Links For February 7, 2015

Everything is not fine and that’s fine

I’m nothing but optimistic about the future of this medium, of this industry. It might not survive in its exact current form. It might not be all the same people. It might not be me, and it might not be you. Or we might be fine, or we might be doing something else. When people ask me whether the industry is headed for another 1983, I wonder where they were looking when we crashed over and over again in the past few years. Where do you think premium on mobile went? Did you miss the mid-budget console game go extinct between today and five years ago? There won’t be the spectacular train wreck in slow motion that everybody seems to be expecting. We lose some things, and then celebrate other things to ignore that and just be fine.


“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from

I published my first novel at 39, but only after a teaching stint where I met some influential writers and three months living with my parents while I completed the first draft. After turning in that manuscript, I landed a pretty cushy magazine editor’s job. A year later, I met my second husband. For the first time I had a true partner, someone I could rely on who was there in every way for me and our kids. Life got easier. I produced a nonfiction book, a second novel and about 30 essays within a relatively short time.


Most Indie Developers Do Freelance Contracts for Stable Income

Let me again stress that individual developers, small team developers, even medium-sized development studios almost all do this. While there are of course some developers who have had so much financial success or such massive backing that the need to take on contract work can diminish or disappear for years at a time, those are a small fraction among the already small fraction of developers that players have actually heard of. That happens, but it’s rare. Generally even the games that were runaway hits may yield only a few years burn rate after making up for the costs incurred from years of salaried team development that went into taking a big chance on it in the first place.


How to make a living as an artist

I have always viewed the attempt to make a living as an artist as a deeply political act. For me, being an artist is about playing a role in a philosophical shift that pre-empts political change. The act of being an artist and being paid for it shifts how we think about value, how we think about labour and how we view ourselves as human beings. There may be people (other artists included) who will see the desire to make a living as a somehow less authentic way of being an artist. This is bullshit and you must ignore it. Its important that you make a living making the art that you make, not the art that gets you paid or the art that other people want you to make, because then its no longer a political act. Stick to your principals, make the art you want to make and then make a living from it.


Who’s Who

It’s not easy to get owls to mug for the camera. Even in captivity the birds remain aloof, unruffled by the flash and unmoved by attempts to bribe them. Photographer Brad Wilson learned that lesson firsthand after trying to win over owls from the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis and The Wildlife Center near Española, New Mexico. He spent hours with each bird, trying to capture its direct gaze. “It’s hard to get animals to look at you like humans do,” he says. “That shot became my holy grail.”