a series of interesting choices thoughts on game design from paul sottosanti


what the future holds

My last day at Electronic Arts was officially last Friday. No need to worry; it was an entirely voluntary decision on my part and I hope to get a chance to work with the Maxis crew again in the future. Why did I leave? Well, there were a lot of contributing factors, but essentially it boils down to this: I was no longer excited about getting up and heading to work every morning. I realize that I speak from a position of privilege here; a lot of people don't have the luxury of doing what they love for a living, and are just happy to have a job in this economy. Still, I owed it to myself and to the people around me to make a change.

So what's next? A few things. For one, I'll have more time to update this blog, for another, I'm going to go back to my roots as a paper designer and work on designing some board games, and finally, I'm going to be trying my hand at indie game development. I've always loved the sense of innovation and exploration that's only possible in indie games, when you don't have shareholders to appease and huge budgets that have to be recovered. I've always loved the idea that you could make a game just to advance the medium, not to sell the most copies. I've always loved the way the community supports and rallies behind one another.

I'm also planning on brushing up on my programming skills; I've let them lapse a little bit over the years, and there's no room for pure designers when a team is anywhere from 1-3 people. I don't have any illusions of making the next Braid, or even anything as ambitious and impressive as Monaco or SpyParty. But I'm going to make some games, and put them out there, likely for free on this blog at first, and see how people like them. And I can safely say that I'm excited about that.

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  1. I hear Seattle is the hot new place for indie games. You should move there.

    • Actually Seattle does have a monthly indie meetup now, which is a start. :) But San Francisco’s indie community is pretty hard to beat. Jonathan Blow, Chris Hecker, Ron Carmel, Marc ten Bosch…

      Maybe at some point though!

  2. I agree with Gregory.

  3. Don’t believe them! It’s a myth. Can’t walk 2 blocks without bumping into an indie developer in SF!

  4. Best of luck, Paul! I am excited to see what project next catches your eye.

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