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Indies the Biggest Stars At Game Developers Conference

samzenpus posted 1 year,23 days | from the everyone-loves-an-underdog dept.

Games 62

RougeFemme writes "Indies beat out mainstream studios for most of the Game Developers Choice Awards. FTL: Faster Than Light, an independent game financed by a Kickstarter campaign, won the award for Best Debut. Because of the growing success of the indies, Eric Zimmerman, game designer and instructor at the NYU Game Center, is canceling the Game Design Challenge that he's held at the conference for the last 10 years. 'The idea of doing strange, bizarre, experimental games is no longer strange, bizarre or experimental.'"

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62 comments

Hipster gamers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328759)

Strange, bizarre and experimental are too mainstream, now, so no more support?

Google Glasses: Concentration Camp For The Mind? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328767)

One of the early tests of this RFID b.s. is where a student protested in wearing an RFID 'badge'. If I recall, in the end the student was forced to wear it. These small steps in mandatory RFID and the love of using smartphones for payments and more will drive us to the MARK OF THE BEAST WHICH YOU MUST NOT TAKE!

IMO Google Glass will be the first step in techie peer pressure. If everyone has one, why don't you? How many people will look at you every day as they have the devices and you don't and upload your photo to a Facebook like data base.

Just like in the episode of Star Trek TNG : "The Game", I believe there will be a market for 'fake' Google Glasses to blend in without participating. But Google could be ready for that and it could eventually lead to mesh computing and auto verification/pings between Google Glass users to ensure they are all 'in the machine'.

Welcome... (5, Insightful)

gabereiser (1662967) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328775)

...to the death of indie games. I've released an indie game on xbl and was pretty proud of it. I didn't get rich, I didn't win awards, I did it to make something fun. Indie games now are a rebirth of the games industry and really are no longer "indie" but rather small game development shops. The idea of being indie for me was to be against the regular establishment of publishing, development houses, big budget games. It seems the evolution of indie games will eventually prove that they are, by definition, no longer indie.

Re:Welcome... (4, Interesting)

ikaruga (2725453) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328847)

Don't worry as real "indie" games aren't going away. The only thing dying is the original meaning of the world "indie", something that is unavoidable in the human society. But I do thing stupid using the same terminology to refer to companies/studios that self publish and people who just develop/publish games as a hobby.

Startups and amateurs (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329345)

But I do thing stupid using the same terminology to refer to companies/studios that self publish and people who just develop/publish games as a hobby.

After CronoCloud pointed out this confusion to me [slashdot.org] several months ago, I have started using two different words for these groups: "startups" and "amateurs"/"hobbyists" respectively. Amateurs develop games as a hobby; startups develop games with the aim of recouping the budget. In fact, one could make an argument that there's a huge divide between a startup of people who have worked game industry for years and a startup of developers switching from some other field to games (like Stardock). This makes three identifiable groups: amateurs, inexperienced startups, and industry alumni startups. Console makers have traditionally catered only to experienced startups.

Re:Welcome... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328863)

What are you opposed to, big budgets, publishing, teams of people working on things? Cloying corporate culture restricts creativity and focuses on profitability/reliable income streams, but there's no reason why small or medium companies need to focus on profit as a primary goal, unless they're publicly traded.

Qualifying to use a gamepad (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329359)

I don't know what grandparent is opposed to, but I'm opposed to the fact that every platform that ships with a gamepad appears to require a digital signature before a game will run, and qualifying to get your game signed requires experience in the commercial video game industry. The indie-friendly stationary gaming platform (PC) ships with a mouse and keyboard, and the indie-friendly handheld platform (mobile phones) ships with a flat sheet of glass. These stock controllers work well for some genres but not [pineight.com] for others [pineight.com] , and Slashdot users have told me that people aren't willing to buy [slashdot.org] what's needed to play an indie game in a gamepad genre (a second PC for the TV room, or a clip-on Bluetooth gamepad for a phone).

Re:Qualifying to use a gamepad (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329743)

a second PC for the TV room, or a clip-on Bluetooth gamepad for a phone

A bluetooth gamepad makes sense for the PC too, rather than buying a whole new PC.

Stringing ground-loop-ridden HDMI cables (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329863)

a second PC for the TV room, or a clip-on Bluetooth gamepad for a phone

A bluetooth gamepad makes sense for the PC too, rather than buying a whole new PC.

Not if the PC and TV are in separate rooms. To quote adolf [slashdot.org] : "I'm not lugging my desktop between rooms or stringing destructive ground-loop-ridden HDMI cables around the house so I can play a game on my PC on my [big TV] in my living room."

Re:Stringing ground-loop-ridden HDMI cables (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,23 days | (#43330657)

That's why I just had my PC in the living room at my last place :p Though at my new place I'm thinking I might actually get one of those desk thingies.

