★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

How are you dealing with Sword & Sworcery Envy?

03-24-2011, 01:00 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 77
How are you dealing with Sword & Sworcery Envy?

Let me just get this off my chest. Whereas I think #sworcery is an awesome game, and I think it deserves the high praise it's received, and I am very happy that it's broken into the top 10 in all markets in which it is available except Japan and only because Japan is repairing its infrastructure at the moment, and I'm even thrilled that a comparatively small team could put together such a polished mega-hit because it gives me hope that my small team can do the same...

All that said, I have to admit I'm a little jealous.

I mean, the game I'm making is nothing like Superbrothers' -- how could it be? There's nothing quite like Sword & Sworcery out there. Someone on Twitter last night described it as an "Indie Rock album in video game form", an aesthetic that appeals to a certain demographic that apparently includes most game reviewers and all of Canada.

Our game is doing its own thing -- Steven Spielberg famously said he only makes movies he wants to watch, and we're making the game we want to play. We hope it's going to do well, but when I compare what we're doing to what's actually selling well, I have to admit I get a little nervous.

Part of me thinks I should just stop playing games until mine is complete, so I don't second-guess myself like this. Anyone else feeling that way, or am I just completely insane?

Fuzzy Professor Head LLC -- Makers of Puppysaurus! On Twitter / Facebook
03-24-2011, 01:24 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Actually jealousy is not one of my many vices. (I have plenty of others though).

While I don't really get jealous about other people's succes I can get fairly annoyed about the success of stuff I consider mediocre. (Like most Michael Bay films).

S&S on the other hand looks fantastic and according to the reviews it more than lives up to the hype. It is also heartwarming to see that something with a clearly artistic vision succeed. If my birthday in mid-April brings along an iPad this will be the first title I pick up.

03-24-2011, 01:40 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyprofessorhead View Post
Let me just get this off my chest. Whereas I think #sworcery is an awesome game, and I think it deserves the high praise it's received, and I am very happy that it's broken into the top 10 in all markets in which it is available except Japan and only because Japan is repairing its infrastructure at the moment, and I'm even thrilled that a comparatively small team could put together such a polished mega-hit because it gives me hope that my small team can do the same...

All that said, I have to admit I'm a little jealous.

I mean, the game I'm making is nothing like Superbrothers' -- how could it be? There's nothing quite like Sword & Sworcery out there. Someone on Twitter last night described it as an "Indie Rock album in video game form", an aesthetic that appeals to a certain demographic that apparently includes most game reviewers and all of Canada.

Our game is doing its own thing -- Steven Spielberg famously said he only makes movies he wants to watch, and we're making the game we want to play. We hope it's going to do well, but when I compare what we're doing to what's actually selling well, I have to admit I get a little nervous.

Part of me thinks I should just stop playing games until mine is complete, so I don't second-guess myself like this. Anyone else feeling that way, or am I just completely insane?
Just make YOUR game. It's tough not to be influenced by readily-available (and tweeted) "competitors" but one of the most important aspects of developing culture of any form is having a vision, and sticking to it.

If S:S&SEP is any kind of a success, it's because Superbrothers/Capy/Jim knew what we wanted to make - we had a vision - and we just stuck to it no matter how many millions of dollars Angry Birds or Tiny Wings made.

This doesn't ensure any type of success, but it does ensure that you make something genuine, which IMO is the most important job of anyone making anything.

Sorry if this is heady, but seriously, if you have a clear vision, see it through with love.

It's Nathan from Capy! Collaborators on Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
03-24-2011, 02:02 PM
#4
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 425
I have no jealously because they followed their vision to the end.

The simple thing is quality shows through and all we can do is make the best Apps we can make with the budgets we work with.

I know one thing now, you need to spend money on development - the days of throwing an App together in a few short weeks are long gone now. The public are starting to expect quality now and crappy games are basically worthless to release now - unless you want to throw away time and money.
03-24-2011, 03:10 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Posts: 269
I think it's inspiring.

