I want to talk about this Manifesto Games thing. (Here’s some more. Oh, and this, and this. Maybe some of this, but only if there’s time left over after Q&A.)

Boy, he sure did generate a lot of press!

I have the greatest respect for Mr. Greg Costikyan and his inciteful writing. When I was on my own, and struggling to try and make something out of nothing in the games industry, his direct, take-no-prisoners style writing and clear thinking about what makes games games kept me warm through the long dark night.


Okay, so as far as I can tell, the pitch here is that the games industry sucks, and that the way out is for Mr. Costikyan to incite revolution (with a new company that he has announced very publicly) that will change the economics of games in a way that gives more money to the creators.

Foundational to this idea is the notion of Scratchware, a term he coined (watch out for popups on that link), which is defined as follows:

“The phrase scratchware game essentially means a computer game, created by a microteam, with pro quality art, game design, programming and sound to be sold at paperback book store prices.”

I would like to respond to the assertion that Mr. Costikyan and his brave revolutionaries are going to generate a whole new industry, filled with scratchware, and free himself (and other oppressed creators like him) from the shackles of The Man.


  • Chronic Logic
  • Shrapnel Games
  • Reflexive
  • Iron Will Games
  • Skotos
  • Iron Realms Entertainment
  • (Well, hell. I guess I’ll just have to include them all.)

    WTF is he talking about??