There’s plenty of people I can say that about – wonderful souls like Simon Carless, Kris Graft, Geoff Gibson, Erin Bell, Jamie Davey, pretty much everyone at PocketGamer, and plenty more inspirational wordsworths who took a chance on me – but here’s why Tim is so important, not just to myself and my career, but to independent developers everywhere and pretty much the entire games industry:
- When he started indygamer.blogspot.co.uk, there was barely anyone covering independent games. If you want to try and trace this current indie boom back to its Day 0, you might want to start around there.
- When Simon Carless brought Tim on to head up the IndieGames.com Weblog, it gave him this incredible opportunity to expand his audience. He spent his days posting up game after game after game – most of the popular indie devs that you know about now were most likely highlighted first by Tim years ago. Tim was the first person to ever post about Minecraft. Here’s Tim talking about a game from Jan Willem Nijman back in 2008 (who is now one half of Vlambeer.) Here he is talking about Noitu Love 2 around the same time. He covered Canabalt dev Adam Saltsman, Hotline Miami creator Cactus, Super Hexagon dev Terry Cavanagh, and NIDHOGG man Messhof all as early as 2007/2008. All the success you see in the indie scene now, Tim was an integral part of making that happen more than six years ago.
- As Tim covered games on IndieGames.com, many of the bigger sites began picking up on his work. Places like Rock Paper Shotgun, Joystiq, Kotaku and more began citing IndieGames.com as the place they found plenty of cool games, and if you trace viral indie booms back to their source around the time that Tim was gunning the posts out, you’ll often find that he was the reason that numerous games caught the mainstream media’s attention.
- What I’m trying to say is, hundreds of indie developers owe their success to Tim in some form. If you don’t believe me, go and check the list of people who have backed him on Patreon. You’ll find familiar name after familiar name, and often you’ll see “Patron to 1 creator” underneath their names – they’ve all signed up solely to give something back to the guy who helped make them in the first place.
I could go on and on, but I’ll finish up with my own story. I began my writing career by covering indie games at the start of 2009, due in part to having been exposed to them through IndieGames.com. When Simon asked me to join Tim and work at IndieGames.com, I quickly became inspired by the way Tim could reach into the internet and pluck out the most incredible games from the deepest depths of some forums you’ve never heard of. I took this inspiration and attempted to mold it into my own path, and my love for indie games (and therefore my career) would not have happened were it not for him.
So whether you’re aware of Tim’s work or not, go and give him some money – the chances are he has affected you in some way, whether you realize it or not.