Friday, March 19, 2010

"This is indie"

Duplicated from my blog at game jolt

Say you have this arrangement - a website provider is sitting there, when someone who has worked on a game for say 30 hours, submits it.

The website provider makes more money for having done no more work than before, as the systems automated. Say he makes net, 5 cents and that developer 3 cents.

Now say forty nine other developers submit games, for a total (including the first game) of 1500 man hours of development time. While the website host has done no extra work for these submissions.

The website host makes net $2.50 for having done nothing. Each developer, earns 3 cents for their 30 hours of work. Because other people put in 1500 man hours, the website host, for putting in zero hours, gets $2.50.
This is NOT indie.

And just check if your some middle or upper middle class kid, who basically doesn't value their own development time because you've never been at the sharp end of the stick. If you've ever gone shopping, and not gotten something because you didn't feel you had quite enough, maybe your qualified to respond straight off. But some of you probably don't shop for yourselves to begin with. Or to draw on an Auntie Pixilante rant

'...generally, achievements are used to artificially draw out the game. many contemporary games have little or no respect for the player’s time, and that’s something we need to change if we want people to play games who aren’t privileged kids with too much leisure time'
Emphasis on the priviledged kids bit.

No, this is no more indie than a nike sweat shop is indie. But because you don't value your time, or try and say 'I do it just for the love of it' since you never face the sharp end of the stick, you don't see this.


  1. Publishers are parasites. Any middleman not actively contributing to creating something valuable (note, creating, not managing, two *entirely* different things) is an active drain on productivity. This also goes for middlemen in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (the FIRE sector of the economy). There's a fine living to be made by positioning yourself to skim off of other people's work, morally bankrupt though it is.

    This goes for "investors", too. Even the phrasing is telling: "Make your money work for you" is effectively noting that you're not working for your money. You're skimming off of someone else's work, accruing money via interest simply because you were privileged enough to have more than the other guy to start with.

  2. Wow! I didn't expect that responce!

    Though I can't say I disagree with you, I think someone covering their hosting costs, a small kitty and paying for their hours at some rate is a valid role to fill. I'd grant it's parasitic, in that he isn't contributing to the item. But he is atleast doing some work of a sort, and with that I think he should get pay.

    But the way game jolts model is, it'll eventually pay him more, far more, than a fair wage per hour. All founded on the hard and essentially unpaid work by other people.

    Or perhaps it'll never be that profitable for him and never pay his work hours, even at minimum rates - in which case it's not unfair to anyone contributing games, although per hour he'll still be payed far more than game contributors.

    But I'm thinking it will turn out to be all too profitable, unless he's a clutz webhost. And when it gets to that point he'll be all "Oh, I deserve everything I'm getting for all my hard work" when he'd have nothing without people contributing games.

    And good point on investors. Their almost like those horrible facebook games where you get game money for just clicking - investors do just about as much in real life.

  3. That's the publisher model; there's an impetus to fill the ranks to have more to leech off of. That can be good for gamers looking for variety, but a saturated market also means a lot of chaff, and great games have to swim upstream against a bunch of static. That tends to make for a relatively unsatifsying experience for everyone... except the publisher who sits back and skims.

    I agree that they do serve a purpose, but the model of taking a percentage cut is more trouble than it's worth a lot of the time.

    ...and yes, that was a touch vitriolic, but man, I'm sick and tired of publishers in this industry, and leeches on the economy in general. It just sort of came to a head here, sorry. ;)

  4. I didn't hear any vitriolic? You put forward some evidence for a conclusion I didn't expect and yet seems plausible from your evidence.

    Please don't appologise. You didn't just pour out raw emotions and nothing else, you presented some evidence to mull over. Atleast for me, as long as anyone presents evidence to mull over, they are talking with me and everyone else in a calm and civilised manner. :)