Derek Smart is a phenomenon. On forums he’s taken a lot of flak for his attitude, and from time to time there’s been jokes on the quality of his games. Yet he’s just gone gold with his tenth game (Galactic Commando Echo Squad SE), and after all these years he still manages to run a successful business as an independent developer.
It’s a bit
strange funny that a man that continuously succeeds where so many others fail is not taken seriously in online discussions (like the forum on Blue’s News), and as I’ve seen very little of what he has to say about the industry itself, I decided to ask him myself.
Pixel Park: What made you join the gaming industry?
Derek: You mean aside from fame, fortune and the potential for picking up chicks? Oh, I dunno. I’ve always been a creative type and an avid gamer. Once I started thinking that it would be cool if I could create my own game. So, I set off to do just that. It wasn’t all Roses of course, but as you probably know (from my Wiki) the rest is history.
Pixel Park: How come you’ve never chosen the easy route and joined a big, safe games studio?
Derek: Because I like calling my own shots and doing my own thing. Besides, what constitutes a “safe games studio”? Especially given the current state of the gaming industry. If I wanted to keep working for someone, I wouldn’t have left the highly lucrative (at the time)
IT industry to go into gaming.
Pixel Park: You’ve received quite a lot of negative attention from gamers on the Internet; how have this affected you personally, and how have you dealt with it?
Derek: It doesn’t affect me in the least. I’m not that egotistical whereby a bunch of idiots on the Net can intimidate me. And you’re using the term “gamers” loosely. What makes you think they’re gamers? Just because they happened to be on the Net? Most of them are antisocial misfits who probably never buy games, but since they can pirate them, it makes them “gamers”.
Pixel Park: There is so much potential for games in the future. Where do you see the industry going, and what is your vision of where you want to take it?
Derek: I said this many years ago in one of my blogs, digital distribution is the wave of the future. Here we are. With the steady decline of the PC gaming industry, we’re going to also see a shift to pay-for-play being the norm. Not unlike MMOs of today. In other words, you’re not going to see one off games (PC or consoles) in the near future. And piracy is going to force us to transition to backend server authentication (ala Steam) of games being the norm; be it single or multiplayer.
Big thanks go out to Derek Smart for answering my questions!