"A Sidhe is an earthen mound where mythical beings live. It's also an independent New Zealand videogame company that's moved away from the hill-dwelling fairy thing to release six titles in the last five years. I've known about them for a long while: Like fantasy films, Antarctic storms and flaccid politicians, Sidhe has become part of the Kiwi landscape. But I'd never gotten near the source code, the how, why and what-the-hell of growing your very own game development ecosystem at the bottom of the South Pacific. So I called them up, begged my way in and spent a week learning the secret. Here it is, in seven easy steps, complete with magic beans and beer."
Going it Alone
Indie games and the pioneers making a go of it without the backing of major players.
"Harris is one of an increasing number of mainstream video game veterans who have abandoned big-budget, big-business game development and 'gone rogue' as small, self-funded, often self-published independent game developers, or 'indies.' Some see indie development as an entry point into a career in the majors. But for some jaded professionals who love gaming but are dissatisfied with the mainstream industry, indie development offers an escape - and a unique opportunity."
"The job was supposed to be easy. All I had to do was find some missing art supplies. That was, until I found myself being attacked by a goblin barbecue team. Next thing I know, I'm getting a severe tong-lashing (not a typo) from the chef.
"Realizing how dangerous goblins with access to hot coals are, I did the only thing I could. I bashed them in the face with my trusty disco ball. But that's all in a day's work for an enterprising Disco Bandit, on a quest to save the strange and puzzling world that is Kingdom of Loathing, a browser-based, multiplayer RPG."
"The epiphany hit me a few months ago when my girlfriend and I visited her cousins' Long Island home. Their 14-year-old son and his friends were playing Guitar Hero III, and most of the group lacked skill. As the in-game crowd booed another wannabe rocker off the stage, my girlfriend's cousin delivered the stinging words:
"Either the audience was particularly bloodthirsty that night, or this 14-year-old kid just pointed out how often death is synonymous with failure in videogames."
"There are lots of independent game developers trying to make a living off of their craft - I'm occasionally one of them - but there's a growing number of people who create free games simply to make their voices heard. These are people for whom game development is not a primary profession; whose background is not in computer science or 3-D modeling; who build games in their spare time out of a curiosity and love for the medium and a desire to make the games that no one else will. Hobbyist game developers, self-published authors. Videogame zinesters."