What does Indie mean to you?

Talk about cool new indie games, Kickstarters, bundles, etc.
Qhesz
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What does Indie mean to you?

Postby Qhesz » Sat May 12, 2012 1:40 am

In the context of Indie Games, what does 'Indie' mean to you?

I'm just interested in what people think, after reading some Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05 ... -bad-word/
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/05 ... as-indies/
(I'm a bit of an RPS junkie... :P)

And also, I was thinking about mentioning Hawken here (http://www.playhawken.com/), 'cause Adhesive Games is an independent studio with a fresh idea, but then they're a large team who got a large, traditional capital investment (around $10 mil if I remember) to fund their development. So is Hawken what you'd call an Indie game?
Justin
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby Justin » Sun May 13, 2012 1:33 pm

Hmm, his opinion piece really left a bad taste in my mouth. Can't say I agree with everything he said and I didn't really realize that people took issue with the term.

I don't think there's a clear objective definition of 'indie game that everyone can agree on. That being said, my definition would probably just be, a smaller, agile team that has 100% creative control. However I think that an "overwhelming love for the game" is one of the key facets of indie developers. That's not to say it doesn't exist in other studios, it frequently if not always does. But with indie groups it seems like this love is the sole driving force; they are making a game first and a product second.

Plus there's this camaraderie between indie devs that I first saw last year at GDC that essentially made me quit my job. These people (who are may be in direct competition with similar games on a single market) will go out of their way to help each other succeed if only so that there could be other great games out there.
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Qhesz
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby Qhesz » Mon May 14, 2012 7:26 am

Same, I can't say I really understand where he's coming from for some of that article.

Justin wrote: they are making a game first and a product second.

I think that's a great way of putting it, and I think that's the crux of what indie means to me. Of all the games that I'm following at the moment, this really is the stand-out common feature. In all of them, it's people making a game that they love, that they want to make, and being fantastically surprised when the community supports their vision too.

I occasionally see indie projects supporting each other (this entire forum board for example), but it's great (and slightly inspiring) to hear how strong that comraderie is.
Here's hoping I get the opportunity to be a part of that at some point in the future. :)
soratidus999
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby soratidus999 » Thu May 24, 2012 7:11 am

Justin wrote: they are making a game first and a product second.


as qhesz said i couldnt agree more

personally i stem it directly from the word "independant"

working without backup, or support - dont take that literally, but i mean theres not a big wad of cash you can just dip into if you sacrifice a bit of creative control

i use the grocery store analogy - theres a lovely corner store that sells fresh fruit and vegies from a couple of farms around, maybe bread from a local bakery - but all in all hes striking it out on his own.

Then theres the OTHER corner store who decided to become part of a chain, slowly he just takes the name.... then maybe starts sourcing some goods like commercial bread or milk - then he gets some oranges (gassed ones) during the off season because he cant get them. then more and more goods until he is simply a vendor for the companies substandard goods

At what point is he not indie? personally i think as soon as he sells out, but the result is the same - he ends up selling crap goods (games) for a big corporation (publisher)

thats not to say either is better, i like my fresh fruit, but sometimes i just want goddamn oranges!
thats not to say either is better, i like little indie gems here and there, but sometimes i like something a bit more big budget
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CanadianWolvie
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby CanadianWolvie » Sun May 27, 2012 6:16 am

Indie Dev to me is not just about one thing but a host of things that are about putting the control of a IP in their hands for good or ill because I think Devs actually are less authoritative about how they profit from it than Publishers. I think a Dev is way more likely to cut me as a customer a deal, be understanding if I mod it, enjoy it when I parody it, and feel like I am talking to another person not feeding me the marketing bull shit when I converse with them in their forums - in every way, Indie Dev means to me a better lasting gaming experience. I applaud those with the balls to self-publish and crowd fund, may they reap the rewards of patronage and friendship, knowing a satisfying content life of the non-starving artist.
Tur1sta
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby Tur1sta » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:00 am

CanadianWolvie wrote:Indie Dev to me is not just about one thing but a host of things that are about putting the control of a IP in their hands for good or ill because I think Devs actually are less authoritative about how they profit from it than Publishers. I think a Dev is way more likely to cut me as a customer a deal, be understanding if I mod it, enjoy it when I parody it, and feel like I am talking to another person not feeding me the marketing bull shit when I converse with them in their forums - in every way, Indie Dev means to me a better lasting gaming experience. I applaud those with the balls to self-publish and crowd fund, may they reap the rewards of patronage and friendship, knowing a satisfying content life of the non-starving artist.


