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  • The Future Of Indie Developers!!


    JayGriffin
       It's time for this talk...
     
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        Through the many avenues of gaming, there are highly talented creators who will be pivotal in formulating what we consider the future of the industry. As it stands, indie developers in particular are the underdogs who use their ideas to cater to a usually specific audience of gamers, but much like anything, they can grow and evolve. The monster developers that we know today that make the AAA titles that we all seem to pre-order before even knowing much about the game, or the possible downgrades (I'll speak on that seperately actually), we always throw our trust and faith into them because of their track record with games. However, they started off just like the indie developers. I'm not here to really name a bunch of them--as I feel like they all deserve some form of appreciation and recognition for their projects--but when you notice games like Celeste, Dead Cells, No Man's Sky (After the expansion.), Katana Zero, and Cup Head you can understand that even the indie games can be just as fresh and exciting as the ones by major developers. 
     
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        Now a lot of the indie games have a similar kind of aesthetic to them that someone can easily deter as such, yet the same can be said about the bigger games. A lot of the games we put on a pedestal in today's industry are very much identical and pretty much the same kind of game we've been playing forever now, they just have their own settings and usually a higher graphical fidelity as they move forward. Many of them kind of piggy-back off of one another with ideas that aren't as original as we might think. One thing I've noticed about indie games are that the concepts of these smaller teams of people seem much more fresh; usually there's some kind of system or game mechanic that even the bigger games seem to overlook. In fact, a lot of those tend to work better for the indie games. I mean, sure, every game has its "selling gimmick" as I like to label it, and they make up for a large portion of the game's flaws, even when those flaws are game breaking and causes many bugs. There's also that team of indie devs who were previously apart of bigger developers whom decided to branch out into their own thing, so they know the work ethic of being with those companies and apply similar routines to their games, granted often times there's more leniency and not harsh deadlines and that process of development hell that burdens the heavy hitters from time to time. So, as simple as some indie games may seem, I think they're much more authentic to the players  than, not all, but many of the games we praise and then eventually forget about. Usually the indie games are overlooked, but then later appreciated, like well, basically an underground cluster of creations that are waiting to reach the surface. 
     
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        The gaming industry itself is tough and ever-growing, ever-changing rather, and standing out is something that will be the key aspect of selling a game if you don't already have a trail of loved games that sold well, or at the very least, caught the eyes of consumers. Many games today, as I've previously touched upon, are carbon copies of one another because people flock towards familiarity over innovation sometimes. I feel like with the new wave of VR gaming that's being pushed as the vision for the next level in gaming, the indie developers will be the ones to push that technology. Hell, even now you can see that most of those games available on VR are by them, and it would be smart for them to hop on it while it's still fairly new and honestly not in its prime by any means, when we consider what kind of games we actually idealize about. 
     
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        The problem with a lot of games today are that, they are cash grabs that milk us of our worth and valuable time. That same game that you just spent all this money on for extra content will just be made again the very next year with little to no changes besides what they probably could of added to the first game with a simple update. These game sequels are simple updates. Alternatively, the games that take like half a decade or more to create are valued because we can sense that the developers took their time and resources to create it in the best possible, polished way for us to enjoy for the years to come, until they surprise us with something else. Indie devs are similar to that because they're creating the games that they WANT to make, not that they HAVE to make out of financial desperation. Let's be honest though, money is a pretty awesome commodity to have for obvious reasons, but the soul and passion shouldn't be sacrificed for greed and instant gratification. Of course, this can also be the case with many indie developers, but no where near as obvious as top-notch developers and publishers. 
     
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        We may not entirely recognize it right now, but indie developers are exactly what we need to keep this industry afloat. If you're anything like me, you become fatigued of, well to be blunt, corporate bullshit and false advertisement centered around revered game titles. Indie games can't help but get sucked into the midst of it all a lot of times, which is unfortunate, but I feel like true gamers will understand what to support and share for the sake of turning this industry around to what it should be for a healthy community of gamers overall. People will always like what they want to like, naturally, but the point is, it shouldn't be forced upon the outsiders of gaming because of majority rule. 
     
        That's my take on the matter. There's certainly a lot more to be said, but I'll leave that to whoever wishes to engage with this topic so that we can make it a known discussion that should be brought up more often than not, in my opinion. For any indie devs that may stumble upon this article for whatever reason, you deserve all the respect you think you should have, for sure, and keep up the good work, because we'll need you now more than ever!

    Edited by JayGriffin



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    I think there's certainly a lot to agree with here. I noticed over just a couple of years, the games I play have shifted almost completely over to indie or retro titles. I think the reason for that is AAA companies are too focused on graphics, and ways to monetize, and pump out yearly releases, while indie developers are focused on the only thing that's actually important; fun!

    Take Katana Zero for example, it has graphics similar to the 16-bit era, and it might just be the best game I've played in YEARS! Successfully navigating through a complicated wave of enemies, dodging, deflecting, and slashing is immensely satisfying, so much so that the amazing story line, really is just a bonus. I could still enjoy this game thoroughly even if the story was removed, because the gameplay is that much fun.

    If AAA companies want to be profitable, they HAVE to cut their costs by NOT focusing on making it "look amazing", because fun and immersion can happen even if the graphics aren't "life like".

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    @Nathan That's exactly what I meant! Sometimes less is more, but the corporate greed doesn't care about the consumers. Much like with the movie industry and their rights to certain terms or characters or even locations sometimes. It's toxic, so we should appreciate the ones who keep it classical and use straightforward business practices. Thanks for that feedback!  I thought I was in the dark about it! 😎 

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