New Media Manitoba is happy to announce that Winnipeg's own Sean Lindskog of Firedance Games has released his first independent video game Salvation Prophecy.
We're very excited to see Sean launch this game after nearly five years in development.
We've conducted a short interview with Sean so you can get a feel for what it's like working as an independent game developer in Winnipeg.
Why did you choose to become an indie game developer?
I built up my skills working for more established main-stream studios. That's a fine path path for someone wanting to get into the game industry. You get a chance to work with a lot of really smart and talented people. But until you reach the most senior positions, you're a small cog in a giant machine. That's not a bad thing if you want to focus on a specialized skill set - say if you want to become a kick-ass graphics engineer, animator, or level designer.
But the coolest thing about being indie is that you need to sculpt many aspects of the game yourself. This makes the workload kind of insane, but at the same time you get a much greater sense of creative freedom, and of forging your own destiny.
How long has Salvation Prophecy been in development?
It took about 5 years from beginning to launch. The budget for the game was close to $100,000. I had half that saved up at the start of the project, and took advantage of a Manitoba government program (Note: the Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Fund which supported this project was cancelled in March 2010) and a personal loan to cover the rest. It was a big project, probably larger than a new indie studio should have taken on.
Ambition and sometimes over-ambition are common traits of indies. Luckily, so is passion, and it was passion for the game (or perhaps stubbornness) that got me through to the end. A lot of successful indies are extremely passionate people, and that's probably why we see such great things coming out of the indie game scene.
What other Manitoba Companies did you collaborate with?
The most significant was Precursor Productions, who handled all the voice acting and recording for the game. Like many science fiction games, Salvation Prophecy has some unusual voices. Precursor did an absolutely fantastic job casting the voice actors, and processing the voices to sound like robots, aliens, and other sci-fi characters.
Why did you choose to develop Salvation Prophecy in Winnipeg and what advantages did the city offer?
I grew up and went to school in Winnipeg. There is a growing game scene in Manitoba that a person can tap into.
When I moved back to Manitoba from my last job, I was surprised to see how much interesting game development had sprung up since I left. The scene here is still small compared to Montreal, Vancouver, or Toronto, but there is a growing seed. There's a pioneer spirit here. There's a lot of room to make your mark, become an active and important member of the development community, and join up with other like-minded people.
How has New Media Manitoba helped you and your company over the development of your game?
I want to give special thanks to Louie Ghiz of New Media Manitoba, who was a great help. He gave advice and feedback on my government funding application. He was involved with trips to game conventions. He has introduced me to other developers in Manitoba and brought interesting opportunities to my attention.
I want to extend this thanks to NMM as an organization in general, who do a lot to bring people together in Manitoba, share knowledge, plan events, and provide a collective voice to the gaming and new media scene as we organize the future of the industry in our province.
You can buy Salvation Prophecy at Gamer's Gate for $19.95! Play it today!