This email interview of Jonathan Blow was conducted by Jeff Lindsay a few weeks ago. Please disregard the excessive personality-glorifcation at the beginning.
This was a good interview to do, because I managed to clarify several points in my thinking about game development.Â Here’s an excerpt:
Marketing is not, in fact, a need.Â Getting enough people to buy your game such that you make money is not a need, if you really care about the integrity of what you are making.Â That integrity is the primary need; earning enough money through selling that thing, such that you can make more without taking up another job or whatever, is a luxury. People bend to this luxury all the time.Â There are lots of ways to rationalize it.Â But I think it is usually due to weakness — or rather, lack of commitment to principles.
Among indies there is some kind of desire to be more like bigger companies, to be “professional” about making games.Â Owning a business and making money and having business cards is all part of that.Â But if you really care about games, it’s a huge mistake, and being “professional” will only hurt your work and cause it to be mediocre. Business is, inherently, a corruptive influence on everything that is non-business.