It’s now been about a year and a half since I joined the indie game development community and began seriously working on my own games. I’ve learned a lot, since then, and also undergone several minor revolutions in terms of my ideas about how I fit into the community. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve finally started to feel like I have a long-term plan. That being the case, I think it’s a useful exercise to create a mission statement for myself (or, rather, for the organization that is Bene Factum, on the off chance that it ever consists of more people than just me).
Here’s a first draft. Feedback welcome, not so much in terms of the mission itself, as that’s personal, but in terms of anything that needs clarification or greater precision.
Bene Factum is an organization dedicated to promoting independently-developed games – digital and otherwise – and to encouraging positive approaches to game design and development. The eventual goal is to encourage independent game developers to focus on craftsmanship and simplicity, to present themselves as an ethical, community-focused alternative to large game studios, and to emphasize their differences from the large studios, rather than attempting imitate them.
Bene Factum’s role within the game development community is twofold. First and foremost, Bene Factum is a commercial entity, providing consulting and freelance services to independent game developers, including art, graphic design, writing and game design consulting. Secondly, Bene Factum is itself an independent game development studio, though its emphasis in that area is not commercial profit, but rather experimentation and an effort to change the attitudes of both game developers and consumers.
The attitudes and policies Bene Factum would like to encourage within the indie community are as follows:
- Games which challenge and educate the user, and encourage analytical thinking.
- The responsible use of technology – that is, the use of 3D, real-time, and simulationist mechanics as conscious design choices, rather than marketing gimmicks.
- Positive, community-based approaches to reducing piracy.
- Designing games for depth and lasting power, rather than initial flair.
- Distinguishing between real fun, and emotional manipulation or addiction.
- Emphasis on consumer awareness of the indie community as a grassroots, craft-based movement.
- Building tighter communities, both among developers and freelancers, and among the user base.