Indie Cindy

The distant summer of 2004, June. I - passing in Voronezh; from the hands of the whole day is not issued a fresh issue Game.EXE, and in memory crashes randomly Seen rack with pirated discs, completely crowded with boxes of Half-Life 2, to which someone is carefully (and obviously in a hurry) painted gray cover, do not forget to stick on top of the good old lambda. Then I still do not know that this is just a beta version, or the fact that with this game we'll meet for real only in December ... And absolutely do not know anything about Steam, which immediately after the release of Half-Life 2 Mother and seems everyone who can only - and not least for the fact that there is a connection to the Internet, not everyone, but the code for just bought the game risks being already steal someone right out of the box in the store. < br /> H5>
 Will be held for ten years. They will not survive nor Game.EXE, nor, by and large, compact discs. But Steam ... Steam overcome the "abyss", wins all childhood diseases, and will be more. First, it step by step become the de facto platform for the dissemination of the "big" games, and then - and even a trip to the future for indie developers - is due to service Greenlight. But there was no Steam Greenlight for indie their own grave? After all, only the first four months of 2014 in the Steam games missed as much as they appeared to him for the entire 2013 (if you do not believe me, then here's a забавный and frightening plot ).

About Half-Life 3 talk yet useless - now Valve and Gabe Newell himself primarily interested in Steam, - and the game itself, according to the latest rumors, only just got under way and is being concept art. So we talk about Steam indie End.

Bubble h5> In 2008, the largest software companies felt comfortable. All of it was the fact that over the past few years they groped financially lucrative game genres, and all that was required of them now - it does not turn off with the selected track, exchanged for different "small things" to which publishers are then carried the classic RPG, 2D-platformers , jigsaw puzzles and other wonderful, but not as commercially attractive genres as Call-of-Duty i>. This directly relates to the question of why we all could not wait to go, for example, the emergence of the new Might & Magic from bought the rights to the series Ubisoft, sequels and other great games from the past. Niche products for very narrow target audience - and the point.

The place remained empty for long - come into play, "Young and the Restless" the authors of games like Braid, Minecraft and World of Goo. Although, of course, Braid with its budget of $ 180K and a wealth of experience of its creator Jonathan Blow deserves a separate discussion, but for today's topic is not so fundamentally. What is more important - the developers of these games initiatives have been taken by players "cheers", and the games themselves will get a wonderful and deservedly made millionaires of their authors.

Shortly thereafter tightened and the rest of the game ... they were not so perfect. Albeit very bad, but millions were gone. Nevertheless, the gold rush has already begun. Thousands of developers have rushed to retire from his boring job "to go to the dream" and the incredibly rich. Wishing, as usual, there were many ... no, not so - they were very i> a lot.

So we quietly came to the day today.

How to arrange a catastrophe 101 h5> Take a player who has bought a new game on Steam freshly baked indie developer. Imagine that it is disgusting quality - I do not know about you, but I will make it a snap! In the best case, the buyer will start it once - if at launch. It is not so important. But! It is possible that more people will buy this single indie game. For a month, or a year. Or never.

It turns out that the first indie developers have begun to make their game simply because it could not do them. They loved the game. They were the pioneers of new genres and rescuer of old. They discovered new types of gameplay and encourage more players to resurrect long-forgotten franchise - again, remember the Might and Magic X, for which the publisher has given a small bag of money, but after seeing the success of a completely different game i>, made on an entirely incomparable funds.

Now it has become a fashion to make a shitty game and sell it for a penny. Who buys that were not so offensive - because it is cheap. No, but what, really? .. Well, since such an approach their game no one wants to buy, then they start to blame the App Store, Steam - yes anyone. But, as already guessed the inquisitive reader, not the fact that devastation - in markets, not in the heads.

A little math for the first class. All together gamers spend on the game X dollars per year, which are divided between Y developers. Let us assume that X - is a constant from year to year characterized by only a small error ... but Y is definitely creeping up! And X has to share the cake on more hungry mouths. Competition only embittered by the fact that you have to fight on equal terms with their same "idols" - Notch and his ilk. But who will be able to sustain such a battle?

All other problems - in the head developer. The incredible cruelty Steam, inability to stand without a visit to some of the next GDC or Game Jam - all this is just an attempt to get away from these simple, brutal numbers.

No, I certainly do not expect that all the vile klepateli share at this moment tears, commit ritual burning of unpublished sources and sit down to read the Books on Game Design . I somehow reconciled himself to the fact that without marketing is now impossible to survive. But the more I look around, the more surprised - how much people are able to spoil yourself a life? ..

Do not get me wrong. Among the new indie games found great games - and many of them are forged by the companies born thanks to the commercial success ever, the "original" indie games made by them. If it still does not appear every day new companies that are trying to act the old ways - and all because they do not realize that those methods do not work anymore.

After all, there is a solution. Works as follows: no endless attempts to make another clone in an attempt to catch up with the trend (and infinitely outdone him the time of release), and attempt to answer the question - Is your unique approach? Is everything OK with game design? You get to something interesting to play my game? Have you found a "corner", the niche where nobody has ever been - and all just waiting for you - and not another clone? If your answer is - "yes", then you are on the right track. If "no" - do not waste your time. Go and do a completely different game. Indie game has no right to be unoriginal just by definition.

If anyone of these questions seem a waste of time, then I will give advice to the aforementioned Jonathan Blow (he gave it back in 2006 at a conference). Look at the old games. No, not Diablo and Fallout - on those games, which now all forgotten. To those who have, quite possibly, instead of a heart beating inside original and fascinating mechanics. Your game might not be talking about something and is not the same - but the feeling i>, that it will cause the player in the game - that is your goal.

For inquisitive readers: a lot of this, I wanted to write before, but the reason is finally uncover pen and keyboard is that recently my thoughts were confirmed in May of fresh articles Jeff Vogel," The growing bubble indie » (He's not very well known, but little known of his game - Avadon and Avernum) and «Размышления about the future of indie games "from Taiga Kelly (responsible for OUYA and regular contributor to Gamasutra). For his post I borrowed from them some interesting calculations. If you find enough time, I suggest to read these articles.



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