Boston Postmortem

We just got back from the monthly meeting of “Boston Postmortem“.

Huh, what is that? Well as a result of my teaching at Brandeis this summer – Mobile and Game Software Development – I have developed a greater appreciation for the gaming world. When we had Ed Baraf of Blue Fang games speak to our class, among the many things he taught us was that there’s this great meetup in Waltham called the Boston Postmortem.

It was very well attended and the crowd sounded and felt like a community that knew each other and was pretty tight which made for a very interesting and enjoyable meeting.

The term postmortem comes from the fact that apparently this is where speakers come to explain how a project or company went off the rails or actually died. We can all learn from each others’ mistakes, right?

Last night it was Scott Macmilan’s turn to tell his story:

Last December, Boston area indie studio Macguffin Games closed its doors. In three years, Scott Macmillan took the studio from a one-man shop to a 4-person startup with paid employees, launched two games (one of them for Facebook), and then finally shut the whole thing down with no regrets. At this talk, he’ll discuss the big lessons he learned, what worked and what didn’t, and take lots of questions from the audience.

Here’s the link to his presentation: Death of an Indie Game Studio

I also learned that there’s a gaming unconference in Boston this august, called the Boston Game Loop. I will be there!

p.s. to my word spelling circle, I learned today that postmortem is one word not two 🙂

p.p.s “indie” seems to mean simply, not corporate, small, often bootstrapped and “game studio” seems to mean simply, company that develops games. For example, are there “indie software development shops” or “indie programmers”?





0 thoughts on “Boston Postmortem

  1. Hey Pito – thanks for coming!Indie in games – like in music – can mean a couple different things. For some, it’s an aesthetic, for some it’s more indicative of a business model, and for some it refers to the importance they place on being captain of their own (often small) ship. It often means a mish-mash of all of those things to any given person, actually.So – I’ve never heard of indie software shops, mostly I think because the term gets associated with industries considered overtly creative. I definitely know several indie programmers, probably considered such because they do their own stuff and their reputations are larger than the reputations of the individual projects they’ve worked on.


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