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Practically Indie: Fire Hose Games Interview - Part Two

IndieMonth | 26d ago
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In part two of the interview, Cat talks to Eitan Glinert, Fire Hose Games Fire Chief, about VR, the accelerator program that incubates indies, and gauche money stuff.

CAT: What are your thoughts about VR? And developing for Oculus?

EITAN: I was skeptical until I tried out the Valve test kits, and they converted me to a true believer. I still think we're still a year or two away from VR really penetrating the marketplace, but I think that by the later part of this decade we'll be seeing some really incredible VR games that will blow the current stuff out of the water. And I'll definitely want to make one or two of those games!

CAT: What does being an independent developer mean to you? And what do you think of the current indie scene?

EITAN: Indie to me means that you aren't getting paid to make your game, and that you're risking your own skin to create the game you're working on. I don't like the other definitions of indie because it gets bullshitty fast when you try to say who is and who isn't indie.

I think that the current indie scene is both fantastic and terrifying. It's fantastic because I've never seen more innovation in games, and I love playing games that feel genuinely creative and original. The quality of indie games feels like it's going up too. It's terrifying because I think it's a bit of a gold rush, with tons of people rushing to get "into" indie gaming, only to discover that it's incredibly hard to be successful.

CAT: Can you talk about the financial realities of being independent? I know that after the release of Slam Bolt Scrappers, things weren't always easy.

EITAN:As a lot of folks know it's very tough to be indie. Making video games as an indie has become something of a gold rush, there are a ton of aspiring developers flooding the market for attention, which makes it even harder for the average indie to make a buck. People who want to make an indie game need to have a plan nowadays beyond just "I'll spend a few months and make a great game" if they want to have any chance of success. You asked about Slam Bolt Scrappers, that was a sad story for us. We bet a lot on the game and had a lot of buzz around it going into launch. However it really underperformed, especially on PS3 due to the hack which caused the store to go offline for 2 months right after we launched. It even led to layoffs here at Fire Hose. That's the sad truth about indie development, usually it's not nearly as glamorous as you'd hope and there's a lot of failure!

CAT:Talk a bit about your accelerator program?

EITAN: Only because you asked me so nicely :) Our accelerator program is designed to help mitigate the gold rush problems I mentioned above for developers that work with us. The core idea is that talented developers work at Fire Hose with us on a daily basis and we help them make their game a reality, providing minimal financial support, networking help and guidance, and the resources necessary to finish the game. Then when the game comes out we take a cut of the royalties. It's different from traditional publishing in that we actually work in house with the developers, and we're developers ourselves!

CAT:Is it the first of its kind - why *didn’t* this exist before? And why were you the folks to notice and do something about it?

EITAN: Nowadays there are more people doing this sort of thing so it's not quite as rare as it was when we started a year ago. At the time I got the idea from the work I had done co-founding the Indie Megabooth - I was amazed at seeing what indies were capable of doing when they banded together and worked towards a common goal. I figured we could go the next logical step and actually help people make games, and that's how the idea was born!

CAT:And how do you go about funding the accelerator program, what has that been like?

EITAN:We're funding the accelerator with our own money, and now we're using Kickstarter to get our first accelerator game (Catlateral Damage) off the ground. I've been trying to raise investment money to bring on more teams, we'll see how that goes. If it comes down to it we'll just bootstrap the entire program with proceeds from our games and contract work. 

CAT:Is this the future of Fire Hose Games? Will there be “Fire Hose” games or are you transitioning to solely incubating?

EITAN: That's a great question! I suspect we'll do both? I don't see us not making our own games in the future, and we're definitely going to be doing the accelerator. So a little of both I guess! 

Day 6 | Fire Hose Games

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rambi80  +   26d ago
So sad to hear about Slam Bolt Scrappers, especially the layoffs
Disagree  +   26d ago
wish nothing but the best for the team
Nicominoru  +   26d ago
I kind of hate that the indie scene has gotten so over saturated with people wanting to make a quick buck now, it kind of takes away from the guys who really put in hard work, time and effort trying to create something amazing or trying to be innovative. There is a lot of good that can come from indie devs, but the sad thing is that the mainstream gaming media; the ones who should be paying the most attention, usually aren't.

