Indie Game Dev: The Democracy (Part 1)

From the dozen or so indie game dev (IGD) collaborations I've been part of, I think I've gotten a good scope of all the various types of management styles that are typical in this world.  I've seen an antisocial Project Lead whose development has been totally dead since day one, but will still leave a message once a month or so insisting "this project is not dead" (I'm actually still part of this collaborative, for "research purposes," and will likely do an article about it once it officially dies).  As mentioned in my last IGD article, I've also been part of projects full of talented people, that fell apart due to bad leadership and politics.  These are just a couple of the experiences I've had thus far in IGD.

The reason I'm writing this article right now is because I booted my computer, logged into Windows, and immediately started getting Discord notifications from a new game dev server I forgot to turn the alerts off of.  I'm now looking at a chat room where the story is being negotiated in the same manner as a start-up business being bought out by a conglomerate.  A couple of weekends ago, I was in a voice chat with these guys likewise listening to a democracy.  But before all that, I need to explain how I was recruited.

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Indie Game Dev: The Good and the Bad

I decided to take up indie game dev projects (which I'll compress to the acronym, "IGD," for my own sanity) at the top of 2018, and quite frankly, I love it.  But I've got to say, there are certain aspects of that world that are really frustrating.

Good: There Are a Lot of IGD Projects out There

Too many.  Anyone can come up with an idea, post an ad, get a few recruits, and voila: a collaborative is born.  What's great about that is there are so many fantastic ideas that really end up inspiring you to join and produce great quality work, which you probably wouldn't have unless you were part of a collaboration.  The variety excites you, and it's always nice to have options.

Bad: Most IGD Projects Fail

My guess is over 99%.  The evident downside of having no barrier to entry is that literally anyone can start an IGD project and assign themselves as Project Lead.  Being a Project Lead is a difficult and taxing job, and most who've done the aforementioned don't realize it (and unfortunately, some never do—and are puzzled when projects don't pan out as they originally intended).

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The Masters Division in MMA

Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock 3
Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock III—Oh My!

Last night at Bellator 145, the mixed martial arts (MMA) audience watched 31-year-old Daniel Straus contend for 28-year-old Patricio “Pitbull” Freire’s Bellator Featherweight Championship in an incredible bout that epitomizes what MMA fans love about the sport.  Two high-calibre, talented, youthful professional athletes at the prime of their career exchanging world-class techniques until they went the distance, and one of them was judged to be the superior athlete. 

When Straus had his hand raised and was crowned the new Bellator Featherweight Champion, it should’ve been the crowning achievement of not just Straus, but of Bellator: a new, young champion who could rise to be considered one of the best featherweights in the world.  However, the biggest takeaway coming out of Bellator 145 had to do with something else.

Prior to the Straus-Freire clash, an announcement was made.  Legendary competitors: Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, who had their first fight in 1993 at UFC 1, and a critically panned 36-minute rematch at UFC 5, will finish off their long rivalry in a third fight at a Bellator event in February 2016—a little over twenty-two years from their first clash. 

To say that the reaction was a bit polarizing would be a massive understatement.

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