The Indiepinion

This blog used to be After a one year hiatus in 2010 while I was spending most of my time on the Learn Cocos2D website and book, I decided to re-launch this blog (formerly known as as The Indiepinion. I used to blog about all things related to games, game development and the game industry but without a clear goal the GamingHorror blog was a blend of technical info and subjective rants, and everything in between. One thing however was a core idea I’ve always had and it started to show on already: helping game developers and specifically indie developers in any way I can.

With The Indiepinion I want to give live to a blog that focuses more on general advice over technical details, opinion pieces over comparisons and charts, refreshing ideas and exciting experience reports over game reviews. I’ve gained a lot of experience since 2009 while working as independent developer, freelancer, book author and startup founder. I want to share these experiences here, as well as all the hard to find pieces of information and truly valuable but easily overlooked blogs.

About Me

me_yoshi_small My name is Steffen Itterheim, I’m a professional video game developer since 1999 and an Indie game developer since 2009. I live in Ingelheim, Germany. I was born in 1975 and apparently I’m still alive.

Recently I wrote a best-selling book about Cocos2D and started the Kobold2D initiative to boost Cocos2D’s flexibility and ease of use. I programmed several iOS games as contractor, one game to pitch the startup I was co-founding and I created a rather successful Line-Drawing Game Starterkit for iOS.

I worked for 7 years for Electronic Arts Phenomic in various positions, starting out as a Designer then moving into Management and back out to do what I love doing the most: programming. I worked on all SpellForce titles and BattleForge – the Trading Card Realtime Strategy game.

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX (GBC)My first employment was at NEON Studios (later re-founded as keen games) where I worked on several Gameboy titles. My most beloved project to date is still Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX – mostly because I conceived the game’s design and lead the preproduction and had a lot of fun programming the entire User Interface with lots of polish.

Before working in the game industry I have been a hobby game developer since around 1993, creating FAQs, Tools and Levels for FPS games – starting with DooM of course. I was “DooM Addict” and “Duke Addict” (with weird characters – of course!) on Compuserve and was an Action Games staff member. Later I was the Co-SysOp in the Apogee/3D Realms forum until it was shut down. I was a beta-tester for Shadow Warrior and Balls of Steel. I held the #1 worldwide highscore of the Balls of Steel shareware for 6 months – I was always a sucker for Pinball games, beginning with Pinball Dreams on the Amiga. I contributed to several books including The Official Duke Nukem 3D Level Design Handbook, The Unofficial Quake Level Design Handbook and The Deathmatch Manifesto. My first experiences in Level Design and modding date back to Railroad Tycoon (Amiga) modding and Emerald Mine (Amiga) Level Design. When I applied for my job at EA Phenomic I mentioned that – not knowing that Volker Wertich, founder of Phenomic, was one of the two developers of Emerald Mine.

Some information I’m required to post by german law:

4 Responses to About

  1. Hello Steffen,

    We are a small game studio based in Miami, FL., working on our first iOS game using cocos2Dx (c++). My brother and I run the studio. We’ve both been in the game industry for about 15 years but started creating games as hobbyists in 1981. We are looking to hire a freelance programmer to help with code, short term 2-3 months. The project is about 70% complete. We have a full time in house team consisting of 2 engineers, 2 artists, 2 testers, 1 level designer, office manager, myself(CTO) ,my brother Alex(CCO) and our CEO. Your background looks interesting and you seem to have the experience and skills that we are looking for. You can work remotely but we require your full attention and your full time (minimum 40 hours per week). We would use Skype and email to communicate with you. You would remotely access our SVN server and our online Project Management software. We use a standards coding document and strive for quality code. We would need you to come onboard immediately. If you are interested in joining us please let me know as soon as you can start and your hourly rate. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Miguel Portila
    CTO, Impakt

  2. DarkDeveloper says:

    Hi Steffan, I am a junior Game developer that is regarding working in Germany. In US the range of salary of Junior game developers of EA are about 85000$ a year,how was the payment of Phenomic when you were there(including tax,..)?

    Do you suggest having a game start up in Us or Germany?

    I wanted to write you in an email but did not find your address..Please answer in email if you consider it a private question.


    • 85k USD per year for a junior game developer? That’s a lot more than my last salary, I can say that much. Keep in mind that US salaries can not be compared to german salaries due to vast differences when it comes to taxation, health insurance, etc.

      When starting a game company location doesn’t matter. It’s the team and the project (and vision) that counts.

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