Freeplay Keynote

Finally managed to kick my Free Play keynote into something resembling a proper shape. Ended up not editing it as much as I planned, so there’s still a fair few rough edges. I didn’t really see the point, considering I improvised a fair bit around the script and have forgotten what I actually said in those random moments.

Anyway, I performed this little speech to a room full of independent developers and no-one threw anything. I’ll have to consider that a small victory. It starts slow and sensible, and builds in pitch until the end, when I’m on full on demagogue mode.

It was fun to do, which is exactly the last thing I was expecting.

Here’s five-thousand words of my nonsense. Try and imagine it in a nasal Midland whine for full effect.

Clearly very good, as usual. Excellent closing lines.

I am not in the games industry (I am in the much duller world of Corporate IT) but found that very interesting. Darwinia worked for me because I read the Gamer review after I had tried the demo and not “twigged” what it was about. Goes to show the press *are* important.

Is it just me or is that logo on the top right of the homepage a Darwinian who has perhaps eaten a mutagen from an Id game?

Very nice article, Mr. Gillen. A good read.

…and I certainly won’t look at the last level of Thief: The Dark Project in the same way ever again.

The line was originally found in my Metal Age review. And the scariest thing is, when I broached the topic with designers, I WAS RIGHT.

(Thief 1 = Caves = Vaginas. Thief 2 = Towers = Penis)


Great keynote, I really did enjoy reading it.

Smart advice mister!

Thanks, Orgy.

And you posting here has reminded me I should drop Dalai a line to see if he’d be interested in doing a postmortem on Thievery and Alien Swarm. What you think?


It’s worth saying twice: a splendid piece – the first time I’ve read a gaming article of that length and actually enjoyed it all the way through.


This is a great article, and I thouroughly enjoyed reading it. But, just out of curiousity, what would you do with a game concept? How would you approach that idea to developers?

I’m not sure what you mean. Or rather, I’m not exactly sure what you mean. Care to elaborate?

Do you mean “How would I suggest taking a videogame idea to a developer?”, the answer is “I wouldn’t”. Because the best you could get for taking your idea to a Dev is a job to work on entirely unassociated projects. If you want to build an idea, you really have to build your idea.



Poor John. A free copy of every two bit flash monstrosity and twisted-parser, Quill-u-lite unteractive monstrosity going.

And I thought you were friends.

Which is exactly what Null Pointer said to me after making that speech.

“Good speech – but you do know that you’re going to have every shitty indie game in your inbox from now until the end time”.


An excellent article, and so refreshing to see a games journalist putting a genuinely positive spin on indie game development. Especially interesting as I have the ‘pleasure’ of working for mr molyneux. What you say about good press copy is true, as long as you dont fall in to the trap of over-hype. Indie games tend to have demos, so no amount of hype will trick people into buying a poor game. Great PR and excellent press coverage mean bugger all if the gaming public try your demo and realise your game is a pile of monkey doings. PC Gamer and PC format in the Uk have been pretty good at championing the indie scene, PC Zone less so from what I hear. Is it possibly the case that the gaming public are finally sick of yet another WW2 FPS being rammed down our throats for £35? I hope so…

Of course, it’s less likely that you’ll get too much press hype about an indie game unless it’s actually good…

(What I didn’t say in the speech, but hopes was implicit, is that the methods only work if a journalist is actually interested in what you’re doing. Not that if a journalist *isn’t* interested in what you’re doing means it’s worthless – just harder to get press for)

And, yes, I too hope for the birth of a more properly supported indie scene. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve leant towards being a PC journalist…