President of Boston’s Fire Hose Games, Eitan Glinert, breaks down four types of indie developers he sees in the wild:
- The developer starving, eating ramen, with no support system because she’s nobody
- The developer begging publishers to give him money, but it turns out the publishers drive him nuts and everything turns to crap
- The developer mooching off every single relative she has to fund her game
- He’s already famous
“If you’re already famous, that’s great, but if you don’t have that stuff it’s just so hard to get your thing off the ground,” Glinert says. There are options for first-time developers – submitting a game to IGF or the PAX 10, or being featured on big websites – but he says there are still roadblocks in the current system.
“I’m sick of it – and it’s a solvable problem,” he says. He may have solved it, with help from the rest of the team: Fire Hose Games is transitioning into an indie incubator, with plans to take on fresh developers and offer them a place to work, a monthly living wage, revenue share when their games launch, plus advice, experience and a creative atmosphere.
“We want to go ahead and remove the hurdles to game development that these small indie developers face, and we can get some absolutely phenomenal talent in the process,” Glinert says. “It’s a big win-win. We help these developers make the games they want without all the burden of getting all these bits and pieces aligned, when all they want to do is make the game. We get fantastic talent in the process; we get great games in the process and we’re all helping each other.”