Garage Games recently ran a Con for independant game developers. They also publish a number of games for a variety of platforms including Mac and Linux. Here we talk to Jeff Tunnell about IGC and what Garage Games does.

Tell us about the aims of the Independant Game Developers Conference?

Jeff Tunnell:
The IndieGamesCon (IGC) was attempting to catch the magic the original Game Developers Conference (GDC) had before it turned into the massive marketing driven mess it has become in the past five years. IGC's goals are to bring together people that love to make games so they can meet in person, form alliances, and help each other. Along the way there is a lot of networking, beer drinking, eating, and game playing.

What does Garage Games do?

GG's mission is to help independent game makers by providing great technology at extremely affordable prices, help them create their teams, and finally to bring their games to market so they can make money from their creations.

It's a nice idea putting people together to get their projects done. What are the smallest teams you know of that have got a good playable game out the door?

Using our flagship Torque Game Engine, a game could be created by one programmer and one artist. Usually the teams are a little bigger. Major publishers often brag about the huge size of their development teams, but it is our feeling that smaller, more focused teams make games that are more fun.

I'm told that some game programming environments are a lot easier to get going on than others. How would you rate the engines you're licencing? Like to talk about the engines and the licence terms?

We only offer one game programming engine, and that is the Torque, which started life as the technology behind Sierra/Vivendi's Tribes 2. We have improved it a lot since it was used in that game. Our claim to fame is that we license the Torque engine to indies for only $100 per programmer, or about the same cost as the C++ compiler they are using. For that price, you get all of the source code, community support, and the ability to publish your game with no additional royalties as long as your annual company revenues are below $500,000. As a comparison, many leading game engines are licensed for $250,000, plus royalties, so the Torque is obviously a good deal.

There are ads for musicians on your boards. Is there a constant demand for musicians? What can they generally expect to get out of it?

There is s constant demand for musicians and sound engineers. However, you have to understand that most of the games being developed on the GarageGames site are self funded, so the money will either be very low or are of a "futures" based pay scheme.

I see you were asking Mac users what they wanted in the way of games. What were the answers like?

I don't recall asking Mac owners what types of games they want to play, and we usually just make games we want to play. We just released our first title for the Mac, Marble Blast. It is selling better than our PC version, so I assume Mac owners like to play the same kind of games we do:) Thanks for the interview.

Our pleasure.

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