The Bottom Feeder

Thoughts on indie game development. Humor. General crabbiness and bad feelings.

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Getting Sweet Patron Money On the Modern Internet

Once, to survive in the arts, you needed someone like this: The profoundly rich product of centuries of inbreeding.This is a blog post about making a living writing art. Like, say, indie games. So expect a certain amount of despair.In ye olden days, many talented people wanted to be artists. However, very few of them sold their art for enough money...

Queen's Wish Is Out. Here's Why It's So Weird!

All new. All different.Now that we've finally released our new game, Queen's Wish: The Conqueror, we're finally free to talk about it! Nerdy game-design talking!We have been writing role-playing games for a very, very long time. It's what we do. One of the ways we stay sane while doing this is to change things. Every game or two, we like to change stuff:...

I Am the Cheapest Bastard In Indie Games

A Queen's Wish screenshot. Note that I use game art that I like to look at. This is necessary because I'll be staring at it for years, and I don't want to go mad.A week ago, I put up a blog post called "Why All My Games Look Like Crap." It really blew up. A lot of people read it. Some were highly supportive. Others took precious time out of their days...

Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap

We spent years working on this game. We're betting our family's future on it. So. Why does it look so bad?We've been writing indie games for a living for 25 years. My wife and I run a humble little mom-and-pop business. We make retro low-budget role-playing games that have great stories and design and are a lot of fun.Also, they look like crap.The first...

Make Them Want. Delay. Fulfill. Repeat.

Players can get a deep feeling of satisfaction from games that literally play themselves. How cool is that?Last week, I began my discourse on how video games can warp your brain chemistry to bring you pleasure in order to make lots of money and how difficult, delicate, and awesome that process is.I have eight observations about how video games cause...

The Glorious, Profitable, Inescapable Art of Addiction

Get those numbers up! Those are rookie numbers!I've been reading a lot about Anthem. It's that gigantic, mega-budget looter-shooter from BioWare and Electronic Arts. Apparently, it doesn't give out enough loot for the monsters you kill. For a game like Anthem, this is BAD FORM.Apparently, when you spend three hours killing a boss, the increase in your...

We Did Our First Kickstarter! And It Worked!

Another journey begins. A long, long journey.For  the fifth time in 25 years of doing business, we at Spiderweb Software are making a whole new game world (and new engine to go with it). Along with the announcement of our new series, Queen's Wish, we are launching our very first Kickstarter to support it.We've put a lot of information about the new...

Divinity: Original Sin 2 and the Rewards of Doing One Hard Thing Right

There will never not be a market for a solid RPG.I recently played indie RPG megahit Divinity: Original Sin 2. I went through it front to back, spending over 90 hours (Normal/Classic difficulty). It'd be a pity to expend so much time if I didn't get a blog post out of it.Divinity: Original Sin 2 (or DOS2 as I'll call it) is really the ideal of the indie...

I Gave a Big Talk On Indie Games and It's Pretty Good.

Please enjoy this reasonably-priced hour of grumpy ranting.For a long time now, I've wanted to give a talk about the history of Spiderweb Software. It would be a combination of funny stories about the ancient history of the internet and a summary of everything I've learned about the True Meaning of Indie Games.At the 2018 Game Developers Conference...

We Released Avernum 3: Ruined World.

Seasons come and go. Pages fall from the calendar. And Spiderweb Software releases another game.In 1997, I wrote a hit game.It was called Exile 3: Ruined World. It and its remasters are the most popular games I've ever written.Bear in mind this game was a hit by 1997 shareware standards, not 2018 indie standards. It made enough to buy a modest 1997-priced...

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