There are many common arguments against Latin American devs making games for their regional audience. They don’t tend to be false, but they do omit certain truths in order to appear much more solid than they really are. In this video, we explore some of those arguments and their shortcomings, and offer alternative some perspectives on the issue.Continue reading Make games for Latin America
We announced that we were going to start publishing videos and this is the first one. It’s about bad labor practices in the videogames industry, and the need for workers to confront them by organizing. It also doubles as a semi-official announcement for GWU Argentina, a new project started by some people here at Matajuegos, and ideally maintained and continued by many of you 💚Continue reading Game Workers Unite Argentina: Labor organization in the videogames industry
During our third year as Matajuegos:Read more
Content warning: This article contains screenshots and topics that aren’t at all nice to read. Particularly, reactionary opinions on the subject of reproductive rights. Proceed with discretion, or go back to the main article.
Continue reading Onda Verde: Annexes (Negative Response and Memes)
Update: We did it! We released the game. Thank you so much to everyone who participated. You can play it on the following link: Onda verde at Itch.io.
Next up, the original post:
Today in Matajuegos we’re announcing the free, safe, and legal web game, Onda verde (Green wave), to be released this August 8th in support of the march for the right to free, safe, and legal abortion in Argentina.
But we need your help!
Our game is going to depict a march towards the Argnetinean Congress, and we need virtual protesters. Go to the link up there and send us a 100×100 px image with a transparent background. It can be a drawing of yourself protesting or a made up character.
We hope you can come!
On Monday, May 7th, Google Chrome released an update that disables audio autoplay on certain sites that use HTML5. Due to this, the audio from several independent videogames stopped working. Among the wondrous things that got broken we have all HTML5 games from Increpare (known as the author of Stephen’s Sausage Roll), Terry Cavanagh’s games (beloved by Matajuegos for making Don’t look back) and the gorgeous stuff from cabbibo (who announced that they will shut their site down if a solution isn’t found). Continue reading I have no audio and I must scream
Last year I wrote a couple of paragraphs on the goals I would have in mind if I were to travel to San Francisco to attend GDC 2018, this year’s edition of maybe the most important and certainly the biggest conference on videogame development.
Inspired by the Matajuegos mission statement, I wrote that Continue reading Workers of the Videogames, Unite!
It’s GDC season and it shows. Social networks are filled with comments about the conference. We see local developers, by which I mean Argentinian ones, telling us that “going to GDC should be the dream of anyone interested in videogame development.” Or telling us how GDC was the place where they kick-started to their carrers. But, what happens if you’re short on money and can’t afford it? What happens if you got a pass but can’t afford the plane tickets to get there? Or if they won’t give you a visa? What happens if you are the minority the gamedev scene and for that reason you’ll be paying a lot of money to have a bad time? Is it advisable to tell everyone that going to the industry most expensive event should be their main goal?
There’s something similar going on with Steam. We know that publishing on Steam is expensive, that if we try to sell our game there the platform will retain 30% of our sales. But it should sell well in the first place, which is tricky because the curator system is awful. If you still want to publish on Steam after all, you’ll have to handle issues with toxic communities and review bombing. We know that Steam problems have solutions because itch.io deals successfully with the “there’s too many good games and we need to help people find them” and “I don’t want to deal with toxic people when I share my game” since its conception. If Steam doesn’t solve its problems is because it’s not interested. Then, why do we recommend, and sometimes demand, devs to publish on Steam?
Yes, there’s indeed people that made a name for themselves by going to GDC or that got a job thanks to having published a game on Steam. There’s also people that didn’t do any of those things and have a job. just the same The career of those persons that neither went to GDC nor published on Steam is not suffering because they didn’t spent tons of money following the advise of some sector of the industry. Those people exist and I know them. There’s also people that went to GDC or published on Steam and all they got to show for it was a lighter wallet.
It’s perfectly fine if your actual dream is to attend GDC or to publish on Steam or on a certain console. It’s ok to attend GDC if you have the resources, or got a scholarship, or you know what you are getting into. But don’t feel pressured to attend the most expensive game conference there is just because people with more experience told you it was the real deal.
Maybe we should stop selling as a one-size-fits-all solution something that can only be helpful to people with lots of money and the means to spend it. We can’t aim for a more diverse industry while recommending solutions that are only valid for people with resources as if they were universal. Specially if those solutions give us intangible rewards. For instance, people recommend GDC for networking, but not for getting publishers or promote your game. That means that, when they advise you to attend GDC they are asking of you to spend 2000USD on a pass, plus the worth of a plane ticket to San Francisco, plus whatever accommodations cost, just for networking.
There’s also the issue of sending devs from third world countries from an industry that’s going through a good period for addressing ethical questions about working on videogames to a place that doesn’t pay their speakers, doesn’t give diversity issues the same weight as the rest of their talks, hosts anti-union panels and talks that pretend the ethical regulations of abusive practices are censorship.
I understand that people recommend giant events and giant platforms with an equally large public because there’s legitimacy in numbers, but it’s irresponsible to ask people to drive into bankruptcy to scrape off a litlle bit of legitimacy. It may be better for developers and consummers to support more sustainable events and platforms.
There are events that are more budget friendly and inclusive than GDC, as well as there are platforms that are fairer and more democratic than Steam. For instance, Oklhos (Coffee Powered Machine, 2016) got a publishing deal with Devolver by attending BIG Festival. Several people make videogames in a sustainable maner with the help of itch.io and patreon.
It’s important that we assume our identity as developers from third world countries and we strengthen bonds with people who shares our circumstances. We know that first world countries export their solutions to underdeveloped countries once they start to fail. So let’s start working on solutions of our own. It’s going to work better than adapting the failed solutions of a third party that also grows money on trees.
Note from the author: we are working on a calendar for videogame events that focuses on affordability, diversity and being different. We intend to keep it updated constantly and add events from all of Latin America, so if you know of any you can contact us through our form, on Twitter, with smoke signals, whatever floats your boat. As soon as we have a link, we are going to put it here and share it on our social networks.
Update (3/14/2018): We corrected with sales, where it originally said profit.
Matajuegos is now two years old. It’s been two years of miraculously keeping up our output frequency. There is always at least one person in the Matajuegos crew with some spare time to compensate for the others’ absences. Today I write this, tomorrow you translate that… It gets harder every day, because, to put it bluntly, Continue reading Those Who Are About to Kill Games Salute You