Retro gaming experiences would be completely dead in my opinion if it wasn't for the indie scene. That whole PSN situation long ago was a pretty bad situation it's unfortunate the team had to get hit with that hopefully the future will be brighter for them.
Robochobo  +   26d ago
Definitely want to hear more from you guys in the future! Keep going strong.
randomass171  +   26d ago
I truly hope this team can find financial success with these endeavors.
Mokastro  +   26d ago
I like the indie month feature. Interesting inside about game development from developer's perspective.

Hope the team gain success with their incubation projects.
majiebeast  +   26d ago
I wish them goodluck.
SpeedDemon  +   26d ago
Wish the best of luck to these guys, hopefully things will turn around.
Derekvinyard13  +   26d ago
Good luck guys sorry to hear about the layoffs
XtraTrstrL  +   26d ago
There's a whole lot of VR development going on, I wanna hear some estimated prices for a Morpheus headset already.
dictionary  +   26d ago
Nice interview, looking into it.
shadowvisa  +   26d ago
cool
beepbopadoobop  +   26d ago
Whizbobbing awesome
Abdoma3rouf  +   26d ago
That's awesome
Juliussmith12  +   26d ago
Fire hose. Hehehe
F4sterTh4nFTL   26d ago | Spam
BiggCMan  +   26d ago
Fire hoses can be dangerous!
gaffyh  +   25d ago
CATlateral Damage? Is that a game about an N4G admin that is running amuck?
#18 (Edited 25d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
MrxDeath  +   25d ago
"I don't see us not making our own games in the future, and we're definitely going to be doing the accelerator"

that's what i want to hear !
randomass171  +   25d ago
Indeed! Unique idea creators like these should create more content!
nunley33  +   25d ago
That's unfortunate to hear about SBS, that hack hurt other game too releasing at the same time like sony's own socom 4 and brink. I hope you have much greater success in the future.
gobluesamg  +   25d ago
Risking your own skin is the truth. I wish them well
Virtua_Awesome  +   25d ago
Oh man, they released a game as an indie on PS3 right before the PSN hack of 2011? Talk about awful luck :( I really hope that this new game is a success for them.
RexDD  +   25d ago
"Indie to me means that you aren't getting paid to make your game, and that you're risking your own skin to create the game you're working on. I don't like the other definitions of indie because it gets bullshitty fast when you try to say who is and who isn't indie."

Truth.
dota2champion  +   25d ago
Good interview, and good luck with these devs, but I don't think Oculus VR will make an impact on gaming. PSEye/Kinect didn't make an impact, nor did motion gaming. VR will be no different. And didn't Nintendo came out with their own VR back in the 80s and 90s? What happen to that?
#24 (Edited 25d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
grashopper  +   25d ago
Do you mean that headache inducing Virtual Boy?
I don't think the two really compare, the VB was only one color line graphics.

I would love to see it do well because the idea sounds amazing... but I have my doubts that it'll do any better than 3D did. Not enough support to warrant a buy, and not enough people bought in to gain support. Catch 22 of nothing.
Gotta hope it's not wildly expensive.
randomass171  +   25d ago
Virtual Boy was flat out terrible! The graphics were terrible because it was all red and black and caused massive eye strain and headaches. The entire industry learned from that thing lol. Even Nintendo makes fun of it from time to time!
LukeFair  +   25d ago
I wish good luck for the future to your team!
coolbeans  +   25d ago
I'm hesitant to be excited about any new VR stuff, regardless of how much a company's paid for their tech, because the hype's been cyclical for some time now. Before I was gaming, there was tech floating about out there hyping up VR as the next big thing.

Wait and see, I guess.
DanzoSAMA  +   25d ago
Awesome
MasterofMagnetism  +   25d ago
Good luck to them.
MYDEATH21  +   25d ago
I was going to say that! Comment thief!

I hope they get through the rough patches of the industry and make it big
randomass171  +   25d ago
I was going to say he stole my comment too, you stealer of comments! D:< And likewise, I hope the same thing. :)
ichizon  +   25d ago
I like the fact that indie development is so accessible nowadays, with all the programs and resources out there to support it. Anyone with some basic skill and time to spare can get into the scene.

I don't think the good games become overshadowed by the bad games, as good games somehow seem to get known in one way or another. There are gaming sites and vlogs that promote the good seeds, and all you have to do is to mail a few copies around to those guys if you really believe in your game. Just look at what N4G is doing now.

The mobile scene is in bad shape though, as the way games are getting copied and presented is really something that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's shameless, really. But then again, it's easy to get your idea out there compared to 10 years ago.
Nexfero  +   25d ago
I hope they make it big.
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