We at Indie Haven like to get you as close as possible to the games you love and the people making them. That’s why every month we aim to bring together a wide selection of of Indie Developers from all walks of life, from BAFTA winners to teenage and student devs, to discuss the hottest issues affecting games, development, coverage and the Indie community. These chats will be broken up into chunks and released across the month, before we start all over again with new developers and new questions.

If you’re an Indie Dev of any size that would like to take part in a future roundtable, please email Laurak@IndieHaven.com and let us know a little about yourself. The more the merrier.

“What game would you make if you had a AAA budget for a single project?”

Charlie Nash: Hmmm

Megan Fox: Hrm. Pretty much the same game I’m making right now, just more of it. Hot Tin Roof would become a sprawling game that looked more like a big-budget Bastion, or a Psychonauts, etc.

Charlie Nash: I would make a Bioshock RPG MMO set in a pristine Rapture. Most of the budget would go towards getting the rights.

Alan Zucconi: Haha once again, I would make MY game, but with a AAA budget. Yes, I always criticise AAA, but secretly, I wish I could have the resources to make a game such as Portal.

Kyle Welsh: You just have to mod things and get Valve to hire you then haha

Alan Zucconi: Hahah no no, the game wouldn’t feel “mine” then.

Stacy Smith: I think the temptation is to say “current game, bigger scope” but if I could hire extra artists, extra music people, more coders, essentially a ‘team’ and a chance to buy IP it’d be a Zelda-style game based on my favourite childhood books, The Deptford Mice Trilogy.

Laura Kate: What changes would you want to make to your own game with that money?

Megan Fox: Honestly, I don’t want to be a AAA studio, 100 people, blah. So when I said the above, realize, I didn’t mean 100 million budget or whatever. Yikes. I want to get to doing what Double Fine does. A couple irons in the fire, around 40 people, enough excess for some solid creativity-building exercises, etc. That’s the top for me. I have zero interest in doing a Red Dead Redemption budgeted game. Like, I’d flat out refuse it, if I was given that money. I’d take 10 million instead, go off and pull a Double Fine and bank the rest or give it to another indie or something.

Kyle Welsh: There’s so much that could be done to ours (Crystal Reign) with a bit more funding. As it stands, we’re rushing to get it out and dropping a lot of polish and possible extra features because we need some revenue!

Stacy Smith: That might strike people as odd but I think if I had a AAA budget I’d want to invest it in re-creating the kind of things I saw in my young imagination. Plus, Audrey Brown would be an exceptionally well-written female protagonist. Not sure a core audience would be able to handle a game where you play a mouse in a pink skirt though.

Alan Zucconi: Being a developer myself, my games often have very minimalist graphics. With a very big budget I could really make something that is as polished as Destiny, but with the innovative gameplay of Still Time

Kyle Welsh: Agree with Megan there, too. Our long term goal is to have 20-30 people – main team on current dev and two small teams – one on design and bug testing, the other looking after old titles through patches, further dev etc. LONG term haha

Charlie Nash: I would make a sweatshop, filled with underpaid staff.

Stacy Smith: It’s funny though, they did a study about this a few years ago. Give a decent years salary to a homeless person and see how well they fare. The result: not well. If someone used to a small budget gets a big lump sum they’ll spend it haphazardly. 100K makes a poor person feel like a millionaire and they overestimate their current buying power. This could explain why so many very well funded kickstarters fail.

Laura Kate: Stacy, I think you might be hitting the nail on the head, reminds me of what people said after Double Fine smashed their crowdfunding goal then overspent their new budget.

Kyle Welsh: Yeah the internet were…displeased…by that.

Stacy Smith: Well some of them were. I thought it was hilarious.

Alan Zucconi: Yes. 100K seems a lot, but it isn’t. Especially if you have a look at an average salary for a developer and an artist and a musician!

Kyle Welsh: I think it’s a trap that a lot of start-ups fall into as well: “Look at all of this money we have from [funding source] let’s hire a 10-man team and make loads of cash!”

About The Author

Founding Member

Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email: Laurak@indiehaven.com

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