changing the game, but are instead about reorganizing and reconfiguring what’s already there. The goal is to take the game from “Hey, this is really cool, but it’s sorta confusing at times” to “Wow, I totally know how to play this game and I’m having a great time.”

The last few milestones on a project are always filled with excitement and change, and so far things are going well. And with that, I gotta get back to work!

Thanks again to everyone who’s shown such incredible support for the project. You guys are proof that the internet can be a positive, supportive place. I can’t wait to get the game into your hands.



In case you missed it on the official Twitter account, The Novelist was Greenlit this week! I couldn’t be happier that the game will be launching on Steam in addition to the Humble Store. Having the game on Steam will make it easier for a much larger group of people to find out about the game, which is a really big deal for a small independent developer like me.

And just to be clear, all preorders and purchases using the Humble Store will receive a Steam key as well, so the Humble Store is really the best of all worlds: you get a DRM-free copy of the game, but can also unlock it on Steam for convenience. I haven’t gotten the game set up on Steam yet, but I hope to do it soon.

There’s also a new interview up on Kotaku, and I’m really happy with how it came out. It does a good job of explaining the ways in which The Novelist’s dynamic narrative differs from a traditional branching story, and it also goes into the mindset of taking the indie leap. Make sure to check it out!

Finally, as for the game itself, things are moving along really well. I sent out an alpha build to friends and family last weekend and have been getting a ton of good feedback. The response is much more positive than it was for the last playtest (which was all the way back in April), so it’s good to know that the hard work was worth it. I’ve found out about a whole slew of new bugs, but so far I’ve been able to stay on top of them and fix them almost as fast as the playtesters are finding them. I’ve also put in a couple of new features in response to the feedback, and I’ll keep tweaking  and iterating on things for the next month or so.

That’s about it from Novelist land. It was a really great week for the game, between getting through Greenlight and having a high-profile interview (it was even cross-posted to Jezebel, which boosted the exposure as well), but it’s also been really exhausting. I’m just trying to keep my head down and keep pushing toward the finish line.

Thanks again for all of your support. The game never would have made it onto Steam without you guys spreading the word, and all of the gracious comments and emails you sent kept my spirits up even when things got tough. You guys are the best, and I hope that when the game’s finished it will have been worth your wait.

Until next week!


Today’s blog post is short and sweet. There are no new interviews to share, though I did hear a rumor that a feature on a very big gaming site will be hitting next week, so stay tuned for that.

The other big news is that I just wrapped up an alpha build for the game! It’s not content complete, and there are certainly plenty of bugs to fix and polish features to implement, but the major features are all there. I’ve sent the build to a group of friends and family for playtesting, feedback, and bug-finding, and I’m eager to see what they have to say.

This is the 4th playtest, and the first since April, so a lot has changed since the last time I got feedback on the game. The playtesters (who are all thanked in the credits) have been amazing, and have made the game much better than it ever would have been in a vacuum. Their feedback on early playtests was instrumental in shaping some of the core features in the game, and I’m sure they’ll find a ton of things to comment on in this build as well.

The build isn’t perfect, but when you work on something a long time you lose all perspective. With every playtest, I’m surprised to hear people say they like features that I was never too hot on, and that they dislike ones I was sure would be popular. It’s a nerve-wracking process to send something out knowing that you’ll get criticism in return, but it’s absolutely the only way to move forward.

Anyway, that’s about all from Novelist land. We’re slowing climbing in the top 25 on Greenlight, and as the game gets closer and closer to launch (still no exact date yet) your continued efforts to get votes are appreciated. I’d love nothing more than to have the game on Steam when it ships, so please continue to spread the word.


New Interviews + Alpha Push

Hey everyone, here’s my third on-time blog post in a row … pretty soon I’ll be so regular I won’t even need to point it out anymore. This was a really busy week on The Novelist. First off, a few interviews went live:

  • Talkingship: This one has some information on the game, but also goes into detail about the difference between working in the AAA industry and working independently. It’s a really well-done prose interview (thanks, Shakeel!), so check it out.
  • JogoPro: This is an interview I actually did quite a while ago, but which was just recently translated and published. The original Portuguese version can be found here. This one in particular is interesting because of the discussion of the Xbox One; it was done before the big 180, and had my take on the situation at that time. It looks like Microsoft has realized their mistakes at this point and is saying all the right things; let’s hope they follow through.

As for the game, I’m trying to put together an alpha build by the end of the month. It won’t be content-complete: I’m doing one last round of pickups with CGBot, and I’m now glad I opened the game up for preorders … the preorder money sure does help in paying for additional artwork, so thanks a ton to everyone who preordered! But all the major pieces will be there: all 9 chapters of the game, all the menus and options, a tweaked/improved series of backstory chapters, the new-style chapter/act break wrapup scenes, the game intro, some tutorials and player help … you know, all the stuff that makes a videogame a videogame.