Re:Welcome... (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328871)

...to the death of indie games. I've released an indie game on xbl and was pretty proud of it. I didn't get rich, I didn't win awards, I did it to make something fun. Indie games now are a rebirth of the games industry and really are no longer "indie" but rather small game development shops. The idea of being indie for me was to be against the regular establishment of publishing, development houses, big budget games. It seems the evolution of indie games will eventually prove that they are, by definition, no longer indie.

I don't agree. What is going on is that developers are understanding that Triple AAA titles and spending big money to make games is a waste. And it's funny because that is how video games were for computers since someone started selling the first video game. You didn't need a big budget to program for your computer. Problem has been the cost of programming on consoles was high, and the big publishers have all gone "hollywood" and think that spending $100's of millions of dollars on video games is smart business.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not paying the $40-$50 they want for some of the current games that are seriously outdated graphics and the PC versions are ports that don't get any love at all. I haven't seen a release in the last year that has been worth any money paid ('cept Guild Wars 2), and as a smart consumer, I did NOT pay for any of them. (I paid for GW2 if you get confused). But some of these indie games? $10? Sure, no problem.

Re:Welcome... (2)

Zarhan (415465) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329001)

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not paying the $40-$50 they want for some of the current games that are seriously outdated graphics and the PC versions are ports that don't get any love at all.

I agree. I just shelled out $65 for Tides of Numenera on Kickstarter, and I earlier put in $30 for Star Citizen. And they are not even going to be ready for quite some time! I didn't put any money, but I think I'll probably end up buying Hero-U (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1878147873/hero-u-rogue-to-redemption [kickstarter.com] ) once it's completed. Also interested in Richard Garriot's new project (Shroud of Avatar), not sure if I'm going to participate in the crowdfunding or not.

"Indie" does not necessarily mean "cheap" (see Tides and Star Citizen), of course they have smaller budgets than the triple-As even though Star Citizen is approaching $10M, but for me the recent ones have been about a certain renaissance. It's kinda has same overtures as Baldur's Gate series did 13 years ago - renewing the entire RPG genre, but on a industry-wide scale instead.

And gotta say, I love it. For last 5-7 years I've basically played just WoW and very few other games, until things started gaining more momentum about a year ago. The new indies, combined with Steam holiday discounts (where you can pay $5-$10 for a bit older games) has basically given me gaming back as a hobby.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329071)

Fitting, then, that Baldur's Gate was just recently re-released as an enhanced edition (BG2:EE is still coming and Torment and IWD are pending.... funding...).

Trent Oster has all the traits you would expect of an icon: sex appeal, charismatic charm, resourcefulness, the enduring drive to keep going... I can only wish he would one day read this and feel encouraged and thanked (and flattered! Heeeeey Trent, "care to take a look at me diddy"?!) as much as he deserves.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#43338149)

Gaming's not a hobby, it's just a way of passing the time without poisoning yourself.

What a computer can do in theory but not practice (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329381)

You didn't need a big budget to program for your computer. Problem has been the cost of programming on consoles was high

Ideally, indies would just program for PCs and phones and leave the consoles and their restrictions behind. But it appears that console owners are the only market of people who actually buy games in some genres. I gather that apart from the geek demographic that frequents Reddit, Slashdot, and AVS Forum, not very many people are willing to connect a PC to a big enough monitor for two to four people to fit around. I haven't even seen anybody using a Bluetooth gamepad to play a game on a phone.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43330171)

Triple AAA titles and spending big money to make games is a waste

That *is* a lot of As to spend money on. I guess the big studios are just scaling back to Triple A titles then?

Re:Welcome... (2)

Gravatron (716477) | 1 year,23 days | (#43331179)

You don't need a lot of money to program. But you do need money to higher staff like musicians, artists, game designers, sound techs, actors, mocap, marketing, etc and so forth. Games rose in complexity, and thus, so did budgets. Most indie games don't approach the size, scope, or complexity of such games, so naturally they have a reduced budget.

Re:Welcome... (2)

gabereiser (1662967) | 1 year,23 days | (#43331615)

No, I published my game on xbl for under $500 including hiring a composer and sound guy for the music/sfx. Granted I did the art and programming myself. But I know guys in the local IGDA who do art for art's sake and don't require $80/hr artist pay. The trick is to find someone who is as excited about the project as you are.

Re:Welcome... (1)

Creepy (93888) | 1 year,23 days | (#43332647)

What really killed us (indies in the old days - I was a shareware author) was lack of publishers. Shareware was perhaps before its time, and I think the Id model was good (ala Doom), where you download the game and get a disk for the levels, but the way I distributed - network only, was killed by lack of high speed downloading and a lot of piracy. The studio I worked for after I used my shareware to get my foot in the door developed tier-2 games (budget ala Deer Hunter), but that market largely was absorbed into the larger studios or killed off as time went on. The title I worked on was classified as a tier-2+ game due to having acquired a major licensing agreement with a well known brand. Unfortunately, even saying who I worked for or who published it would violate numerous NDAs (this is pre-GoD games, so dev studios went uncredited). I don't know what the statute of limitations is on those things, but I assume perpetuity.

