Great Indie Game Developer Advice

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
By: Matthew Doucette

Just a quote. Great advice from Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games, the indie game developer behind Breath of Death VII, one of the top rated Xbox LIVE Indie Games in the United States*.

As for the debate between doing quick and easy games or better long games that take forever to develop, why does it have to be an either/or? Breath of Death VII only took the two of us 3 months to make and it's considered to be one of the best games on the service. Get a partner to help cover your weaknesses (I can't draw worth anything, but Bill is great at that retro style) and to help motivate you. Build your code with reusability in mind (sure, it might have taken a week or two to figure out save/loading with BoDVII, but with future games, it'll probably take a few hours at all since I can just copy/paste a lot) and you're well on your way to make great games that don't take forever to develop.

One thing that really helped us was to have a plan going in to development. We took a good hard look at what we wanted to accomplish and in what kind of time frame. It would have been very easy to have turned our game into a development nightmare that would have taken years to complete (late SNES era graphics, 20 hour quest, etc.), but since we had a goal for how long we wanted to take making it, we were able to go through and cut out those features that weren't essential for fun that would have taken us forever to implement. And hey, with our next game, we can start adding features that we weren't able to implement in our first game since we're more experienced and have a bunch of code to start us off with.

- Robert Boyd,

Here's a trailer of Breath of Death VII:

Breath of Death VII: Retro Parody for Xbox LIVE Indie Games (80 Microsoft Points)

*We are proud that our own Decimation X is the #1 top rated Xbox LIVE Indie Games in Japan.


That is all.


About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.