I loved this episode. It’s been interesting seeing discussions pop up on Indie being primarily seen as a brand now rather than an actual term used for independent developers, I was having this discussion about a week ago with a friend/colleague after a meeting, going over what we all saw during the Guerrilla Collective event over the summer, and some of the indie labeled games on the Microsoft/Sony showcases.
It just appears to be going full circle into indie being this sort of revival of the small dev in the 80s/90s wandering into the wild west of game development where ideas felt a bit more loose, right back into this rigid, slow crawl of, “But how much will it sell? Is this idea financially viable for us to even continue? This game will take 5+ years with a team of 10+ to make.”
Smaller publishers don’t want to take many risks, so a lot of mainstream indie games I’m seeing under the spotlight are starting to kinda look same-y in some ways, with some exceptions, but it’s clear to see some patterns forming. Also feels like a Kickstarter could potentially hurt any further/future publisher talk if it fails, since now crowd funding is more of an excitement gage, as well as a supplemental thing for them than a viable platform for making a game that’s not just a super small project.
It’s been quite a ride pitching our current game, and we’ve definitely been asked the, “How much time on average would it take to play through it?” by literally every publisher we approached, which has been fun to hear since our goal has been to make this one shorter. So, I guess, thanks for that Steam.
Something that improved over the last 10 years
It’s cool to see so many dev tools become more accessible to people not in a big company. Blender has improved by leaps and bounds since I used it back in 2011, it actually feels like a piece of software humans can use now. Opening that thing in 2011 was pig disgusting, I can’t imagine anyone using it before then. Clip Studio Paint is a blessing for digital illustrators and is an affordable one time fee (if you’re not using the iPad version, which is still worth it), and you can readily access Unity as well as Unreal Engine without much fuss or shelling out a fortune up front all at once.
And despite my growing contempt for indie, there are still cool things coming out of the scene that I’m excited for, even more so than most big budget titles, that’s for sure.