Living the Dream: Arcen Games and the Indie Recipe, Pt 1.

“You know the story about how they boil live lobsters, right?”

I’ve just asked Arcen Games’ founder Chris Park what it’s like to finally move from videogame idea to videogame production, and his response surprises me. I ponder what a crustacean and boiling water have to do with game development.

The creation process draws many similarities to cooks in kitchens, it seems, as Chris would inform me: if the mainstream kitchen is one of Gordon Ramsay hurling expletives in every direction, the indie kitchen is a quiet place that we all have at home, where groups of one, two, sometimes ten, work away far from prying eyes.

In this indie kitchen they tweak the recipe not by diluting it with water, but by pouring their own personalities into their game, until they look into that pot and see themselves reflected in the lid, keeping their project under wraps.

Chris Park is a developer who began in that kitchen, messing with videogame mods, trying his hand with experimental ingredients. From Neverwinter Nights campaigns through to Counter-Strike levels. His videogame kitchen was one strewn with tools of the trade, from notepads to PC monitors full of code, and then, one day, he had more than just a twisted dish, but a meal he thought others might enjoy.

In many ways he was already an indie developer, but from that moment on Chris threw open the doors and invited others in to try his speciality. His team’s latest dish? A Valley Without Wind…Continue