During GDC 2011, Gamasutra Editor in Chief, Brandon Sheffield and Game Developer Magazine held a discussion with some of the most successful Xbox Live Indie Game developers including James Silva, Robert Boyd, Nathan Fouts, and Ian Stoker. They all provided insight and a little bit of ranting about the games that they create for the indie lineup.
According to James Silva who created the 2009 successful indie title, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1 which has sold 308,000 copies since it's release in 2009, the developers are not allowed to create games involving killing things like Nazi's and hunting people.
"That's like an inherent human right that's been taken away from us. We grew up on killing Nazis." According to Joystiq, Silva later talks about a game concept he had that was not allowed, because you played a "burly mountain man" who hunts people.
Whoever gets to publish their game on the indie network receive 70% of revenue, while Microsoft keeps 30%. This has helped to provide Silva with the ability to pay his three person staff which includes his girlfriend, a regular salary.
A topic that all of the developers are united on is the lack of support on Microsoft's end for advertising. They claim that most if not all of the advertising is done by themselves through Youtube trailers, press releases, and even making wiki pages and finding advertisers for their games themselves. Both Robert Boyd and Ian Stoker have created their own promotions for their games and even got together to do a cross advertising of Cthulu Saves the World and SoulCaster II.
To read more of the excerpts from the panel including what the developers were doing before they started developing the Indie Games for Xbox Live, on Armless Octopus.
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