What’s going on with Indies?
In a market that is absolutely saturated with games, with numerous games being released every month (or let’s face it, every week), it’s easy to tell that the game industry is booming and increasing it’s output drastically. Many people want to be involved in this market, with several new faces and companies propping up every year. It’s no surprise, then, that the indie scene is spreading like wildfire. But with so many indie games coming out each month, it’s easy to become lost within the ocean of retro, 2D and classic games. However, while this over saturation is gross and upsetting, I think there is a bit of necessity to this. Hear me out.
How can others be different?
Well with so many people desiring to jump into the video game market, most have to start off somewhere and that’s typically as an indie developer. But how do you make your game stand out within a market that is clearly not wanting for more indie games? You have to take risks, you have to try to be different in a world where indie games are almost always have retro style artwork, are almost always 2D, and usually do something that has clearly been done before. In my experience, the indie games that truly shine and catch my eye are the ones that give their everything to be seen and heard. They adopt a gameplay style that may have never been done before or maybe it has but they want to do it better. They try things that others are either too lazy to do or don’t believe is the safe move.
Why is this important?
It should be obvious that innovation breeds new things. If we never experimented on anything in life we would never discover new or interesting things. Most Triple-A developers will keep releasing a game that is the next in a long line of games that has been done to death with a few changes made to the formula here and there and graphical updates as well, but they are generally considered safe options. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Especially if it’s going to bought like hotcakes by fans of the series. They typically don’t need to change anything up, or innovate though some companies and games will choose to, sometimes to drastic effect. So in a world where the big guys are overpowering everyone and aren’t doing much to add new gametypes or gameplay to the market, I think it’s important that at least the little guys have to do so to stand out. It’s not an easy road for them to take, as who knows what they could possibly do to stand out with so many games coming out each week, but that just pushes the creative bounds to the absolute limit.
In short, Indie developers are important because they have no choice but to innovate either on tried and true methods with newer ideas or come up with entirely new ideas to throw into the mix. They have to do this or they won’t be found within this never-ending torrent of their competition within the Indie game space, much less against Triple-A games. You Indie developers out there that take those risks and shape the industry with new ideas and thoughts, you’re the real MVP and don’t ever stop what you are doing. Please, and thank you very much.
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