SA game designer and co-founder of QCF Design, Danny Day has shared his views on the SA gaming industry and the challenges that SA games and devs have going up against the international market.
“Better internet access means players now have options when it comes to what they want to play,” said Day.
“Indie games are simply easier to find these days, all you have to do is start up Steam and take a look around. I don’t think the majority of local players are browsing Indiegames.com or seriously following the IGF, but indie games are closer to the surface of every platform.”
Day commented on the momentum that indie games are picking up, particularly because they offer a level of originality and uniqueness that’s lacking in the mainstream gaming market.
“Maybe people are more open to indie games because they feel that AAA games are a little bit ‘samey’ and there’s only so much emotion you can wring out of more shiny polygons per second, or maybe they’re just playing stuff that’s fun and don’t really care who made it or why,” said Day.
Some other local developers have expressed challenges in getting exposure for their games, and Day sees the pros and cons of the design choices made.
“It’s risky trying to build a game, that’s always going to be the case – what if people don’t like it? But you can drastically minimise that risk by getting as much feedback on your game concepts as early as possible – have people play your prototypes and see if they’re just humouring you or if they’re really loving something,” said Day.
Day continued, saying that positive word-of-mouth and criticism lead to better designed games.
“All the local games that are doing well in both sales and visibility internationally are games that began their life in public forums or game jams, not behind closed doors for fear of the ideas behind them being stolen. That’s a particularly irrational fear that seems to control a lot of local hopeful developers.”
Day is also involved over on Make Games SA, a platform that offers support for SA’s aspiring game developers; whether you are one yourself, or merely have a passing interest in the hobbyist pursuit.