I sat down to think about why I am motivated to make indie games after I wrote this blog post. Honestly, I’d never really examined it before, at least not in any rigorous way. It took me an embarrassing length of time to come to any real conclusion on the subject. In the end, it all came back to one thing:

Q: “Why do you do what you do?”

A: I want to stir things in people.

At this point, the other questions were easy to answer.

Q: “How do you accomplish this?”

A: I craft things with a focus on quality and communicate with an audience through content.

The final question is simple.

Q. “And what do you do?”

A. I make video games.

As an unexpected bonus, I understand myself a little better now that I’ve completed the exercise.

For 10 years, I went to work in the professional game industry and executed on someone else’s vision. It was incredibly difficult for me at some of those workplaces. I spent a lot of time being angry, and way too much time complaining about my dissatisfaction. It was counterproductive, and it’s something I regret in hindsight. I worked with a lot of wonderful people, and I would apologize for the hubris and impatience I showed in my younger days.

This insight showed me that there was no alignment of purpose at some of my former jobs. The only thing we had in common was “what” we did. Personally, the worst times for me involved making quick games that lacked quality or content. Let me be clear, I am not in any way judging the people for whom I worked. I wasn’t in the shoes of the executives and it’s not my place to judge them. They were likely doing the best they could to make a little cash in an incredibly hard business, and I was well-compensated for my efforts through the years.

The blame for any misery I felt fell squarely on my own attitude and actions. I believe it was mostly my fault for not searching harder for work that aligned with my own desires. I rarely went above and beyond or tried to change my environment through positive means. I simply pointed the finger at the powers-that-be and begrudgingly accepted my lot. It was all quite childish.

Having taken the time to reflect on all of this, I feel more enlightened, more aligned with my own beliefs and values. It’s time to dig in and actually complete something that will fulfill these criteria and bring me some self-satisfaction. Answering my “Why?”, “How?”, and “What?” has given me renewed energy to get to work again, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

 

two-thumbs-up-hi

To see my first post about Unity Cloud build, go to I Wish I Could Hug The Cloud.

This will be short and sweet, but I’m so excited I had to post something. At Unite 2015 in Boston, Unity announced that they would be adding a few new features to their Cloud Build suite.

  1. They’ve added support for more targets, specifically PC builds! Windows/Mac/Linux builds can now be generated; they are handily delivered in a downloadable zipped archive. This includes x86/x64 builds for all platforms and universal builds for the -nix platforms. This functionality is in beta, but has worked like a champ for me so far. To test this new functionality, visit Unity Cloud Beta.
  2. Mercurial has been added to the list of supported version control systems. This is in addition to SVN, Perforce, and Git.
  3. These features are supported for all tiers of Cloud Build Plans, so even the smallest of teams using the Personal version of Unity stand to benefit.

I don’t have much more to add, but I continue to be impressed by Unity’s commitment to providing excellent services to developers. They truly are making my life as an indie developer easier. I wish I could high five the whole team. Thanks, Unity!

sony-nintendo-microsoft

I’ll be actively developing d6 this year using Unity, and I’d really like to get it onto a few platforms:  PC/Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Vita, and New 3DS.  That means I need console licenses (I need Steam as well, but that one will come later).

This led to me spending the afternoon filling out the forms to get licensed for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo platforms. It was surprisingly easy overall, but it did take a bit of preparation to get everything right. Considering my console development background (specifically with handheld devices) I think I stand a pretty good chance of getting licensed, but I’m not counting my chickens yet.

Each of the big three asked for some common information such as the name of the company, primary contact information, industry experience, and desired target platforms. There were just a couple of little quirks in each process.

SONY

Playstation Partners Registration

Sony had a pretty straightforward process, overall. The downside was that they asked for a few extra things that nobody else did:

  • A Static IP for forum/Devnet access
  • Paperwork about the developer’s company (a copy of my company’s formation certificate)
  • A concept/pitch document for a game to be developed on the platform

None of these are particularly difficult to do. The most difficult/expensive part for me was acquiring a static IP. I work on my games from home, so I had to have it added to my home internet service. This requirement can also be worked around via VPN/VPS services. See this Reddit thread for some details (link).

Aside from that, it forced me to do a quick pitch document. It led me to the discovery of a handy website I’d never heard of: gamepitches.com. I spent a little bit of time looking over some examples, then decided to go with a pretty simple format. Here are the results (PDF link).

Nintendo

Nintendo Developer Application

Wii U – Unity Application

I’ve worked on Nintendo hardware for many years, and the registration process has become old hat. The New 3DS requires developers to sign up for full Nintendo Developer accounts. If one chooses to develop just for the Wii U using Unity, there’s another (maybe easier) application.

Nintendo’s other small difference is that they want to know about any 3rd party partners (publishers/subsidiaries), and they are quite concerned with security of their development equipment. For the most part, this means having multiple locks/security measures between the front door and a devkit. For instance, I have a safe that I can put my devkits in, as well as locks on my office.

Microsoft

ID@Xbox Application

This one was also fairly straightforward, though they do leave a space for optional gameplay trailers/videos. I left it blank because I haven’t made a video yet; I hope it doesn’t hurt me in the end.

One thing I didn’t like was that I was forced to create a company specific Gamertag in the process. It seems like a waste, and I had to abbreviate my company name anyway (since Gamertags names can only be so long).

Note: I applied to ID@Xbox a while ago and didn’t hear anything back (crickets for 8 months) so maybe I need to razzle-dazzle them with some game information/videos or something. Either that or I need to get to know someone on the inside.

Conclusion

The overall process for getting licensed for these platforms has truly never been easier. All three of the major console manufacturers seem to want to make the process as simple as possible to get games on their devices.

I’m hopeful I’ll get my seals of approval from each of them, but only time will tell. I’d personally love to see d6 on all of these platforms, especially since Unity has support for each of them. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.