Indie Game Industry: Interview with Indiepocalypse Creator ‘Pizza Pranks’

Indie Game Industry - Interview with Indiepocalypse Creator, Pizza Pranks

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin

What is Indiepocalypse?

Indiepocalypse is a monthly indie game bundle-zine curated and compiled by PIZZAPRANKS; on the first Friday of every month 10 games and a PDF zine complete with comics, mini-zines, puzzles and more are made available on itch and Patreon for just $15.00. There is also an Indiepocalypse radio show that takes place every Saturday with a range of guests including creators of the games included in the bundle but also other people working within the games industry.

Developer: Various
Releases: 1st Friday of each month
Price: $15.00

Platforms Include: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, GameBoy, Physical
Available on: itch.ioPatreon
Engine: Various


What motivated you to create a ‘bundle-zine’ and what were your goals when you started Indiepocalypse?

Andrew: This is somewhat a mixture of selfishness and lofty intentions. I feel there should be regular opportunities for artists on a small scale. Something very low-risk and very frequent. So much in games are these collections of once or twice a year events that are often themselves very expensive.

I also saw no easy space making money making the games I wanted to make so I decided to try making that space.

Indiepocalypse #1 Cover Art
The cover of Indiepocalypse Issue #1
Indie Hive’s top picks from this issue can be found here.

What drives you to keep curating the zine each month, as well as expanding it by adding things such as puzzles, comics and mini-zines?

I’ve gone through stages with the zine. At first, I really wanted it to exist and prove that it could be done consistently. Then once I’d proven to myself that it could be done, I became focused on getting the zine in front of people. I spent the majority of last year convinced that people should be paying attention to Indiepocalypse and it’s contributors.

At this point, it’s largely a habit. I still enjoy the zine as much as I did but it’s more that now I’m not sure why I’d stop. There are more amazing games than the zine could ever fit.

I love the idea of zines and Indiepocalypse branching out beyond just games and mixing with artists in other fields which is where the expanded zine contents come from. If I had more resources would I do other non-game publishing? Probably!

Was an Indiepocalypse radio show always part of the plan? If not, what inspired you to start creating this too?

Certainly not. I had been looking for new ways to highlight past contributors while also doing something I’d enjoy. I also saw a number of game companies/sites/etc. starting their own “The [site name] Show ” but they were just like, Twitch streams where they did Twitch things and it was very boring to me. 

So I guess it’s a mixture of support and spite. Plus, in doing it turns out I missed not being able to go to events and gives people a casual space to meet new people and hang out for 3 hours or so.

Indiepocalypse Issue #6 cover
The cover of Indiepocalypse Issue #6.

How do you choose from the games submitted? Do you have any selection criteria for each bundle as a whole (e.g. no more than X amount of games in the same genre)?

This is difficult to describe. I don’t have any guidelines. It’s more a case of “is this interesting to me” or do I just plain like it. If I have over 10 games that fit those vague unknowable criteria, I then work down to 10 by trying to make a zine that represents a wide range of style and subjects.

Have you had submissions that you’ve outright rejected and if so what were the reasons? Are there any red flags that you watch out for?

I mean, I reject a lot of games. I previously used to put games I’d never include below a line on my submission spreadsheet. Starting this month I don’t even add them to the spreadsheet because I realized there’s no real point in it.

I’ve never rejected a game for content I’ve found objectionable (though I do also check people’s Twitter/etc as well). Most rejections are for games that are some combination of excessively clunky, boring, or nothing. Sometimes it feels like I am putting out a call for art and people are sending me rather plainly drawn geometric shapes.

That’s a whole other discussion though.

Have there been any submissions that have really impressed you and what made them stand out? Is there anything particular you look for in a game submission?

My go-to answer is always CONURBATION by Caique Assis from issue #3. Issue #3 was the first issue pretty much completely made up of submissions I did not personally solicit and it rules. I would say play it (most Indiepocalypse games are free from their creators but also buy the zine please?) and experience it blind. 

But the real answer is that they all impress me. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be in the zine. Taste is bound to vary for each person, but there are no games I don’t like in Indiepocalypse. I have some 3000+ games bookmarked and will send out a slew of cold emails to developers before ever including an organically submitted game I didn’t think was any good.

Indiepocalypse Issue #9 cover
The cover of Indiepocalypse issue #9.

Do you have a favourite issue of Indiepocalypse and why?

I don’t, but I usually have difficulties picking my favorite anything, broadly speaking.

What can we expect from Indiepocalypse in the future?

Who knows! If it ever takes off and starts making a profit I have a wide world of ideas. But until then I’d say a new issue the first Friday of each month, bare minimum.

How to Support Indiepocalypse

Besides being ready to buy individually on, Indiepocalypse is also available on a subscription basis via Patreon, it will cost the same price on both platforms but those buying on Patreon will also get next day access to archived episodes of Indiepocalypse radio rather than a month later on Spotify. Subscribing on Patreon helps provide the publisher (Andrew) with some insight into how many of each they should expect to sell. Alternatively, players and readers can offer their support of the project for as little as $1.00 per month.

Indiepocalypse is on the lookout for more talented game developers, artists and writers to contribute to both the game bundle and zine elements of future anthologies. PIZZAPRANKS is refreshingly upfront about what they pay contributors and full details and submission instructions can be found on the Indiepocalypse website.

If you’d like to know more about individual issues of Indiepocalypse and the games included, check out:
Indiepocalypse Issues #2, #3 and #4: Top Picks
The Best Games from Indiepocalypse Issues #5, #6 & #7
The Best Games from Indiepocalypse Issues #8, #9 & #10!

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