Michael Boxleiter may not be a familiar name, but you've most likely played Solipskier
-- at least we hope you have. Boxleiter was one of ten indie developers talking during The Indie Soapbox Session at GDC 2012
, a freeform, large-group therapy session for indies to talk about what's on their mind.
Boxleiter vented on the Independent Games Festival
-- getting into the IGF isn't indicative of becoming a successful developer, he warned. "I believed this myth of IGF makes you, IGF creates the future and makes you into a superstar," he said of the time he first got into game development, years ago. "It's not important -- at least, not very. It's a media junket for you." He says that hard work, putting in the hours every day and making sacrifices is what makes the best game possible.
"Nobody gives a shit about the IGF," he told a packed house of developers, enthusiasts and reporters alike. It wasn't a statement meant to hurt anyone's feelings, but rather curb expectations that getting into the IGF "makes you." Boxleiter would know, having been chosen
for the IGF last year.
Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo aren't going to suddenly take interest in your project if you get into the IGF, he said.
One particular anecdote about Nintendo icon and legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto delighted the audience. Apparently, after Boxleiter's own game was nominated, he saw Miyamoto wandering the halls of GDC and approached the Nintendo legend with a pitch document. Miyamoto then promptly signed his John Hancock and walked away.
"The IGF should not be as big a deal as it is." While it gets you some press and it's "cool" to see the announcement, he said, in the end it's just an awards show. "It's just hard, hard work. And if you do it, you can all show that amazing thing you have inside you that you want to show to people. You're just going to have to work your ass off."