This is my first GANG blog, but I’ve been trying my hand at blogging elsewhere for a few years now. I’ll be short on my introduction, but if you’re interested in checking out the blogspace that I use to share news about my games and other career-related things, you can check it out here.
My name is Harry Mack and I love indie game culture. That is not to disparage the bigger, shinier, 3Der mission of the mainstream industry. However, I definitely belong where the hands-on passion, interesting games, and unique industry visionaries are.
I have been in the industry for about ten years, a fifty-fifty split between in-house and out-house (or freelance if that’s too lavatoryesque). I’ve been a pianist for twice that time, with a formal background in music and a little game design education for bonus marks.
This year’s GDC brought me a fun blast from the past. I’d like to take a moment to use it to highlight some of the stepping stones that originally led me into the indie game world.
Those of you in attendance at the GDC this year may have caught a great little panel titled “What you Need to Know About Casual Games 2010 .” Speakers Nick Fortugno and Juan Gril did an excellent job rapidly reviewing some of the innovative and dominant trends in casual game space over the last year.
Just to clarify, from Nick and Juan’s perspective ‘casual’ game really means ‘super-awesome indie’ game. They shared a lot of insight and perspective into experimental design choices, and it was also a source for leads on some new games to try out.
I enjoyed it so much, that I decided to do some looking back into their presentations at past GDCs. I got quite the surprise when I found out that examples chosen for two of four of the 2009 categories were games that I worked on. Corpse Craft was selected to highlight new themes and mechanics in multiplayer games. To show a trend in the evolution of arcade games they recognized Braid ’s innovation and brilliant level design.
Even if it took place a year ago, it was nice to see these very creative games getting recognition. If you’re interested in checking out the session transcript, it is still posted on Gamasutra.
For me it was a chance to reflect on some of the excellent memories that began my serious love affair with indie games. I mean we flirted before, but those games were the moment where it became really serious. Now that I am completely immersed, I look constantly forward to being one of a sea of participants playing a role in creatively shaping the indie community, both locally and globally.
It would be great to hear from any other game audio designers out there with a similar focus.