Over at gamesetwatch the other day, Andrew Doull, an IT manager from New Zealand, posted a rant. He is unhappy because he believes the gaming press doesn’t distinguish between “indie” games and “amateur” games, and lumps them together.

So, to enlighten everyone on this matter, he’s put up the points that separate the “real” designers from the “amateur” ones. And he certainly did it as nastily as he could.

Now, it’s certainly true that many wannabe designers make mistakes, are often over-eager, and likely don’t know what’s involved in successful game creation. Those reasons, however, don’t really merit the slap in the face administered by Mr. Doull.

Everyone starts as an amateur, somewhere. The better ones catch on, and become professionals. Those who aren’t so good, fade out of the picture. This was pretty much how it was in the beginning.

That hasn’t changed, except now the Internet allows for anyone with the ambition (if not the talent) to make a game public without the need for a publisher. And I have little doubt that many “amateur” creations are poor in conception, design, and execution. Of course, that could be said about some of the “professional” games, too.

What bothers me most about the piece, though, is the tone of it. If it’s really his aim to help game journalists recognize the difference between indie and amateur, why does it come across as a belittling of the amateur designer?

And I wonder what Coyote will make of this statement: “The amateur usually holds down a full-time real job and then codes in evenings, weekends or quiet days at work.”

Amateur vs. Indie on gamesetwatch