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Self-publishing lessons learned from David Amor of Relentless Studios

By on July 22, 2010

Welcome to the ninth in a series of 12 posts from games developers who have taken the brave step into self-publishing. They have all contributed to How to Publish a Game, and you can get the first two chapters absolutely free here.

David Amor is Executive Director of Relentless Software, a developer of games that appeal to “more than the hardcore gamer”.

They worked on EyeToy and Singstar, but are best known for Buzz!, first released in 2005. In 2009, they self-published an episodic adventure game, Blue Toad Murder Files on PlayStation Network.


What’s been the best thing about self-publishing your game?

The complete creative control over the project. If an idea came to me during my morning shower we could agree it by 10am and it could be in the game by the end of the day.

What’s been the worst thing?

The bet. I’m not sure if that was the worst thing but it’s the thing that’s forefront on our minds: would we recoup the money we were spending?

What would you do differently if you did it again?

Know the audience. Our heritage is making casual games, so we delivered a high-quality, non-hardcore experience for Blue Toad Murder Files on PSN. Our problem was that the PSN audience wasn’t looking for that kind of game.

What advice would you give someone thinking about self-publishing for the first time?

If you or your team are used to working on console titles, prepare yourself for a ten-times reduction in budget. You can’t afford to model and animate in the same way, so look for shortcuts. Work out what you care about and then chop down the scope on everything else.

You can find out more about Relentless at

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: