Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
arrowPress Releases
  • Editor-In-Chief:
    Kris Graft
  • Editor:
    Alex Wawro
  • Contributors:
    Chris Kerr
    Alissa McAloon
    Emma Kidwell
    Bryant Francis
    Katherine Cross
  • Advertising:
    Libby Kruse

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Jake Birkett's Blog   Expert Blogs


Hi, I’m Jake Birkett, owner of Grey Alien Games. I produce, design and program Indie games.

In 2005, after nearly a decade of developing stock control and accounting systems for bookshops in the UK, I formed my own company in a bid to realise a lifelong dream to make games! Thirteen years later I have eleven games under my belt including Shadowhand, Regency Solitaire, and Spooky Bonus.

Having been both an Independent developer and an employee in the casual game industry at Big Fish Games, I can offer my perspective of these different approaches and am knowledgeable about running a business. Due to the small manageable nature of downloadable casual games (they typically take 3-12 months to make with only a handful of team members), I have experience with every stage of the development process from design and implementation to testing and localisation.

I have been playing games all my life and love to put my experience to good use by making great fun games. As well as brainstorming new ideas with other designers I enjoy honing the fine details to give games that all-important polished feel.

I’m also the co-founder of Full Indie, a Vancouver-based meetup group for indie game developers, and I run Full Indie UK.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Jake Birkett on Mon, 08 Oct 2018 12:59:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
How do you choose which game to make next? These are three factors you should definitely consider.

Posted by Jake Birkett on Fri, 04 May 2018 04:03:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Console/PC, Indie
Back in 2014, before SteamSpy, I wrote about using Steams review count to estimate sales. Now that SteamSpy is unable to show the number of owners due to Valves privacy policy changes, the review count method has become valid again!

Posted by Jake Birkett on Wed, 25 Apr 2018 03:55:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
I recently asked developers to share their Steam wishlist-related data because I wanted to know the relationship between wishlists at launch and sales at launch. Here's what I found out.

Posted by Jake Birkett on Mon, 26 Mar 2018 09:30:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Indie
Recently I asked a bunch of devs how their week one revenue on Steam compared to their year one revenue. I was interested to see if the first week could in any way be a decent predictor of longer term sales.

Posted by Jake Birkett on Wed, 17 Feb 2016 02:08:00 EST in Business/Marketing, Indie
Recently I asked indies on Twitter for their sustainability tips and have collated the results in this post.

Posted by Jake Birkett on Tue, 22 Jan 2013 01:10:00 EST in Business/Marketing
I did an analysis of 3 of my games to see the breakdown in sales per platform. I had a gut feeling that PC way outperformed Mac and mobile but I wanted to 100% confirm that. This post has all the juicy details and charts!

Jake Birkett's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/08/2018 - 12:59]

Hi Mark. r n r ...

Hi Mark. r n r nWell the issue is how big is the market because a market of 1 e.g. yourself or your mum/mom isn 't going to sustain a business. So I would say that not every game has a viable market. r n r nI still see people ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/04/2018 - 04:03]

Thanks for sharing Josh. Your ...

Thanks for sharing Josh. Your game bucks the trend in that it 's a Roguelike with a low ratio. But it does have a super high review score which might help. Also fans of course. I have asked for reviews several times as well and it works. Not in a ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/25/2018 - 03:55]

Hmm I wrote a big ...

Hmm I wrote a big long reply and it disappeared. This is a test.

Comment In: [News - 01/26/2018 - 06:11]

Hmm, so I 've said ...

Hmm, so I 've said don 't make long games if you can 't afford to. Make shorter games so you don 't end up in trouble. Shorter doesn 't mean shovelware. Also one person 's shovelware is another person 's favourite game. r n r nHow do you think ...

Comment In: [News - 02/08/2017 - 02:41]

Yes, what would be good ...

Yes, what would be good is to see that same graph but just using the indie tag to exclude AAA.

Comment In: [Blog - 02/17/2016 - 02:08]

Hi Phil, yes good expansion ...

Hi Phil, yes good expansion on the make small games point. Though I 'd say, the first thing people should do when learning is make REALLY small games, like minigames. But agreed, their first commercial game should be small in scope, but not so small that it can 't be ...