Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Development Quote of the Week: Markus “Notch” Persson

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 29, 2013

I changed the title from last week’s “Game Design Quote of the Week” to “Game Development Quote of the Week” Because as important as design is, it’s only part of the equation.

This one comes from the fedora’d one, Markus “Notch” Persson of Minecraft fame, in an interview at Bafta Guru a couple of years back, about his early days as a game programmer…

“It was kind of intense. We spent one or two months on each game. During my time at King.com I made around 20 to 30 games. I was the programmer and I had a games designer and an artist. That was basically it. The thing I learned there was how to actually finish projects, which was very, very valuable.”

Lots of little nuggets of wisdom can be pulled from this:

#1 -Learn to finish projects. This is probably the single most important skill you can have as an indie developer. Sadly, a lot of indies fail because they don’t know how to do this… and I fear a lot of the Kickstarter projects out there right now are run by people lacking that skill, who believe that a little bit of money is a good substitute.

#2 – Tiny games with tight turn-around can be invaluable training as a game developer.

#3 – And once again, we see how years of butt-busting usually precede becoming an “overnight success.” There are never any guarantees as an indie developer, but “You aren’t going to knock it out of the park on your first try” comes pretty close. Even with tiny little projects, an indie team should focus on the long haul.

Filed Under: Game Development - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • OttoMoBiehl said,

    I like this.

    I’ve been toying around with idea of putting a fresh Linux install on one of my old machines and using ANSI C making 30 small text based games using nothing but the basic libraries. After that adding a library, maybe something like the curses library and making 30 more small text games. Adding another library and rinse and repeat by keep adding libraries and making new, small games.

    The logic behind this is the fact that I learned to program BASIC on my TRS-80 CoCo/C64 by making small text adventure D&D style games back in the 80s. I did this until I was very comfortable with the language. Same for ASM. Just write some basic text games that are short and easy to finish. I still remember how giddy I was when I learned how to write basic math routines in ASM and use them to write a crappy random number generator.