The Seattle Indie Interview: Dan MacDonald

Jun 18th, 2011 by Matthew Burns

Tell us your name and how you got into indie games.

My name’s Dan MacDonald and I made my first indie game in LOGO when I was 13 years old. I’ve been hooked ever since and have continued working on my own little games projects whenever I can.

 What moments in games inspire you?

I remember getting PK’d in UO for the first time, I felt like someone had beat me up in real life. That was intense. These days I love playing games that capture the heart and passion of the team (generally a small one) that created them. When I play those games I feel like I get to experience a piece of their enthusiasm and feel inspired by it.

What game are you working on right now? What makes it special?

I’m working on two prototypes right now and unsure of which one I’m going to go all the way with. The first is a space exploration game with crafting elements. What makes it great is that it actually teaches players about the material composition of items in real life. If they were to look up the a halogen light on wikipedia they would see that indeed it is made from quartz and tungsten just like in the game. 

The second is a modern interpretation of chess that allows players to choose a team of heroes to engage in turn based combat with a friend. It’s great because it runs on your phone so you can play all day long in 15 second intervals in as many simultaneous battles as you like.

What is a burning lesson that you’ve learned about indie development that everyone should know?

Focusing on money first and foremost turns it into a job. Love what you do and follow your gaming instincts. Pick something you think you can finish in 2 months (it will take 6).

What would you like to see out of a Seattle Indies community?

I love watching games get built, I love being around passionate people. I’d love to see the community continue growing to a state where this can happen all the time.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Keep an eye on the Seattle indie scene, there are some seriously talented seriously passionate game developers here. Expect to see some great games being released.