Thursday, March 17, 2011

GDC 2011: The Game of Platform Power

Here are the slides and notes to my GDC presentation, "The Game of Platform Power".   In our industry, history repeats itself again and again, but each new generation of developers often fails to learn past lessons.  Platforms in particular have a well established life cycle and their relationship with a developer changes as they mature.    Yet, I regularly see developers completely caught off guards as their new favorite platform suddenly stops being their friend and starts treating them as a harvestable resource.  Don't be surprised.  This is the way of things and it has happened dozens of times in the past.

My small hope is that by naming and illuminating some of the common phases and practices of platforms, developers will be able to better deal with the inevitable shifts.  I would like nothing better than smart game developers to divorce their businesses from the platform life cycle and build direct relationships with long lasting communities of passionate gamers.

I will note that I have nothing against platforms despite what my occasionally spicy rhetoric may suggest. I respect and appreciate them like a biologist appreciates a large predator. I've personally walked many miles in the shoes of platform developer. (I spent 10 years building platforms and I loved it.) It is a hard path and platforms do their best. However, ultimately I feel it is better for everyone to be a strong advocate for the users and the game developers that directly serve them.  In the long view of history picture, these two are the essential players.

take care,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

List of Game Artists

A very large number of game developers come to Lostgarden looking for game art. (Apparently I'm on the first page of results if you search for 'free game art')

Of those folks that show up, some are happy to find my collections of free art.  A whole slew of other write me asking if I can make art for them.  Unfortunately I haven't done contract art for decades and now pretty much exclusively focus on game design.  My artist days happened about three careers ago. :-)  But still I hate the idea of not being able to connect talented teams with amazing artists.

This post is an experiment.   If you are a talented artist looking to do freelance game art, add the following information in a comment below:

  • Your name
  • A link to a gallery of your work
  • A note on if you are wiling to work for revenue share or you prefer upfront payment only. 
  • Some means of contacting you.  For example bob [at]

The goal is to build up a living directory of talented game artists.  If you've worked with an artist on a game and you know they are open for work, do them a favor and post their portfolio here using the format above.    Post a link to this page on any forum or list where game artists hang out.

All the best,

PS: I'm actively looking for an illustrator for a project, so if you post a link there's a good chance at least I'll be checking out your portfolio. :-) (The current gig involves dozens of adorable panda illustrations.)  And there seem to be an unending stream of new projects that need art rolling into Spry Fox all the time.