My declaration of Independence. Also known as “That guy who designed LostWinds has gone Indie!”

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I've just gone indie!

Hold on to your hats, because the day has arrived and I’ve finally, officially, taken the giant leap into the big wild world of being an independent developer. This decision has literally been years in the making but it’s now become a reality.

I have lots of things I want to talk to you about, but first It’s probably best if i give you a little history about myself.

My name is Steven Burgess and I’m a Games designer. I’ve been a designer  for a little over 9 years with my entire career so far at the prestigious UK based developer  Frontier Developments. I’ve worked on a number of original IP and licenses for a variety of publishers but there is one game in particular that i’m most proud of.

During my time at Frontier, I wrote the game design for an adventure called LostWinds. LostWinds was the story of a young boy who finds Enril, the Spirit of the Wind contained within a magical stone, and from there the journey would take them to fantastical lands with charming characters all in search of a way to free Enril from her Stoney Prison.

A key component to LostWinds was that it featured a unique control system that was fully designed to take advantage of its intended platform. A design philosophy I want to apply to all of my future projects.

In 2008 and with a small team of extremely talented individuals I was given the opportunity to turn this idea into a reality by becoming Lead Designer on the project development. 4 months later and thanks to countless miracles, LostWinds became a launch title for Nintendo’s WiiWare service.

LostWinds received an amazing critical response including winning a number of Awards. Another 18 months later (development was only 6 of that ), It’s sequel, LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, received even higher accolades and a Metacritic score of 86, the highest so far in my career.

Before talking about the future I’d like to thank the people of Frontier for all the love and support they have given me over the years. I literally grew up within the company both as a designer and as a person, so the decision to leave genuinely felt like leaving home.

Now the umbilical has been cut! I’m out there naked in the free world kicking and screaming at the new dawn!

Starting anew is extremely daunting and it feels like I have so much to learn, yet i’m filled with the kind of optimism and enthusiasm about the future that I haven’t felt in years!

In case you were wondering, my focus for the immediate future is on iPhone, iPad and Browser based games. I want to create games focused on those beautifully simple mechanics that can really make the platform sing, or just bring a massive smile to your face. Most of all, it just has to be FUN!

I’ll be talking a little bit more on this blog about those projects and other things development related over the coming weeks. In the meantime if you like what I do, or want to talk to me a bit more about future project ideas (or maybe you simply want a friendly chit-chat), send me over an email to steven@trialbyfun.com, or you can even follow me on Twitter @trialbyfun

Thank you for reading this far. I believe it’s going to be an amazing, wonderful, unrelenting and dangerous journey ahead, but I would be honoured if you decided to join me on the adventure.

Steven Burgess
Independent developer lvl 0.1.