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Former Uncharted 2 Designer Asks Indie Devs To Take Risks

"Don't be afraid to try and fail." Good advice in all walks of life.

During his Global Game Jam 2014 Keynote video, former Naughty Dog Lead Designer Richard Lemarchand asked indie developers to "take risks" and create interactive experiences we've never seen before.

As reported by GameSpot, the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves designer said he's seeing a lot of the same ol' same ol'. The key is to break free of established molds:

"Every year loads of really fantastic games come out of the Global Game Jam, but quite a few of them are variations on old games or familiar genres. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you accept my challenge, you'll be agreeing to take a risk this weekend by trying to create what we call an experimental game, a game that does something entirely new, in a style that we've never seen before, or with a core mechanic that is completely unique."

He cited Tale of Tales' The Graveyard as the inspiration behind a certain segment in Uncharted 2. Remember that peaceful village sequence...? He also said that many game makers today keep a close eye on the experimental game scene at IndieCade, IGF, and GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop. Above all else, though, he said you should never be afraid to reach for the stars:

"My final tip for you today is that you shouldn't be afraid to fail. Even if you don't like the way your experimental game works out, I guarantee that by making it you will learn something about making games, and the next time you make a game you'll be much more likely to make something truly brilliant."

Lemarchand is an associate professor at the Interactive Media & Games Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. His accomplishments are clear. Now, it's time go accomplish on your own!

Tags: gaming industry, indie games, video games, richard lemarchand

1/26/2014 10:16:58 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (3 posts)

Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 10:32:17 PM

I like all of that but there's this thing called money that these certain places called publishers are super lame about helping out with.

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 11:14:57 PM

A fine ethic for a Game Jam, but, unfortunately, not practical for an individual or small group looking to make some money out of making games. Most people aren't willing to go out on a limb for the little guy, especially when said little guy is bringing something new to the table, and so there needs to be that element of familiarity before it will be accepted by the masses.

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Monday, January 27, 2014 @ 2:24:52 AM

oh BS!
of course making mistakes is always part of the creation process, but what he forgets to mention is failure in this industry normally means death!
how many big studios, forget indies, big studios with high reputations, have we seen disappear because ONE of their games did not go well.
hell look at david jaffee, he is one of THE most highly respected guys in this industry, hes made multiple multi BILLION dollar franchises, then the TM reboot came out, didnt do too well, and we havent heard from him since!
same for his whole team, now there saying there going to go and create mobile games there done with high expensive console development.
how many times has jaffe b*tched about the expenses of console development?

or team bondi, bit off more than they could chew, created a truly innovative and amazing game, such a unique and cool concept, amazing new facial technology, and a really good game.
but again it did not sell as well as it needed to and they went bankrupt!
the only reason there still alive is the gov grants, and they were bought out.
but because of the financial failure of LA Noire there now struggling to find a publisher for their next game whore of the orient.
if LA noire was called call of duty LAPD edition it would of broken sales records, and now team bondi would have publishers oozing out of their ears!
but it didnt, it sold poorly, so now publishers dont want to know them.

hell, kingdoms of amalur reckoning, one of the best RPGs released last gen!
had some of this industries biggest most respected developers, published and marketed by one of the biggest publishers out there, and oh whats this?
there bankrupt?
who would of guessed that result!?

how many big name studios are now turning to kickstarter for their projects?
simply because they know publishers will not go for them!
the guys who are doing project cars one of the most impressive best looking racers out there!
and the developers of the shift series.
or bigbear now turned to kickstarter for their new car game focusing on highly realistic car damage modeling using soft body physics.

or a indie studio, the guys who were doing 6 days in fallujah.
yea that game never released because of the controversy, but more so because there not exactly known for high quality high selling games.
how much you wanna bet if IW turned around and said hey we wanna do that, how would antivision react?
great, heres a bucket load of money!
but what about all the backlash and controversy?
dont worry let us handle that.
but because its a small indie studio not exactly known for AAA $$$$$$$ titles, they run for the hills at breakneck speed!

moral of the story being yea its great to shoot for the stars and try to do something unique and creative, that would be the way to go if we lived in a perfect world, but sadly we dont!
at the end of the day the more out there and ambitious a idea is, the higher risk of it being your last.
im not saying that always happens, you do get freak success stories hell look at minecraft!
but unfortunately thats the exception, not the rule.

nothing pisses me off more than when big shot developers come out and spew this sh*t!
its ok for them, if ND spends 150M creating a game and it sells 1M copies who cares $onys not going to close them!
if a indie developer spent 20M making a game and failed to make the money back he has practically ZERO chance of landing a publisher EVER again!
ok so he goes to kickstarter big deal.
sorry not that simple, if a guys last game tanked are you going to invest in his next?
dident think so.

Last edited by ___________ on 1/27/2014 2:39:07 AM

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