There seriously has never been a better time to be an indie game developer. It's awesome to see a group of people get together and find success from something they made.

Games: Boom Boat | Boom Boat 2
Developer: Razoric.com
Social: Twitter | Facebook
03-24-2011, 03:22 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razoric View Post
I think it's inspiring.

There seriously has never been a better time to be an indie game developer. It's awesome to see a group of people get together and find success from something they made.
amen. it is probably absolutely the best time to be indie right now, but as good as it is, it's also quite horrible. I equate it to the Seattle music scene in the early 1990s when grunge rock broke, in a way.. lots of people were working hard, some got noticed and took off huge, while others were ignored and continued to starve.

Don't let the success of some apps daunt you, and don't be deterred from working on your "little lower-production quality production." if this new wireless market has taught me anything, it is that there is a whole new market (and a whole new type of customer) out there, and therefore a different type of gameplay experience must be crafted. While there will be the S&S's and Infinity Blades, more successful/appreciated by the market at large will (still) be the Doodle Jumps, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, etc. Yes, it is much harder to score a direct hit when trying to emulate the success of such an app, but those ease-of-use (and approach) apps will still appeal to a much broader part of the market.

On the other side of it, this market is still barely beginning to unfold, and there's so much ground which has not yet been covered. Yeah, the days of "shitting something out = getting paid" are long gone, but the ideas and executions which will make your jaw drop are barely a glimmer right now.
03-24-2011, 03:26 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
Not jealous. I was just having this conversation at lunch. I'm pretty much only interested in games that are within my own limits to create. Don't get me wrong, the game looks awesome -- but I'll probably not download it.

Honestly, the game that really inspired me and continues to sit in the back of my mind is "Pizza Boy". I just think they nailed the look, scale, etc... and kept it a tight game.
03-24-2011, 03:34 PM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenoclone View Post
Not jealous. I was just having this conversation at lunch. I'm pretty much only interested in games that are within my own limits to create. Don't get me wrong, the game looks awesome -- but I'll probably not download it.

Honestly, the game that really inspired me and continues to sit in the back of my mind is "Pizza Boy". I just think they nailed the look, scale, etc... and kept it a tight game.
Pizza Boy is pretty rad. I had to download it after all the good things I heard.
Even so, the control still isn't there for me, and therefore neither is the experience. That's kind of what I was getting at in my rant above ("we've barely seen much interesting ideas and executions with this new format")

I'm working on it
03-24-2011, 04:11 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 385
ok, its a Point and click game. its done well. but once i started playing it was like ok. i dont see why i got all hyped up. granted its a piece of art no doubt. but theres nothing magical about it.

its a point and click adventure done very well. thats it
03-24-2011, 04:33 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
Actually jealousy is not one of my many vices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinthNinja View Post
I have no jealously
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razoric View Post
I think it's inspiring.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenoclone View Post
Not jealous.
Awesome! I finally have irrefutable, objective proof that I am a total freak. Thanks Touch Arcade!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinthNinja View Post
The simple thing is quality shows through and all we can do is make the best Apps we can make with the budgets we work with.
Yes, but quality isn't enough. Our game has great aesthetics, well-balanced gameplay, unified narrative and mechanics, and a few never-before-seen features/ideas -- but those things are necessary for success, they are not sufficient.

The source of my envy is that Superbrothers' peculiar artistic vision resonates with most human beings. And that they got there without Zynga-like corporate processing of those human beings into raw materials. This is magic, and I want to be magical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capy_Nathan View Post
This doesn't ensure any type of success, but it does ensure that you make something genuine, which IMO is the most important job of anyone making anything.

Sorry if this is heady, but seriously, if you have a clear vision, see it through with love.
...and THAT is not only great advice, but also a great antidote for moping. Thank you.

Fuzzy Professor Head LLC -- Makers of Puppysaurus! On Twitter / Facebook