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The Blood Zone

Aug 17, 2021

writer and academic Alex Ross (@Alexrosswrites) returns for part two of our examination of the indie game world via a few documentaries. this time we cover the post-indie boom, aka the  time of the "indiepocalypse" and beyond from 2015 till today. first we look at the depressing vanity project/indie survival story "Surviving Indie" from late 2016, then we look at a dense but surprisingly quality documentary about the indie game scene in China called "Indie Games In China" aka "Alonewalk" from 2018 and talk about the endlessly complex landscape for game development in China. and then... we do the ill-advised and look at this year's E3 "Wholesome Direct" stream, a subject of much intense discourse.

things referenced in the episode:

"Spinning is winning" a research paper that Alex is a co-author on:

2017 Failure Workshop at GDC featuring Tim Rogers:

Surviving Indie:

news article about Ryan Zehm:

Ryan Zehm's sneaking into GDC video:

Indie Games in China (aka Alonewalk):

EGM article about the state of China's indie game scene:

long video essay by youtuber NeverKnowsBest on the Chinese indie scene:

Gao Ming's ludum dare page:

2021 E3 Wholesome Direct stream:

article in the verge on "The Rise of Wholesome Games":

People Make Games video on Zach Barth and Minecraft:


as always, you can support this podcast (and me) on patreon at

outro music is "Home" from the FEZ ost by Disasterpeace

intro music (as always) is "Museum Agony" from the Stretch Panic ost by Norio Hanzawa