gdc 2012

John Romero To Prospective Indie Devs: What Are You Waiting For?

by Matt Bertz on Mar 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM

The Doom creator says if you want to start making games, there is no better time to start doing it than right now.

"Lots of people want to make indie games, and they are usually waiting for permission to do it," he told the GDC audience during his "Back To The Garage: The Return of Indie Development" discussion panel with Tim Sweeney (Gears of War), Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia), Markus "Notch" Persson (Minecraft), and Adam Saltsman (Canabalt). Some people are waiting to get a degree, and others are waiting for a job offer, but Romero says the best way to go about making it your career is to jump in head first. "All the information is right there. Just find some people and make a game."

Romero, who is best known for his work with id Software, is currently making social games for Loot Drop alongside former id colleague Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite.

During the enlightening talk, which covered topics like finding funding, building relationships with the press, good development platforms for beginners, and the empowerment of digital distribution, moderator Jane Pinckard also brought up the touchy subject of idea theft. Epic Games' Tim Sweeney admitted that even his company openly discussed this possibility when entertaining the thought of moving into the mobile space, and ultimately they decided that Epic needed to leverage their studio's considerable artistic talent to build more complex games so companies like Zynga couldn't rapidly clone their work. If your team isn't big enough to do that, he suggested putting as much work into doing PR for your game as you do making it to take ownership of the idea publicly.