SODPOD Episode 4: Jamie Sanchez

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT is a series of documentary videos and podcasts produced by Flying Saucer Media, and created by Russ Pitts. The series features human stories about real people who make video games. The Stage of Development Podcast features expanded interviews with game makers about how they make games, why they makes games, and how making games has impacted their lives.

Jamie Sanchez is one of the founding members of both the Indie City Co-op and Bit Bash, Chicago’s games-only coworking space and indie games festival, respectively. I talked with Jamie about how she helped build both communities, why Chicago is a great place to be involved in games, and the perils (amd joys) of working independently.

The SODPOD has a Patreon! If we reach our Patreon gal, we can make the SODPOD weekly for realsies. With indie developers from all over the world. If you like what we’re doing, lend a hand! And thank you. https://www.patreon.com/russpitts

SODPOD Episode 3: We Are Chicago and Reclaim Our Kids

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT is a series of documentary videos and podcasts produced by Flying Saucer Media, and created by Russ Pitts. The series features human stories about real people who make video games. The Stage of Development Podcast features expanded interviews with game makers about how they make games, why they makes games, and how making games has impacted their lives.

This week we’re talking with Cindy Miller from Culture Shock, creators of We Are Chicago, and Patrick Sabaitis from Reclaim Our Kids, one of the Chicago area non-profits working to help young people in Chicago’s poorer areas. We Are Chicago tells the story of a young man growing up under pressure from gangs and other influences in Chicago’s South Side. Patrick Sabaitis grew up under pressure form gangs and other influences, joined a gang and — miraculously — survived to escape, tell the tale, and help others avoid worse fates. I talk to both about how We Are Chicago is helping in that effort.

The SODPOD has a Patreon! If we reach our Patreon gal, we can make the SODPOD weekly for realsies. With indie developers from all over the world. If you like what we’re doing, lend a hand! And thank you. https://www.patreon.com/russpitts

SODPOD Episode 2: Phil Tibitoski

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT is a series of documentary videos and podcasts produced by Flying Saucer Media, and created by Russ Pitts. The series features human stories about real people who make video games. The Stage of Development Podcast features expanded interviews with game makers about how they make games, why they makes games, and how making games has impacted their lives.

Phil Tibitoski is one of the members of Young Horses, creators of Octodad. I talked with Phil about the state of Young Horses’s new game, why following the surprise hit Octodad is stressful for the whole team, and how the young team has managed to stay creative and positive in light of current politics. Phil is one of my favorite humans, and a friend, and I love talking with him.

The SODPOD has a Patreon! If we reach our Patreon gal, we can make the SODPOD weekly for realsies. With indie developers from all over the world. If you like what we’re doing, lend a hand! And thank you. https://www.patreon.com/russpitts

 

SODPOD Episode 1: Ryan Wiemeyer

STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT is a series of documentary videos and podcasts produced by Flying Saucer Media, and created by Russ Pitts. The series features human stories about real people who make video games. The Stage of Development Podcast features expanded interviews with game makers about how they make games, why they makes games, and how making games has impacted their lives.

Ryan Wiemeyer is the founder of The Men Who Wear Many Hats, and one of the founders of Chicago’s BitBash indie games festival. He also created and runs the Indie City Coop, where many of the indie game developers we feature in our upcoming Stage of Development documentary series work (and sometimes live).

For this inaugural episode of the SODPOD, I spoke with Ryan about making a demo for his new game, Labyrinthium, why I’m the new Michael Moore of video game documentaries, and the fact that making games is SUPER HARD.

Series Update: October 6, 2015

Dear friends,

Thank you all for your continued support of the Stage of Development project, and for your continued patience while we explore different avenues of funding.

Moving on from Kickstarter, I’m confident in the content we’ve created so far, this team, our awesome interview subjects, and the future of this project. We haven’t stopped working since the day we first rolled tape on the series, and I’m excited to show you what we’ve been up to.

First, if you haven’t seen it yet, please enjoy the prelude to our first episode “From Alphabear to Steambirds”:

This almost full episode-length video sets the stage for Stage of Development Episode One, “Fox, Bird, Bear” by telling the story of the launch of Alphabear, and why shipping that game, and learning to make games that weren’t “too damn complex” was such an achievement for Spry Fox.

Episode One will pick up where this prelude leaves off, finishing the story of Spry Fox and its new game: Steambirds.

Then, if you like, please enjoy this sneak preview of our second episode, “Family Business”:

It’s a short video featuring one moment in our interview with John, Donovan and Brenda Romero that, we think, shows what an amazing family this is. I hope it gives you a little taste of what’s to come.

Episode One is in the final stages of post-production. Christian and I finished a rough edit last month, and Ian has been hard at work on the musical score. We just have a final bit of polish left to do before we’ll be ready to show it off.

Episode Two is in early post-production. Basically, I’m still looking through our footage and putting together the rough story edit. I’m hoping to have that finished this week, and then Christian, Ian and I will finish it up.

As for when you’ll get to see these episodes … that’s a little more complicated. I’m in talks right now with multiple parties about possible publication deals. While I can’t tell you who I’m talking with, or what the deals are, trust me: It’s exciting.

The downside is that exactly when we will be publishing these episodes is in limbo until one or another of these deals is finalized. The good news for you is that this would make it even more likely the entire series will be finished sooner rather than later.

Listen, I’m playing it cool right now, but I’m jazzed as hell about all of this.

Above all else, it’s beyond exciting to see the series taking shape. Episode One looks great. It’s a wonderful and moving story about a game studio that’s so close to “making it” we just might be seeing them get there on film. And just looking at the footage form our shoots with the Romero family reminds me why I wanted to talk to them in the first place, and what a great day Christian and I had talking with them, and taking in their remarkable energy. Telling these stories has been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done, and I’m grateful every day to get the chance to do it.

Then, of course, there’s the chance someone else might believe in this series as much as I do, and might be willing to step up and help us make it happen. Even though we didn’t hit our Kickstarter goal, the excitement we saw for those of you who backed this thing was amazing. For me and the rest of the FSM team, it was great to see that what we pour dour hearts into spoke to you all. And we weren’t the only ones who noticed.

That’s all I’ll say for now. Wish us luck as we get back to work, on all fronts. And thank you again for believing in us.

 

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Much love,

-R