The game isn’t done yet. The alpha build will have bugs. It will have some placeholder art. It won’t be fully polished. Some of the tuning will be off. But it’s a pretty big milestone, as it will be the first friends and family playtest I’ve done in something like 4 months; hopefully the playtesters like the game’s progress! I’m sure they’ll find all sorts of hideous bugs and have lots of great feedback, which is the entire point: I need to know what’s working, what could use more love, and what it’s gonna take to finish this sucker off.

Oh! One other thing! We’re now in the top 25 of Greenlight, which is amazing. Thank you so much, to everyone who’s voted. Now that the game is nearing release, I want to do everything I can to get the game on Greenlight. That’s where you come in: even if you’ve voted, please take an opportunity to share the Greenlight link with your friends via Twitter, Facebook, email, blogs … whatever your preferred method of communication is. It still helps to get as many votes as possible, and I’d love to get one final push and get the game on Steam.

Anyway, that’s the state of the state. I’ll be back to work some tomorrow and will be hitting the ground running on Monday for a week of long hours and nose-to-the-grindstone implementation. But the end is sorta kinda possibly maybe coming into sight …

… if you squint your eyes just the right way.

JogoPro Interview + Xbox One Predictions

Hey everyone, Kent here with a rare mid-week post. The Brazilian website JogoPro just published an interview I did quite a while back, and since it’s in Portuguese I got their permission to post the original English interview here. Thanks, Edu!

This one is kind of interesting because of the question about the Xbox One. I turned in this interview on June 13th, before Microsoft pulled their 180 and removed the always-on DRM requirements, and before Don Mattrick left for Zynga. The timing is extra funny given that just today Microsoft announced that indies would be able to publish on the Xbox One.

At the time I said that Microsoft would be “forced to adapt or watch their new console fail,” and it appears that they’ve chosen to adapt.

Oh, and there’s also a bunch of stuff about the game in the interview, too!


First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the concept and trailer of “The Novelist”. It seems like a fresh, innovative and emotional game, and that alone is a reason to celebrate. For how long have you been working on it? Not just with code I mean, but for how long the idea is in your head?

Thanks for the kind words! The idea has been in my head in one form or another for a few years now. I started getting interested in the concept of player-driven stories in 2010, and my interest at that time culminated in a talk I gave at GDC 2011. At that time it was only a hypothetical interest, though; I knew what I wanted from games and where I wanted them to go, but I wasn’t actively working on any projects with those goals.

Once I quit my job to go indie, though, the idea kept nagging at me. When I first struck out on my own I started making an iOS game, but within a few weeks I went on a one-month contracting job and during that time I realized I had no real passion for the game I was making. I started thinking about what kind of game I wanted to work on when the contracting job was up, and the idea of doing something with player-driven stories bubbled up.

I’d previously written a short design for a game where you play a ghost in a house full of people who’ve just come from a funeral, and that was the original form of the game that I started working on in February of 2012. As I kept working, though, I realized that I needed to create a more defined context for the relationships in order for players to identify with the choices and characters, and around June of last year I hit upon the idea of a novelist trying to balance his career with his family.

So as a high level idea it’s been floating around in my head off and on for years, but this specific execution of it is about a year old.

The protagonist has writing as his job, he has to manage his time to work, and deals with doubts about spending more time with his family. To what extent does that problem relate directly to you, being a developer, working alone, doing almost everything by yourself? (And we know that takes A LOT of time!)

It’s definitely a struggle I identify with. I don’t have any children, but I am married and it does take effort to do good work while maintaining a healthy relationship. The game was never intended to be autobiographical, though; when I hit upon the idea of balancing the main character’s career with parenthood and marriage, I was really just trying to find something universal that people could identify with.

That said, once I started writing the game and trying to create real-world scenarios I found myself drawing on my own questions and struggles to create a perspective for Dan, the novelist in the game. He’s only one of three characters, though, so even though I identify more with him it doesn’t mean his path through the game is the right one. I’ve tried my best to make all three character equally sympathetic so that players have to bring their own values and opinions into their decision-making, which in turn allows them to tell their own story.

And how do you manage your time, to spend moments with your family and friends? Do you have time left, now working on The Novelist?

It’s definitely a challenge, but as with many aspects of life the most important thing is to simply acknowledge the challenge and make a conscious effort to prioritize the things that are important to you.

For example, there are two nights a week when my wife and I make sure we spend the entire evening together doing something interesting (trying a new restaurant, going to a music show, visiting a museum, etc). We see each other every day, of course, but on those days we make a conscious effort to do something new together instead of just watching a movie or spending time on our iPads.

It’s the same with hanging out with friends. Even though it’s tempting to just lay around and relax after a hard day of work, it’s important to make the effort to meet up with a friend or go do something fun. I also keep my IM program open and stay in touch with my friends throughout the day to keep those connections strong.

So in the end, it comes down to making family and friends a priority. It’s one thing to say they’re important, but if someone really means a lot you have to take action and make a conscious effort to keep those relationships alive.

Did you think about launching The Novelist in consoles such as PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii U? If so, what kept you from doing it, what made you prioritize PCs?

