Tim Sweeney Interview, old story new

Gamasutra, a gaming news site, published an interview they did with the legendary Tim Sweeney of Epic Games, the Unreal and Gears of War gang. You can read it here:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4035/from_the_past_to_the_future_tim_.php

I’ve read interviews from him before and have always appreciated the honest look he gives of the industry. I was even more impressed when he showed up on some of the “making of” material of my boys’ Gears of War II game. He is quite the geek, but man he knows his stuff technically and he understands the business, which is a hard to find in a single person.

In this interview, the thing that really struck me was how he started Epic out of his parents house and dorm room in between jobs mowing lawns and his school work. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s the software industry really was driven by independent developers like this. The big guys at the time just weren’t nimble enough to work with all the new technology coming along. It was an exiting time.

Zooming ahead 15-20 years, it seemed that this environment, the ability of independent developers to build software by themselves or in small teams and produce applications that sell enough to provide them with a decent living were long gone. But I’m starting to see that change. The are now a few stories of guys building iPhone apps in the same way Tim did back then and making it “rich”. And as the number of mobile platforms grow and with app stores becoming an easy way for these independent developers to sell their wares, I’m sure there’s a next generation Tim Sweeney coming alive out there.