Robert Tamayo

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Punk Game Development

I don't consider myself an Indie Game Developer. I'm a Punk Game Developer.

The 4 games I've released so far would be classified as Indie Games, but I don't see them that way. They are Punk Games.

What's an Indie Game?


Indie Games are games made by very small teams or even single individuals. They don't have big publishers behind them. Usually, the team making the game calls all the shots.

Beyond the technical definitions of indie game development, there is usually a very "indie-ish" vibe to indie games. They tend to focus on gimmicks for art styles and gameplay. They are usually single-player games. They are often 2D games. They seem to consciously disregard mainstream gaming trends, trying instead to separate themselves from the pack and use their quirkiness and uniqueness to stand out.

I consider myself a punk game developer. My games are Punk Games.

What is a punk game?


Punk music is fast, simple, and loud. Punk musicians are not concerned with technique and virtuosity; they are concerned with making loud and fast music. They don't want to spend years learning to play their instruments. Just show them 3 chords and they'll take it from there.

In contrast to other music, punk music is crude. It doesn't bother with complex scales. It only cares about speed and power--and that's "power" as in "chord." They aren't trying to be unique; they are trying to make rock music. They're just doing it differently, with less to work with.

That's how I approach game development.

I made Bad Blaster first. I didn't want to make a super special indie game. I wanted a game like the kind I used to enjoy as a kid. I wanted a game with a Mega Man-type character. I wanted to run around and jump and shoot at things. I wanted a platformer with difficult jumps. I made the game in 3 months, without knowing how to code when I started it. That's punk.

Robot Ops is the next game. I wanted a game that had all kinds of powers and abilities, with multiple character classes and leveling up. I wanted a 2D platformer that didn't focus on balancing the weapons. I wanted a game that felt like a 2D hack n slash. I didn't care about balance. That's punk.

I made these games fast and I made mistakes. I don't care. They're punk games.
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