That said, I did EVERYTHING on my game - I am a decent if unspectacular artist, a decent musician, a programmer, did my own sound, didn't need mocap, though I did do animations (in sprites), and marketed mainly though college download sites. It made me about $55000 over about 10 years (it was free after 6, but donations to keep website alive netted a few k) and probably incurred about $40k in expenses before being hosted on a free site.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328883)

Theres a sort of a phase change that happens when a production or a team is too large to be something like the video game equivalent of a rock band. It's possible for larger organizations to have that same magic mojo but the odds drop off exponentially with size. It's rad if theres an environment where lots of bands can make it. I think indie as a word is most useful as a shorthand way of describing this, and if thats how it is, then small studios is no big deal--it can still function as a band.

Re:Welcome... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328915)

I always thought of indie games as "games that are developed by very few people and with very limited budget". But that's a blunt definition.

Let's make our new definition "loner games"! My games in particular would be filed under "shitty games", but that's a different story..

Re:Welcome... (1)

manwargi (1361031) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328981)

Perhaps "homebrew" is the word you're looking for.

Homebrew has meant jailbreak to me (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329395)

I thought "homebrew" referred to "freeware executed through a jailbreak". Wii homebrew, for example, has used any of several jailbreaks to execute, such as Twilight Hack (LoZ:TP savegame exploit), Bannerbomb/LetterBomb (Wii Menu exploit), and Smash Stack (Brawl savegame exploit). Given the ease of patching the exploits that enable jailbreaks (remember PSP cat and mouse?) and of suing sellers of products that rely on jailbreaks (remember Lik Sang?), I don't see how any game developed with the expectation of recouping its budget can be confidently released through the jailbreak route to market.

Re:Homebrew has meant jailbreak to me (1)

nowheremash (2797061) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329905)

Homebrew covers that, but AFAIK the term originated with the 1980s micros like the Spectrum/Amstrad/Commodore et al, which had built in programming languages. These allowed allowed amateur developers to make their own games and distribute them on inexpensive media (mostly cassettes) via word of mouth or magazine/fanzine classifieds.

Of course having read the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] now I'm doubting myself, but I'll stick by this and cross my fingers no one decides to rain down righteous fury upon me.

Re:Welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329005)

I think you're right in a way, but the thing we should celebrate is that small game shops have found a way to break away from the old "gatekeepers" -- publishers. Direct download to the consumer has paved the way for a lot more inventiveness and variety in games, which I'd say is a great thing. I worked for many years in PC and console game development, and a lot of great ideas would get shot down in the pitching process, just because there was no precedent of such games doing well in the marketplace. As a rule, the big publishers tend to be very risk averse.

Things are a lot more risky now, but there is much more going on, so I guess it's a trade-off. From the consumer / game-player's point of view though, I think things have gotten much better.

Re:Welcome... (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | 1 year,23 days | (#43331629)

And for that, I'm happy. It's showing to the big companies that "gamers" want "games" and not "movie experiences". Games should be made and sold for the gameplay and not for some marketing, franchise, cross-vertical tier linking money grab. I'm happy that indie games swept the GDC but I'm also sad as now indie games have lost their "indie" and are now just "small budget" games.

Re:Welcome... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329057)

Indie games now are a rebirth of the games industry and really are no longer "indie" but rather small game development shops.

Welcome to 1980, this is exactly what happened when the PC started taking off. but other platforms like Commodore and Apple were popular. Used to be the small guys would release games for nothing or next to nothing in magazines, and provide you the basic or whatever else so you could copy, and run it right on your computer. I've still got cassettes for my old man's vic20. It was the indie shops of the day that came the big name shops in the late 80's and 90's.

People weren't decrying the "death of the indies then" they were congratulating the indies on becoming big players, and becoming successful. So it makes me wonder, is this people having a chip on their shoulder about indies becoming successful and possibly becoming the next and future developers? Possibly. But indies really didn't go anywhere in the last 20 years, there just wasn't as much of a demand for them.

