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Indies

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Dawn, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Dawn

    Dawn La vie est drôle

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    Long gone are the days when video games were the sole dominion of big name publishers. Indies have been a thing for years now, with many being extremely successful financially, and filling in the gaping holes in the market that publishers tend to leave for whatever reason.

    So. What are some of your favourite indie titles, and why? Have you ever considered creating your own indie game?
     
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  2. ShinigamiMiroku

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    I have to disagree with you there, actually. Almost every 'big-name' publisher started out as a small developer studio; HAL Laboratories (which birthed the Kirby series) started out with just three people, in fact. Indies have always existed; it's just that now that the videogame industry is so solidly developed independently-publishing developers stand out more.

    Cuphead and Bendy and the Ink Machine immediately stand out as favorite indie titles, partly because of their roots in the Golden Age of Animation.
     
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  3. Dawn

    Dawn La vie est drôle

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    It depends on what you classify as "indie" really...which in itself is a point of contention. I'd agree that they've been around for longer than most people realise because of PCs, and smaller developers who have climbed their way up to become bigger ones - whether or not you could classify their earlier titles as indie when they're technically no longer an indie developer is an interesting question - but indies on consoles at the very least weren't really a thing pre-digital due to the costs involved, amongst other things. Cost would be the biggest point, though...unless you were trying to get your game published on a Nintendo system, then it probably would have been publisher approval. Because Nintendo.

    These days they're more prevalent because of digital distribution, and the fact that assets are readily available to literally anyone who wants to try their hand at making a game. I certainly wouldn't attribute their success to a more "solidly-developed industry". Not when said industry - at least in terms of the mainstream, which is what people tend to mean when they refer to the video game industry - seems to be doing its utmost to stagnate in the name of "safe" profits, and milk the customer dry with season passes and DLC, because games apparently cost too much to make these days. This is not to say all big-budget titles are bad - on the contrary - but if anything indie titles will stand out LESS because of the advantages larger publisher possess...namely a larger budget. Bigger budget doesn't mean a better game, but it does mean more promotion of said game.

    I would say that one of the defining points of an indie game is that it is outside of this industry, but that does mean it might stand out less, because indie developers don't generally have money to burn on advertising or physical distribution...and if they do (at least initially; obviously popularity can lead to physical copies) are they really indie titles? Partnership with larger developers is a sticking point for what makes an indie game and what doesn't, I think. I would say indie titles stand out more on their own merits, much like any other video game that enjoys critical acclaim or a cult following. There is simply more opportunity now for them to do so because of, as I said, those gaps left in the industry.
     
  4. Chicken

    Chicken Cringe Overlord

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    Five Nights at Freddy’s and Undertale are probably my favourites. I’ve never played FNAF myself, but the lore seems interesting enough. Yandere Simulator was good until it’s developer was exposed.
     
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  5. FireSpartan5

    FireSpartan5 Pokémon Professor

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    Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Tapunium Z ★★★★★Choice Specs ★★★★★Flame Orb ★★★★★
    You do realize that Indie Games are a subgenre of video games, not something completely different, right?

    Poor question wording issues aside, I find the plots of the most popular Indie Games are on average more advanced and for more mature audiences than major companies' games, such as Nintendo and stuff. Games like FNAF, Undertale, Cuphead, Bendy and the Ink Machine, Doki Doki Literature Club, and a lot more, have left huge impressions on gamers over the age of 12 everywhere. I keep forgetting if things like Portal and Minecraft count, because I don't know much about their developers, but it seems those two games, whether Indie Games themselves or not, helped set the stage for the most popular ones of today. Games with amazing, confusing, frustrating lore like FNAF, or great characters and music like Undertale, get players to think critically, or emotionally attach themselves to the story. Overall, I have several Indie Games I personally love, and I hope for the best in the ones in the future.
     
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  6. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

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    I'll go on the record here saying that the question is perfectly valid, and that indie games are neither a subgenre nor a thing that every developer was at some point. Firstly just like in film, indie is a status that can be applied to any genre of the medium (indie horror flick, indie comedy movie, indie drama film); and secondly, a developer/publisher can go from zero to non-indie instantly if they have financial backing (therefore an outside interest controlling them) form a larger firm right out of the gate. If I start making a game all by myself or with 20 of my friends without a larger dev or a game console manufacturer or a movie studio paying me to do it, then it's indie: and that game could be platformer or racing or storytelling or any genre regardless of indie status. Now, if Nintendo or Pixar or WWE starts backing me financially before I'm (random number) 70% done, then that game is not indie because I was making it dependent on a larger firm's cash flow and wishes and conditions. If they were backing me financially (and I was therefore dependent on them) from Day 1 because I somehow convinced them I was worth it despite not having any finished products on my resume, then I was never an indie developer. I may have been a small game dev, but I was not independent of other firms' interests.

    Anyway, I'll agree with pretty much everyone above and say that Cuphead was a masterpiece and really sets a high bar for indie games (even though Microsoft started backing them when the product was almost done). Shovel Knight was also beautifully made with lots of respect and love, and filled me with a certain flavor of joy that I otherwise haven't felt in a long time. If Bastion counts (I don't know if it was published by WB or assisted by them), then that's high on my list: the art and music and narration and everything was so incredibly artistic. Super Meat Boy is delightful too, showing what can be done with a simple art style, a straightforward concept, and friendship with other indie devs. I'll also give a shout out to Starbound: not only is that game's dev indie, they're a splinter cell indie of an indie, which is just getting layered. It's like they're standing on the shoulders of giants building off the ideas and concept of Terraria, while the giant whose shoulders they're standing on is really not so tall at all.
     
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    #6 Aug 17, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
    FireSpartan5 likes this.
  7. FireSpartan5

    FireSpartan5 Pokémon Professor

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    Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Tapunium Z ★★★★★Choice Specs ★★★★★Flame Orb ★★★★★
    Thanks for the better explanation. Subgenre was a bad word for it, but I couldn't think of anything else at the time.
     
  8. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

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    I haven't played many indie games, but of the ones I have played... Celeste has to be the best. I can't praise this game enough. I made a thread about this masterpiece of a game a while ago; if you want some info on the game, take a look.
     
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  9. Gazi

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    Dawn Stone ★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★Reaper Cloth ★★★
    I haven't played any indie games for myself, but I really enjoy watching other people play and talk about games like Cuphead, Five Nights at Freddy's, Bendy and the Ink Machine, and Undertale. I love the design concepts and the lore of these games.
     
  10. ChocoChicken

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    I've never played them, but three hold a special place in my heart: Tadpole Treble (because of BiTF), Nefarious (also BiTF) and A Hat In Time. AHiT IS JUST SO PECKIN' CUTE.
     
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