Friday 23 December 2011

Interviewed for!

Mover and shaker that I am, I was interviewed by Daniel Nye Griffiths for about running my one-man studio.

I talk about:
  • the challenges facing small indie developers
  • the benefits of the minimum viable product approach
  • redesigning Greedy Bankers for the iPad market
  • the advantages of the micro-studio in today's games industry
Alistair Aitcheson is a recent graduate, who has so far released two games: ‘Greedy Bankers‘ and ‘Greedy Bankers vs the World‘. His first game was a colour-matching puzzler. It was a minimum viable product, developed and released quickly to create awareness and some revenue, and to test the market’s eagerness for this kind of game.

His second iteration – ‘Greedy Bankers vs The World‘ brought in simultaneous multiplayer and – in line with the kleptocratic theme of the franchise – allowed players to steal gems from their opponent’s side of the iPad screen. This creates an experience somewhere between Bejewelled and ice hockey.

Aitcheson not only codes his games, but also produces the art and every other asset he can, keeping costs to an absolute minimum. That burn management makes it possible to learn on the job, without the high stakes of major game development. I asked Aitcheson about life as a microstudio.

Read the full interview on on

Thursday 22 December 2011

Ludum Dare 22: "Alone"

This weekend I took part in the Ludum Dare 48-hour competition. The competition takes place three times a year, and tasks developers with the challenge of building a game, from scratch, on their own, in 48 hours. This year over 700 people entered, all developing games based on the selected theme: "Alone"

I took part, and made a game which is part match-em-up, and part strategy/RPG, which I called Omega Men. I also made a video diary of my experience, showing how the ideas and game evolved during the time period.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Develop Magazine's 30 Under 30

Exciting news! I was selected for Develop Magazine's 30 Under 30 feature of young up-and-coming games industry figures. A very lovely surprise, and a nice way to round off a year that's been full of excitement: two released games, trade show appearances, conference talks and snazzy Greedy Bankers T-shirts!

Here's what they said about me:

Alistair Aitcheson
Independent Developer

23-year-old Aitcheson has been running his own one-man studio since graduating from University of Warwick with a first class Master's in Mathematics, and has been programming games for over ten years. He handles all the programming, artwork and animation for his games, such as Greedy Bankers, and has already become a regular event speaker. One of 2011’s youngest 30 Under 30 members, he capably rivals the careers of those many years his senior.

Thanks very much, Develop Magazine! It's also a lovely surprise to see so many people I've met at events since starting the studio. There's some really exciting talent out there, and I'm very flattered to find myself listed alongside such ambitious individuals. Congratualtions to all the others on the list, and I hope to meet the rest of you at future industry events!

Finally, I would recommend following Develop Online to anyone in or interested in the industry, as it's a very informative source of news and information. I'd also highly recommend downloading the magazine, which is completely free, and has very valuable games business and development-related articles.

Friday 16 December 2011

My Favourite Game: Kongai

I contributed to the My Favourite Game blog to talk about my favourite video game of all time: Kongregate's collectible card game Kongai.

A multiplayer strategy game that takes all the best bits from fighting and card games, and a mind-bending twist on JRPG battles, Kongai is my best example of a video game that can make you smarter.

Have a read of my thoughts on the game, and why not contribute to the My Favourite Game blog yourself?

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Interview for Play Tribune: Running a One-Man Studio and the Evolution of Greedy Bankers

I did an interview for Play Tribune this weekend, which I hope you all enjoy! We talk about the challenges of running a one-man studio, re-developing Greedy Bankers for the iPad, the motivations behind creating the game, a discussion of propaganda in games, and some of my indie recommendations!