Breaking Arrows: Alpha 6

Breaking Arrows is a Soapbox series published by Highland Arrow relating the views and opinions of smaller developers, independent journalists, and gamers, related to the GamerGate movement.  To read more about it, read the lead article here.

"Alpha 6" contributed on the condition of being pseudonymous, fearing backlash.

For those that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?

I'm a 30 something white male, which makes me the almost default gamer.  I've been playing game since I first got a hold of a NES controller.  Now I'm married with kids just starting to get their hands on controllers.

How long have you been in the games industry?

I've published one game so far and have a dozen or so small jam / competition games.

What brought you to be interested in games?  And the game industry?

I've always loved games, and have always wanted to make something.  I did a QBasic game back in High School.  Which for the late 1990's was a pretty cool High School class.  I've played around in Adventure Game Studio but now with tools like Unity or Game Maker Studio, anyone with an idea can made a game.  Which is great, because the industry needs fresh meat.  And a variety of it too.

Over the years there have been a series of scandals in the games industry.  Does any particular one have meaning to you?

I don't think I can remember anything in gaming being quite as bad as the events of the last few months.  When non-gaming folk are asking you WTF is going on, you know the rest of the world is listening.

Do you think the Industry needs to improve? If so, in what areas?

What the industry needs for making games is a variety of talent.  When 90% of the games are made by white men, you're going to get games that focus on white men and what they want.  It's not their fault, as novel writers will say, you write about what you know.  The only way to get games that focus on more people and tell more stories is for the people that want those games to start making them.  You're not going to find them at EB Games published by EA.  You're going to find them online, written by indies in their basements in the middle of the night, sold by storefronts that are open to independents.

What the industry needs for reporting on games is a much more transparent and open environment.  There is a walled garden of high profile game companies and the companies that make money reporting on it.  And for indie developers, there's no way in.  It doesn't matter how good your game is if no one knows it exists.

What would you say the games industry does right?  Wrong?

The games industry is a well oiled money making machine and getting people to part with their cash is what they do best.  But the candy coating is being worn thin.  People have to put up with pre-order madness, "GameStop Exclusive Usless DLC," buggy PC ports of console games, PR coverage which only gives pre-release copies to people willing to only say nice things about the games.  And once they've shelled out their $60 they find the game might not be as great as they heard, wondering why all the reviews were so great.  The youtube videos didn't have any of these problems.  Of course since they wanted to get the pre-order bonus it didn't really matter what the review said.  They bought the game on the expected value of the company making the game.

Breaking Arrows

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