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Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Jeff Vogel and Other Indie Developers Speak Out
10:49 AM | Richard Porcher | Comment on this story

An article posted at the Stratos Group should be of particular interest to Mac gamers, especially those fond of shareware. Through interviews with three prominent independent developers, the article discusses the current state of independent game development and goes into great detail concerning their trials and tribulations in going up against the overwhelming might of the big publishing houses.

What should really interest Mac gamers is that one of the featured developers is Jeff Vogel, founder of Spiderweb Software and maker of the famed Avernum role-playing series. Jeff has a lot to say about what it takes to get quality shareware made and noticed by the gaming public. As it turns out, it's a lot harder than most people realize.

Here's a sample from the article:

Independent releases simply can't compete with the budgets of the Big Boys. Whereas the major publishing houses generally attack the gaming market as a whole, Vogel says, "I cater to niche markets. I can't compete with the Big Boys head to head. I, like any smart small developer, look for a market too small for large developers, and cater to it as best I can." This tactic has certainly worked for Spiderweb.

Taking a similar approach is Joel [Mathis, founder of Idle King Software]. "The trick is to develop to your abilities. Instead of trying to make a huge first-person shooter based on the current technology, my first title is a puzzle game. There's a lot of simpler-to-develop game styles that have been effectively abandoned by the mainstream gaming industry because they can't support the five million dollar budgets, but I can make a puzzle game, sell it for ten dollars, and make a profit."

The link below will take you to the entire article. If you're one of the many who is still holding on to a piece of unregistered shareware that you use regularly, this article might encourage you to take that leap and send in your dues.

Stratos Group: The Current State of the Independent Developer
Spiderweb Software

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Archives  News  Jeff Vogel and Other Indie Developers Speak Out