Recently there has been a lot of chatter regarding copyright, theft, cloning and ripping off of game ideas and assets leading to a huge negative response to some individuals. As an indie game developer it’s been disheartening to see the abuse, to know one guy has to deal with unwarranted levels of hate, unnecessary barrages of personal attacks. This is not what making games should result in.
Fortunately there is a silver lining, LOADS of indie devs have hit back at the abuse, hit back at the haters and come up with the best way to show support to those in our community – making games!
There have been a few game jams that sprung up in support of indie devs facing some sort of negative backlash; CandyJam was set up to oppose trademark claims made against Stoic and more recently Flappy Jam was set up to encourage indie devs to support each other after the backlash against Flappy Bird caused the developer to remove the game.
There is much speculation about the exact reason Dong Nguyen decided to remove Flappy Bird, maybe we’ll get a comprehensive answer from the man himself someday but until then I have no intention of adding to the speculation. It’s beside the point here anyway; this post is a look at the positive things to have come about as result of Flappy Bird, namely Flappy Jam and the support of loads of indie developers.
Ivano Palmentieri, the mastermind behind Flappy Jam, wants to remind everyone that
“indie gamedevs are friendly and supportive, envy and teasing should not belong to our community, nor be a cause of suffering.”
And he seems to be right about the friendly and supportive gamedevs because there are already 12 games available from www.flappyjam.com. Every one made in the same spirit – we are here to be part of something positive. If you search #flappyjam on Twitter you can also see how many more indies are getting into the spirit of support with many more games still in development. I hope Dong Nguyen and everyone who’s ever faced such negative backlash about their games feels the support and realises that we all can pull together and move past hate.
I’d happily say that the majority of the indie dev community are supportive of each other but I have no actual stats to back it up. Still, based on my own experience this is a great industry to be in. I’ve only ever encountered a sense of friendship, of camaraderie and togetherness in my time trying to make games. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I just hope it stays that way.