I prioritized the PC because it’s by far the platform with the lowest barrier to entry. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get your game onto a console (though Sony has lowered the barrier to entry quite a bit recently), but on the PC you can make the whole thing in your apartment and sell it yourself (which I’m already doing on the game’s website). I definitely plan to look at putting it on consoles after the PC game has shipped, though right now it looks like the PS3, PS4, and OUYA are the only viable options.

Nowadays is easier to get financial investment for independent games than it was before? Do you think that individual incentives that are shown in Kickstarter are a better way of getting investment than the traditional way?

I definitely think that Kickstarter is a great thing for games and creative projects in general. The benefit of Kickstarter is that it lets you pitch your ideas directly to the audience, and for people who haven’t worked in the AAA industry it’s hard to understand just how empowering that concept is when compared to the traditional model.

Publicly traded companies have a primary purpose: to generate profit for their shareholders. They may have other secondary goals, but those other goals are all aimed at achieving the primary goal of making money. So when you have a creative company – and this goes for movie companies, music companies, book companies, and other artistic industries – there’s a natural tension between business goals and the creative workforce. The people who work on games want to make the coolest, most creative thing they can, but the people who run the company want to make as much money as possible for the shareholders.

The friction arises because creativity is risky. You can’t do truly creative work without a real chance of failing; that’s the nature of the beast. In a corporate environment, a failed project can mean losing millions of dollars, which is in direct conflict with the company’s primary goal. That in turn means that companies are less likely to take creative risks and are more likely to look for sure things, which is why we see so many clones and retreads of the same types of games. There may be a few exceptions to the explanation above, but in my personal experience the financial side has usually won out. I’ve seen years of work thrown away by executives who don’t even play games, people who rely on focus tests to form an opinion about what the audience wants.

With Kickstarter, on the other hand, you can find out not only how many people want your game, but how many are willing to give you real money for it. That’s a concrete show of support. So while the budgets aren’t remotely as big as a AAA title, you’re also not trying to get the money from someone who’s wildly risk-averse; you’re getting it from people who are saying, “Yes! We want what you’re making!” That’s a very liberating concept for creative individuals, because it’s made it possible to get risky projects underway.

Microsoft has just announced the new Xbox One and had no words for the indie development, they only wanted to show an impressive increase of technology and opening for a diversity of possibilities… Is it a bad thing for indie developers and the independent scene, or once the mainstream industry of games sets its eyes on indie games it becomes part of the industry (and then it’s not independent anymore)?

This probably won’t be a popular opinion, but I don’t really care that the Xbox One doesn’t support independent developers. I would feel very differently if the XBone was the only way for independent games to reach a wide audience, but there are a ton of other ways to get your product out to gamers between the Humble Store, Steam, PS4, iOS, Android, OUYA, Desura, direct website sales, and other platforms.

Don’t get me wrong: I think Microsoft has made a mistake by not supporting independent developers on the XBone, but I think they’ve made a number of anti-gamer decisions with the console (my buddy Chris Plante wrote a good summary on Polygon). The reason I’m not worried about the XBone shutting out independent developers is that I take a very Darwinistic view of the situation; I believe products that don’t serve their audience will fail and that gamer-friendly products will succeed.

Customers don’t buy expensive consoles that don’t meet their needs, especially when there are viable alternatives.

If gamers are as put-off by the XBone as they seem to be judging by the E3 reaction, then Microsoft will be forced to adapt or watch their new console fail. Given that there are so many other ways for people to create and sell indie games, I’m content to take advantage of the channels that are there and let market forces dictate the outcome for platforms that aren’t friendly to independent developers.

As for whether or not the inclusion of indie games on consoles would make them part of the mainstream, I don’t think that a game’s distribution platform defines whether or not it’s mainstream. To me, the difference between an independent game and a mainstream game comes down to two questions: where did the funding come from, and what are the creative goals of the product? If a developer funds a game via methods outside the AAA system and has creative control, then in my mind it’s still an indie game even if it’s distributed on the PS4 or XBone or WiiU. It’s a question of where the game came from, not where it ended up.

But ultimately, I really only care about what the creative goals of a game are and how those goals are realized in the final product. There are amazing, inspiring AAA games and there are really awful indie games; I cringe a little bit when I see people turning it into an “us vs. them” situation. Your goal as a creator should be to find a situation where you’re creatively empowered and can work on something you’re passionate about. I have friends doing that in both the AAA and indie spaces, and I couldn’t be happier for them regardless of where they are.

So as long as there are ways for games of all types to find an audience and be profitable enough to sustain the individuals and companies doing good work, I’ll be happy.

If you have something you like to say to gamers in general, especially Brazilian gamers, this is the space:

Although I’ve never been fortunate enough to visit Brazil (yet!), it’s wonderful to see games reaching such a global audience. If you’re reading this, please find ways to support the developers and projects you believe in, whether that means helping out on Kickstarter, voting on Greenlight, or buying games when they’re released. You have the ability to support what you believe in and shape the industry, and that’s a beautiful thing!