Well, any dev would love to cater more to the customer than their publisher. Gearbox wanted to release more of their limited edition but they have to go through their publisher first to let them. Indie devs on the other would also cater all the needs of their customers but they just lack the funds. It's really something that won't go away. Triple A devs are constricted by their publishers while indie devs are constricted by their lack of funds. It truly is hats-off for indie devs that try to fund as much as they can for us.

On topic, the word "indie" is slowly losing it's original meaning. To be indie, you have to make a breakthrough and be self funded at the same time. I always thought indies where those that were self funded but did not require the mass appeal. Now there are two terms: "Indie" and "independent" devs. Sigh....
jocan2003
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby jocan2003 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:46 pm

Indie mean REAL game with GAMEPLAY as focus and not MONEY, sure they all want to make money but its not the money that will drive them, its passion. Today's market is cram out as much game as possible and overprice them to make sure we feed all these *guys-in-a-suit* (Not the serie reference).

Somebody passionate will strive for making the game as much enjoyable and fun as possible. Most of the time it mean cutting on pretty effect or graphics. Myself i prefer GAMEPLAY and CONTENT over prettiness. If i want something pretty that last a few hour and basicly have nothing in the belly? Illg o watch a TV-serie or a movie.

Sadly everything is turning into a shooter with some exeption, and these exeption are often rushed out way too fast to burn the audience to make them go toward more polished FPS GENERIC #7586....

Good thing kickstarter appeared now these little company can show the big one you dont need Y.A.S.S. (yet another stupid shooter) to please the market and make money out of it. And that you dont need to be spedning multimillion in a game to make a fun game.

TLDR; Indie mean gameplay, fun, maybe not pretty, but hell of an experience.
EA, UBISOFT, ACTIVISION mean bad, contentless game, spinover of a spinover of a copied idea, of a sequel, sure pretty but hollow.
angelocire
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby angelocire » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:27 pm

I'm sorry, but to me "indie" simply means "not publisher-backed".

[rant]

There are plenty of bad indie games. There are plenty of indie devs who are in it for the money. I'm no fan of publishers stifling devs' creatively, but I think this recent demonizing of them makes absolutely zero sense considering every "classic" console game (i.e. game from a non-current console) was made with publisher backing. Zelda, FF, Metroid, Tetris, hell, PONG- all made using publisher money. And yes, I'm counting first-party games as non-indie, because only a (as Notch put it best) "cynical bastard" would try to pass off a powerhouse like Nintendo as "indie".

[/rant]
Qhesz
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby Qhesz » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:30 am

I agree, a lot of absolutely fantastic games have been made with a publisher setup, and in no way do I think they should be demonized or rejected. They bring to the table a whole host of pros and cons, and it's up to developers to weigh those up.

With such a vastly diverse array of "not publisher-backed" games around at the moment, it is certainly difficult to see any meaningful descriptive connection between them. But in the broadest of terms, I think there are things that you are more likely to find in Indie games than AAA titles.
Things like experimentation, a fresh, untested idea.
The concept of a game first and a product second.
Similarly, a kind of Games as Art mentality, where the game is a deeper, more meaningful experience.
Now, I'm not saying an Indie game necessarily has any of these things, or that these things are exclusive to Indie games, but I honestly believe that they are more likely to arise in an indie environment.
In a practical sense, I don't think being labelled Indie or not is ever going to tell you much about a project. But it is another piece of information to help understand more about the development and the developers.
angelocire
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Re: What does Indie mean to you?

Postby angelocire » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:21 am

Yeah, I simply don't like it when people start mindlessly bandwagoning on trends demonizing groups.

Indie vs. AAA is not a matter of "good vs. evil" or even "original vs. formulaic"; it's a simply a matter of "publisher-backed vs. not".

And remember, good indie companies can easily become AAA compaies by becoming publishers a la Valve.

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