This article is the second in a series, providing summaries of the panel presentations at ARGFest-o-Con 2008 in Boston.
The second panel discussion featured Ken Eklund of World Without Oil as moderator, Brian Clark (GMD Studios), Alice Leung (BBN Technologies), and Dave Szulborski. The panel discussed a little of everything, from projects born from passion to penny-pinching PMs and politics.
Dave Szulborski noted that independent games are the mainstay of the genre, and kept it alive when marketing executives were questioning its effectiveness. He noted that successful games of any type tend to inspire new developers to try their hand in development. Independent ARGs also encourage developers to innovate in new and surprising ways. As Brian Clark noted, “the riskiest things we do are those we do for ourselves,” and grassroots games are the ideal testing grounds for aspiring developers, as long as the project doesn’t serve as a resume of technical development skills that avoids the critical “fun” factor necessary for independent and serious games alike.