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Manifesto Reviews

I just turned in my first game review for Manifesto Games. It’s a new website that sells downloadable computer games of all sorts—from independent developers. They give me a free copy of the game and then pay me to tell people what I think of it. This sounds like a sweet gig—until you remember how long it can take you to play through a full game. Still, getting paid to play games isn’t something you’d ever catch me complaining about.

I’ve been following Manifesto since it was a gleam in the eyes of its founders, Greg Costikyan and Johnny Wilson. Each of them is an industry legend, both in computer and tabletop games. Best of all, Johnny’s a fellow Alliterate, so I’m rooting hard for them to succeed. The state of innovation in computer games could be at stake—or so they believe—and they’ve staked their entire business on it.

Comments 6

  1. It’s about time that the video game industry began to develop an “Indy” scene. I think that the downloadable marketplace is definitely developing, even EBworld offers downloadable games. Combine that with the indy sensibility and I think Greg and crew have a wonderful venture possibility.

    As for their manifesto…my wife and I often discuss the changing nature of the video game, or should I say interactive narrative entertainment, industry. The Screen Actor’s Guild has begun to hardball a little in support of its members, but the Writer’s Guild (that bunch of non-visionaries) has yet to jump into the mix with appropriate verve. If the WGA were to incorporate video game creators and developers into its membership, and negotiate decently (doubtful, they really are a pathetic union just ask TV writers about DVD residuals) it would be a boon to creative staff on video games.

    That said, I find it interesting that the trend is becoming that creative staff (including voice/acting talent and scriptors) are beginning to dominate the “above the line” costs and that programmers are becoming the gaffers, best boys, etc. of the video game industry. Not that that is bad. Gaffer is a great career. It just goes to show that the thing that is hardest to train, and thus most valuable, is the idea itself.

    What this means for Manifesto, to bring it all back together, is that their model is a good one, especially for the “creator/programmer” (the videogame equivalent of the writer/director/cinematographer) and the DIY entertainer.

    Best of luck to them and I will definitely check out their games. I might even pick up Space Hack in the next few days.

  2. It’s about time that the video game industry began to develop an “Indy” scene. I think that the downloadable marketplace is definitely developing, even EBworld offers downloadable games. Combine that with the indy sensibility and I think Greg and crew have a wonderful venture possibility.

    As for their manifesto…my wife and I often discuss the changing nature of the video game, or should I say interactive narrative entertainment, industry. The Screen Actor’s Guild has begun to hardball a little in support of its members, but the Writer’s Guild (that bunch of non-visionaries) has yet to jump into the mix with appropriate verve. If the WGA were to incorporate video game creators and developers into its membership, and negotiate decently (doubtful, they really are a pathetic union just ask TV writers about DVD residuals) it would be a boon to creative staff on video games.

    That said, I find it interesting that the trend is becoming that creative staff (including voice/acting talent and scriptors) are beginning to dominate the “above the line” costs and that programmers are becoming the gaffers, best boys, etc. of the video game industry. Not that that is bad. Gaffer is a great career. It just goes to show that the thing that is hardest to train, and thus most valuable, is the idea itself.

    What this means for Manifesto, to bring it all back together, is that their model is a good one, especially for the “creator/programmer” (the videogame equivalent of the writer/director/cinematographer) and the DIY entertainer.

    Best of luck to them and I will definitely check out their games. I might even pick up Space Hack in the next few days.

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