Way back in 1999 I found out about the Independent Games Festival at the Games Developer Conference from some people I was acquainted with that were working on Terminus, as it had been entered into the competition.
This was a while before my job in the games industry. I knew I wanted to make games, so I wanted to go to the conference and see what it was all about. And entering a game into the IGF would be great too!
But at the time I wasn’t prepared to make a game. I had a prototype game engine that did some fancy graphics things with a 3DFX Voodoo3 with the Glide API and/or OpenGL. It even had audio, input, collision detection, and a plugin system for writing games using the engine. But there was no game in sight. Back then I tended to implement things far enough to know that I could do them – and then I’d drop it and work on something new.
Beyond not having a game, I spent the majority of my extra money on graphics cards, faster CPUs and more RAM, so that I could play Counter-Strike and Quake III at a slightly higher framerate. No conference passes were in sight. But eventually the tech I built did help me get a job in the games industry….
Over the years, I’ve gone to the GDC a bunch of times and always enjoyed looking at and playing the games that were IGF finalists – still hoping one day to enter my own game. And finally – a few weeks ago – I submitted Banished into the 2014 IGF main competition. Woot. Fifteen years wasn’t that long to wait, was it?
This year there are a whopping 658 entrants. Will Banished even be a finalist? I don’t know – there’s a lot of good competition out there – but I’m happy to have finally built a game, (nearly) finished it, and entered the IGF.