Friday, November 19, 2010

It Rocks When Indies Cooperate

The article UK Dev Gets Off Arse - Makes Indie Portal on Spong talks about, something that Arcen -- and 19 other indie developers, including Positech, 2D Boy, and many others -- have been quietly working on for the last month or two.  Time flies, I forget exactly how long it's been.

And I really shouldn't say we've all been working on it, as it's mostly been Cliff Harris, whose idea it was in the first place.  The rest of us made our contributions, fiscally and otherwise, but Cliff did all the heavy lifting and he blogs here about why he created the site and what he hopes to eventually accomplish with it.

Quoth Cliff:
Now I know what you are thinking, “why haven’t I heard about it then?” isn’t it usual form for me to go on a publicity blitz? When am I going to punch Keith Vaz on live TV? The whole point of SMTG was to prove 2 basic concepts:
  • You can get almost 20 indie game developers to co-operate, and actually pay money into a mutual project
  • You can make advertising work for indie developers, it we club together. (this is why we tested it as an ad-driven site at first)
I think the amount of success for the various indies in the first run of this probably varied, but it's early days yet.  I also think that the amount of success for most of us with this made it close enough to cost-neutral (if not generating a return for some of us) that it's worth future investment and investigation.  I don't share the anti-big-portals sentiments that some indies do, but that doesn't mean that an indie collective that is controlled by indies isn't attractive.

As an early experiment, Show Me The Games has been a success, I think.  We -- that is to say, Cliff -- has in my mind proved out that the basic concept can work.  And we had 20 indies buying into this without squabbling of any sort, which is another miracle.  It's a really good group of folks with games on that list, so that's certainly part of it.  Now all that remains to be seen is where we take it from here!


  1. Dev companies improving their coverage by sharing it with other dev companies on a single location. Is this really the first time anyone has thought of this? I mean, you're indie devs! You're all about thinking outside the box! ;)

  2. Well, as Cliff said in his post, it's been thought of MANY times. But, because so many times you get squabbling and arguments and people being too busy to do their part, etc. And indecisive organizers lookin for 100% group consensus. Cliff values the feedback and then made his decisions, and asked who wanted to join. Those that did, did.

    It's not the first time this has happened, by it's the first time it's been successful with such a large and diverse group. Pick any five people and they'll have six ways they want do it, after all. ;) And we had 20. So that's what is cool.

  3. Well, I don't see any harm in it. I'll even add a link to it ;)

  4. Christopher, is it normal that you didn't gave us a direct link to this indi portal ?

    I've made a new topic about it on a french site of video games (


  5. Its interesting to note, that both Electronic Arts and Valve started by collecting together small groups of game developers and using the increased clout to increase their visability..

    EA wasn't always evil, and Valve may not always be good.. here's to hoping that Arcen never changes tho ;)


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