This book offers a perspective into a phenomenon becoming more and more common: AAA developers ‘going indie’. Written through the personal story of the author finding his way into the AAA games space, only to retreat back to indie games and consulting work and finding a new-old life making games for himself, and finding fulfillment in doing so. It is both a word of warning to creatives seeking a corporation and a call for disillusioned developers to break free and do something wild, creative, and unexpected. It is critical of common industry issues such as structural crunch, health issues, work life balance, and more, but is also a personal story of mismatched needs in doing creative work.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Making Video Games. The Startup Phase -or- What the Hell Am I Doing?. Struggling with Legitimacy. The Big Leagues. My First Little Indie Game. Breaking Out to Break In. How Do I Do It?
Dr. Matthew White is a game developer, data scientist, professor, and entrepreneur. Managing Director of Whitethorn Digital LLC, Matt spends most of his time making games and consulting for various entities in the games industry. Previously at Volition, Playstation, Penn State, and many startups, Matt has spent over 10 years making games in one way or another. In his free time, he also reads, plays games, homebrews, and tries his best to have a social and family life. He’s an educator originally, and still does his best to teach students how to make things that make people happy - though how successful he is in this endeavor is a matter of some debate. With two other professors, Matt developed Penn State's game development program, which helps students augment their degrees by applying their major concentration to the games industry. The program grew over 300% during his employment there.