Simon Roth

He may be busy getting  Maia together, which is heading to Windows, Linux and OSX, but Simon has considered what next gen could mean for his future indie endeavours. The PlayStation 4 is currently the next gen system that appeals to him the most:

“It looks like they really built the machine with developers in mind. Sony has also been really great with reaching out to developers and has been really clear and forthright about the console.”

Meanwhile the Wii U is not an appetising prospect for Simon due to its low sale figures, and while he believes that the Xbox One is a “pretty decent bit of kit”, he can’t forget how Microsoft have previously treated indie developers:

“They have a shameful history of treating indie developers badly. It’s mostly due to the terrible corporate structuring within the company that has lead to them being impossible to work with, rather than malice, but I personally wouldn’t work with them.”

Asked about whether he’d consider developing on handhelds and mobile, the Vita is the clear winner for Simon, ” […] as it feels like a solid dedicated hand-held console.” However he admits that his current and future games, ” […] are outside the scope of a handheld,” and he seems relieved that he won’t be considering the minefield that is smartphone and tablet development, with a finger being pointed towards Android. Yet fragmentation isn’t the only reason behind this:

“The saturation levels on the mobile marketplaces have become untenable, and to turn a profit, games have to be designed with revenues in mind. That’s just not how games design should be.”

Simon is a bit more hopeful for the OUYA, as he thinks, ” […] they are on the right track for taking over a specialised niche,” but he’s upfront about where he really wants to be taking his games at the end of the day – PC. The ease of development, market share and lack of “gatekeepers” makes it stand out above other platforms, despite what Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo might be promising indie developers. At the same time, Simon would be interested in seeing the “partly democratic systems” that have appeared on Steam, GOG and Desura replicated on consoles.

Finally, the one thing that Simon thinks console producers should really try for:

“The toolsets we have available are just fantastic now, with Unity and Unreal offering out the box support for all major platforms, but I’d like to see the platform holders better supporting people who don’t want to go with an pre-built engine and providing solid manuals and information on their hardware.”