Things have changed since the last time I was here. Digital distribution took off in a big way. Minecraft got big. Super Meat Boy happened. The iPad became a thing. Sword and Sworcery did its thing. Kickstarter happened. Indie game developers got a bunch of new ways to get their stuff to people. The whole "let's make cool games and give them away for free" thing has dried up a bit. A lot of the people that were good at that are actually getting paid now. Marketing isn't a dirty word anymore. So a lot has happened.
Which is good. Creative people are actually getting paid now, which I approve of (not that my approval was needed). The people that actually do good work seem to have grown up a lot and realized that they can get paid and not have to sell off every aspect of their work to do it. All of these things are good.
Steam and the iPad (really the iPhone/iPad/App Store thing) seem to be doing the majority of the work on the getting paid end. Some people still just release their stuff into the wild on PC, but most of the people who are actually making money seem to be doing it in those two places. Steam is cool and all, but I just don't really use it that much. It sure does make things easier on the PC side though. The few things that I have bought on there work great.
I did pick up an iPad (more than a year ago now) and have loved it. I am almost annoyed now when I have to use a PC to do something. It just seems inelegant. I wish there were more real work apps (a good vector graphics program where I could CONTROL THE OUTPUT FORMAT would be a start) but I find ways around for most things. And the games are just amazing.
I own more iPad games and have paid less money for those games than for any other device I have ever owned. Most of them aren't even crappy $1 games. I gladly pay more for premium games. Even then, $5 for Osmos or World of Goo seems like a steal. Stuff on Steam (or consoles, gods forbid) is usually 2-3 times as expensive. What it really means to me though is that I get to spread my love around more and take chances on things that I would not normally take chances on. Like board games for instance.
The best way for you to get me to pay $50 for a physical copy of your board game is to left me have a $5-10 version on my iPad. I had no idea that I liked board games so much. Sure, I had played the odd game of Catan or Tikal or Kill Dr. Lucky, but I had never really been that into board games. They just seemed so expensive and with so many rules to learn in the most un-video game like way: reading. I read a lot (I mean I have a freaking degree) but having to slog through a written set of rules longer than about a page just wasn't for me. That is where the iPad comes in. It doesn't let you make a wrong move for one. You always have to play by the rules. The game can teach you the rules in a more organic way, too. You know, like a good video game does. I picked up Small World (for $7 I think) and fell in love. This was quickly followed by Carcassonne, Blokus, Neuroshima Hex, Ascension, Cargo Runners and many others. And then I got to buying things.
Innocently enough, my partner bought me Munchkin for Christmas last year (and I bought her Munchkin Quest, but that is a story for a different time). This was followed by me buying multiple Munchkin expansions and realizing that digital versions of physical games just weren't enough. I decided to only get games that I didn't have digital versions of and ended up with Killer Bunnies, Frag, and Castle Panic. I got back into Magic in a big way (another story for another time, my love for Magic is great). Then I broke and got Small World. I'm not going to list off my entire collection here, but suffice to say there is a bit of over lap between my digital and physical collections.
Another thing happened to me. Last December I was between jobs and taking a little break at my family's home in northern Colorado. I was supposed to be working on a new project in Unity but got a bit grounded as the internet didn't work because of the cold (yeah, that is a thing that happens) and my laptop was also non-functional. I had the itch to create and had been playing a lot of board games, so insted of sitting on my hands, I trucked it to the Hobby Lobby and got some supplies. I started work then on what would become my first full board game. Since then I have been working on it as a bit of a side project that has slowly eaten all of my time and other side projects. It is almost full grown now and ready for release. My partner and I intend to release it as a constructible, pay-what-you-can, pdf (with more details in due time). We are super excited.
And that brings me to what the heck I am doing posting on this dang website after a year and a half. I am going to change this site into the site for our new imprint. This site never had more than about 25 readers anyway and they are all long gone now. I love squarespace and want to use them for hosting, but I see no reason to keep this particular site around. So there will be a name change with a real url this time. There will be a complete restructuring of the site (with lots of experimenting) to reflect the feel of out new imprint and mission. This won't just be a place for me to ramble on about indie games anymore. It will be the place where I put our stuff. I told you I was going to show you some stuff once upon a time. It is time for me to show you what I meant by that.