In 2009 Christopher founded Arcen Games, an indie company who have already made a handful of PC and Mac games. As such, his articles on achieving success as an indie developer, and working with the press as an indie both have a lot of weight.
Very recommended reading for anyone interested in that side of the games industry.
That's not to say that Christopher is just about the business side of things. There are also lengthy articles on game design topics that are well worth reading.
So just what is GameDevBlogs? Well, it's new, but here's their spiel about themselves:
GameDevBlogs' mission is to become the best resource for finding new blogs written by video game developers. Whether famous or unheard of, student or experienced, a developer's writing will be listed here. If you are interested in finding something new to read, select a blog category, pick a site at random, and enjoy.
Or, as they described it to me in an email, "a site dedicated to listing the blogs of game developers, so inquiring minds can find good reading material more easily." That seems like a very worthy goal to me, and it's always great to see new resources (especially meta-resources like this) appear for new and aspiring indie developers. There are a lot of developer blogs out there, so I imagine they'll have their hands full archiving all of them, heh. Good stuff!
I am surprised at how few comments litter your blog considering the effort invested in these intermittent posts. Let me turn out a comment here simply to address the shame of the internet.
I like the interesting distinction you make between critique and evaluation, although I'm not altogether sure the latter is the right term - I'd be looking for something akin to a "first impression" or "reaction". What you discuss here mirrors my own experience. I think all of this still applies in the field of gaming.
I'm part of a writing group and am always impressed with the feedback I receive, constructive and honest - and I'm well past the "just tell me how stunningly good looking I am" phase. I try to be as specific as possible in my own feedback: this character doesn't work, this situation doesn't make sense, you perhaps need to re-order events here, etc.
I always like to highlight what's good, I agree it's far too easy to just shoot down what doesn't work and not make an effort to protect what's wholesome and good. And sometimes you don't realise that a throwaway aspect, something that was just ancillary from the writer's perspective, is something that's engaged people. On a later draft, you might have deleted it.
But some of the members of my group are poets. This showers me with guilt. I have no real knack for poetry - all I can tell them is "I liked that, sounded nice". Even worse, I'm not that good at interpreting work being read aloud so often find myself confused by the more abstract pieces. They get nothing but the surface reaction; I can't offer any more, I simply don't feel qualified.
I was once a member of an online writing community and I used to turn out enormous verbose critiques - but trying to get similar feedback was like trying to get blood out of a rock in a hard place. No one would warn me I'd mixed my metaphors. I eventually quit the site because I spent more time critiquing than improving my own writing. (Although it should not be ignored that critiquing other people's work *does* improve your own)
There's no third anecdote. But I'd add that critiquing is a minefield in both directions. A lot of effort for something so hazardous to personal relationships.
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