Romero: upcoming indies should stop "waiting for permission"

Owen Hill at

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Loot Drop's John Romero has been offering advice for upcoming indies during the "Back to the Garage: The Return of Indie Development (From Those Who Were There and Some Who've Just Arrived)" talk at GDC. Romero has previously worked on Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM and Quake, and is regarded as one of the first ever indie developers. He says these days there's too much too much procrastinating and not enough developing going on.

"This whole getting a job question, it hasn't really changed that much since the 80’s," he said.

"I mean, in 1980, if you were just coming out of high school and you were great at programming, you could get a job in programming, if you wanted that. Or if you just wanted the complete freedom to do everything your way and not necessarily ever get paid for it," continued Romero.

The serial entrepreneur says all the tools required are already available to most: "I talk to a lot of people who want to become indie and want to make games and I guess the biggest thing I find when I talk to these people is that they are usually waiting for permission to make games for some reason. Like 'I need to get into school to learn how to do this, and then when I get out I will get a job' instead of 'hey, you've got a computer and get some books - all the information is right there.

"There’s the self learning thing and also the people who already have jobs... but they’ve just got too much stuff going on. Find some other people you can [develop] with in the same location. That’s the way a lot of us started here; we just made games because we wanted to or we had to... when I was at home, it was all about making games."

"That’s how you get it done, you don’t wait for permission," he concluded.

Are you waiting for an epiphany before beginning your indie? Let us know in the comments.