It’s OK to develop videogames outside of the business frameworks that we’ve built around games.
Being a hobbyist does not make your work inferior. Being a hobbyist does not mean you are playing at being a developer. Being a hobbyist does not mean you are of less worth or less serious about what you do.
There are no videogame tourists. There is no minimum level of required commitment. You don’t have to make games to support yourself making games.
Being a game developer is not contingent on your skills at running a business, it is contingent on you making games. You can just make games if you want to.
Games can be in many shapes and forms and we’ve far from seen everything games can be. Invent new forms, contort the old.
Polish is not everything. Like with some of the best records ever made, heart, soul, indefinable qualities that touch other humans in ways we barely understand matter too. It only takes ten seconds to break my heart.
It is OK to give your work away. It’s OK to charge for your work. You don’t need permission for either and either is a valid choice.
It’s OK to be unhappy that your work may not be able to make money within our current systems and it is OK to want to change that for the benefit of yourself and more people. It is OK to work to change that providing your intent is not to hurt folks. Hurting folks isn’t cool.
It is OK and understandable to be hurt, upset and offended when people tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t be a part of videogames because you choose an accessible tool to help you get idea from head. You don’t need anyone’s permission to be here and no-one cares what’s under the hood out in the big wide world.
It’s OK to not finish your game. In the ‘not designing for every possible permutation of a mechanic’ way and in the ‘I’m done with this’ way.
It’s OK to only work on the things you want to work on, when you want to work on them.
It’s OK to take your time. Take five, ten years occasionally chipping away at things if you can and really want to. Or if you don’t really want to but life says otherwise as life often does. Yes, even for a small game.
It’s OK to throw something out fast and put a bow on it. Not everything needs to lead to more.
You do not have to give Valve or anyone else a chunk of cash to join a queue to get on a store. It’s fine if you don’t want to do this or you can’t afford to do this. Obviously, it’s not remotely fine that you can’t afford it but it’s OK to not sacrifice food to companies already overflowing with money, yeah?
You do not have to bundle your work just because everyone else is.
Your work not being on Steam does not make it worth less and a lot of bundles devalue work because it doesn’t come with a Steam key. This is the bundlers at fault, not your work.
Your work does not have to be commodified.
It’s OK to walk away and never look back.
It’s OK to walk away and look back with regret.
It’s OK to not be part of videogame culture, whatever that is.
It’s OK to make games within the business frameworks we’ve built already for making videogames and there’s a thousand people who’ll tell you the right way to do things. It’s OK to listen to this. It’s fine to disregard it and find your own way too. It’s fine to pick a little bit from Column A, a little bit from Column B.
You do not have to read this. You do not have to listen to this advice. You can find your own way. You don’t need me to tell you it’s OK, what you’re doing is OK. Whilst you’re not hurting people, it’s probably OK.
There is no single piece ever wrote that every indie must read, this one included.
The headline is a lie. Sorry about that. We should probably stop doing stuff like that, y’know? It’s an awfully poor show.