Welcome back, OMGeeks! We're here today to continue our discussion of Eden Industries' brand-new indie support movement called the Garden of Indie. We posted part 1 of this two-part story yesterday.
"Right now the Garden of Indie is still in its beta stages, so we’re cautiously testing the waters to see how we can make it work," says Ryan Vandendyck, founder of Waveform developer Eden Industries. He went on to briefly outline two current projects they're currently handling under the Garden of Indie movement.
The first is a partnership with some students from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Eden Industries currently works with them in a practicum setting, giving them some proper exposure to practical game development and allowing them to discover the types of development they're interested in and that they wish to pursue further. It's simply a great opportunity, being able to experiment and explore the game development process while in school.
The second deals with their lead level designer on Waveform, Robin Vincent. Robin is currently working with a small team he has put together to develop a new strategy game. What Eden Industries was able to do was to provide Robin with a customized engine and creation tools that were familiar to him as a level design on Waveform, but that also allowed him and his team the flexibility to bring their own vision for their game to life. Eden Industries will also assist Robin with the release of his game once it's completed.
The Garden of Indie really isn't a clear thing that's set in stone, based on these examples. The basic idea behind it, however, is consistent: it exists to help indie developers -- both individuals and teams -- to develop the games that they want to make. Each partnership will be unique depending on the needs of the developers, and whether theirs is a kind of need that Eden Industries is ready to provide.
In any case, this is one giant step further for the indie games industry. The Garden of Indie may just save many great ideas and take them all the way to completion.
We also took the opportunity to inquire further about what the Garden of Indie is all about, and what aspiring devs should probably know about the project. As always, we'd like to thank Ryan Vandendyck for taking the time to answer our questions.
OMGeek: The money question: how will you charge for this service?
Ryan: Well I think the key word here is that it’s a partnership. I’m trying something new in terms of how it came about and how it’s going to proceed towards the end, but at the end of the day it’s still a partnership. That means everyone involved are taking a risk and so we’ll all share in the profit when it’s done. An important differentiating factor is that it’s a partnership, not a service.
OMGeek: How will this affect he ownership of the resulting game?
Ryan: I’d imagine that whoever came up with the concept would own the IP. We definitely don’t want to act like a publisher and take the IP from the creators. But again I want to come back to the idea that this initiative is a partnership. I don’t really want to work with someone that would just use us to get their idea off the ground and then toss us aside. If the partnership works out well, I’d want to work with them again to keep exploring the idea and foster the partnership between us. I prefer to work with people in terms of mutual respect rather than contractual obligations. And by that I mean that the other party would ‘own’ the IP, but that’s not really the way I like working. I had too much of that kind of stuff in the mainstream industry.
OMGeek: What's the closest equivalent existing service that you can compare with the Garden of Indie movement?
Ryan: The closest thing that I know of would probably be the traditional developer-publisher model in the mainstream industry. But even that is pretty far off the mark of what we’re trying to accomplish. But it is similar in the fact that two parties come together to pair their individual strengths to make a game. But the process will be very different.
OMGeek: What's the application process for participating in the Garden of Indie? Where should interested devs go?
Ryan: Well we’re not accepting any applications at the moment, since this initiative is still in its infancy. Once we work through this trial run and work out the kinks we’ll try opening it up to more people. But any interested devs should stay tuned to our website for any announcements regarding it. And of course they can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
OMGeek: Are you open to developing a partnership with aspiring developers located elsewhere in the world -- say, for example, Southeast Asia?
Ryan: Absolutely! The trick is just finding the right people that are talented, passionate, and fit the goals that we’re trying to accomplish through this initiative. But Waveform was already made with people around the world, and we love fostering an international indie community, so we’re definitely open to it.
OMGeek: Thank you!
Ever dreamed of developing your own game? Everyone has that image of the perfect game incubating in their heads. Or perhaps you're already an indie game developer who just needs a bit of support in the right areas. Either way, take notice! The Garden of Indie looks to be a promising start to the formation of a greater friendly community of game creators.