Join Industry veterans Rick Davidson & Tim Ruswick* in a conversation about games that play themselves! Find out what that actually means, watch them play Despot’s Game and learn new game dev tips as they answer questions from the community.

(*Rick has more than 14 years experience in the game dev industry, working on IP's that include Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat. He's done it all, from Game Designer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer to's very own Instructor extraordinaire).

Listen to the whole chat here:

Our 'AHA' moments

  • What is a game that plays itself?
  • Tim and Rick disagree on what the definition of ‘games that play themselves’ is!
  • Remember - as an indie developer you won’t please everyone
  • Watch the stream from 1:11:30 to see Rick and Tim’s early (and awkward) YouTube videos :D

What Are Games That Play Themselves? (0:28 - 1:22)

Games that play themselves are literally just that. They’re games that require little to no input from the player. An example of this is Despot’s Game (the game played during the stream), characters are placed into positions on the map and the ‘fight’ button is clicked. The characters automatically engage in combat until the battle is over. Then it’s your bit, and you get the choice of buying food to feed your characters. The main decisions in this game are where to place the characters, and what equipment to give them. The rest is down to the game!

Can  You Please Everyone With Your Game? (59:18 - 1:00:54)

If you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one. Unless you’re someone like Nintendo with the Mario games, they’re masters at making games for everyone!

However, being an indie game developer is a different proposition. If you try to make a game that’s everything, then it’ll be nothing. When making a game, stay focused on its sole purpose. For example, if it’s a strategy game you should be solely focused on strategy elements of the game. If the game is too broad in many genres, it’s unlikely to be successful. Most people are looking for a particular genre when playing a game.

Be open to feedback, people will leave negative comments but be sure to use that constructively to improve the game for your fans moving forward.

Being Brave Enough To Setup A YouTube Channel (1:11:30 - 1:18:46)

Getting started on YouTube can be a scary thought, many of us at have experienced the same. The best way to get started with YouTube is to just create a channel and start uploading content.

When you’re starting out it’ll take time to build an audience and this can be discouraging. Keep at it and the audience will come. Some good ways to improve the reach of your channel and videos is to use YouTube Shorts, tools like TubeBuddy and create enticing thumbnails.

If you don’t have confidence in your video then keep making them, over time you WILL improve! It's the same with anything in life, practice makes perfect. Even Rick and Tim were embarrassed by their first videos, though we don’t know why ;) Check out the stream from 1:11:30 and see what you think!

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Until next time, happy dev'ing!