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Rebel, Rebel: Independents Congregate in Austin to Take On Gaming's Mainstream
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Rebel, Rebel: Independents Congregate in Austin to Take On Gaming's Mainstream


August 1, 2006 Article Start Page 1 of 3 Next
 

A War of Fun

The troops are mustering. The plans are in the works, and the lines are drawn. Get ready for war.

But don't forget to have fun.

For most of the Texas Independent Game Conference, which convened for the first time last weekend in Austin, the tone was relaxed and friendly, even when speakers such as keynotes Greg Costikyan and Warren Spector elevated the mission of independent game developers to a battle for the medium's continued survival, offering their best words of encouragement while warning that success is not guaranteed. Commercial success, Spector said, can't be a driving force for “indies” -- rather, the drive should come from the desire to change the world. “You have to believe games can be more than they are now,” he said.


Warren Spector referenced occultist Aleister Crowley, suggesting that greatness is a form of deviltry.

About 140 people attended the two-day convention, according to conference director Steve Farrer. The conference came together after Farrer, who previously helped direct the Austin Game Conference, was approached by many independent developers expressing interest in coming together on their own terms, for a conference all their own.

The conference shared much with other game cons, with many trades of chatter, business cards and resumes and a range of vocations from students to seasoned veterans. Though most of the attendees were from Austin with a few more from elsewhere in Texas, some came from as far away as both coasts.

Liam Hislop, an instructor with Full Sail in Orlando, Florida, said many of his game development students saw going indie as a way to make the kind of games they want to make, outside of the big-publisher system. “We really need to see some kind of collective experience or collective knowledge somehow,” Hislop said.


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