Re:Welcome... (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | 1 year,23 days | (#43331673)

No, there's no chip. I say the death of indie in the sense that they are no longer, by my definition, indie. I wish them all the success in the world as I loved FTL and the like. I think we need this jolt to the games industry to show the big players that people want to buy games to play them and not watch a 30 minute cinematic. I'm grateful for what they are doing but when I started working on indie games back in 2006 the term "indie" was to describe a hobbyist who wanted to make a game and bypass the regular publishing means like Microsoft, Steam, PSN, Wii Ware, etc. We released games on PC/Linux/Mac because we liked making games. I released a game on XBox Live Community when the community had only 20 games in the list. Sadly, that market plunged into minecraft clones and vibration apps which didn't make it viable for those of us looking at it as an outlet for indie creativity. But games that have a budget of $100k are hardly indie, like those Sundance movies that feature hollywood actors are "indie". I've always been more impressed with people who can make something awesome using what they have at their disposal than their negotiating power to do something low budget to save costs, if that makes any sense...

Re:Welcome... (3, Informative)

Jesus_666 (702802) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329357)

Well, "indie" comes from "independent" (as far as I know). Yes, it does have a number of more or less vaguely defined additional connotations depending on who you ask but the most basic definition is "a game released by a person or company not affiliated with a traditional publisher". Currently, self-publishing is a rather popular thing and we will see a number of new game development companies arise from this (cf. Mojang), some of which will subsequently be acquired by big publishers. Later, the current indie wave will come to an end.

That doesn't mean that independent game development will come to a screeching halt, possession of a 3D engine will be outlawed for noncorporate entities and someone will burn all copies of "The C++ Programming Language" out of fear of the language being used for unsanctioned game development. It just means that starting your own video game company will be less attractive for a while until the next indie wave starts. There will always be hobbyist game developers. There will always be people writing and selling their own games. There just won't be a big deluge of them for a while.


I think, however, that you're conflating indie games with freeware games and are critical of anyone who sells their games and dares call them "indie", similar to how a music band is either "underground" or "a sellout" according to some people. However, not everyone agrees that "indie" automatically implies "freeware"; to many it just means "without a traditional publisher" - or "independent", if you will.

Re:Welcome... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329647)

But that begs the question, where really is the line for what's "indie"?

I mean, if you have a pile of money (say you inherited it) to do the development, is that therefore no longer 'indie' even if you're working alone and self-publishing?
What if you're working alone, poor, and distribute through Steam? Is that "indie" enough? Or is Steam too corporate now? Or just convenient?

Of COURSE once something becomes trendy and cool (and financially successful...blame Notch), companies are going to try to exploit it. Look at 'grunge' music. Does that mean the niche is dead?

Re:Welcome... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329913)

The same thing happens in every art medium. Look at Rock and Roll, that was supposed to be indicative of it's "strangeness" but after a few decades it was mainstream. The music industry got hold of it. Then came along "Alternative Rock" which was a more direct reference to it's "otherness" from normal rock. But of course, it got so popular, my friends and I joked back in the 90's "Alternative to what? It's the only thing on the radio!" And now we have "Indie Rock" which has already peaked and is pretty regularly being played on radio stations. What's next? It's all labels and doesn't really matter.

Re:Welcome... (1)

gabereiser (1662967) | 1 year,23 days | (#43331737)

and this is what I was referring to. It's mainstream now. I applaud them for their success but I can't really call minecraft, terraria, FTL, Journey, "indie" anymore. They are small budget, small team (even loner team) games sure but once you reach that level of success, drop the "indie" label and just call a game, a game. I remember a time, back in 2000-2004 when "indie" meant to game dev's that they were "indie" because they can't afford marketing negotiations with publishing studios or they thought their game idea to extreme or far-fetched to be marketable. But now that publishers (and by that I mean platform providers) have capitalized on "indies" then really they are no longer "indie" but rather just small development studios or one man army game dev shops. They have a clear avenue for market penetration and they have a means to publish on their own through the platforms. It's a great time to be a small game dev but personally I think they lost what it meant to be "indie". Which isn't a bad thing, just a changing of the times. A reminiscence of what it used to be like.

Re:Welcome... (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | 1 year,23 days | (#43332177)

I was into the indie scene back before it was cool, man. We'd sit on the front stoop smoking american spirits with a bunch of PBRs and playing Basilica (don't ask, you haven't heard about it) on a 13" black and white television way back in '04.

Has to do with (1)

SoVi3t (633947) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328781)

I wonder if it had to do with all the big dev's firing CEOs due to idiotic plans to make a product that they can milk for money, rather than a game they can sell to people for that same money

Re:Has to do with (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329019)

One aspect I suspect has influenced this trend is the decline of focus on current gen consoles. 4 years ago, the market was directing production towards making console games and then porting them. The industry was emphasizing the bigger budgets of AAA titles for streamlined console development. I won't get into why they consumers had rewarded producers for going that direction, just understand that it happened.

So what does that mean? Well, development on these standardized streamlined console environments in a big budget studio atmosphere is subject to meetings, oversight, shareholder review process and all the bureaucracy that bars any single creative person full license to see their particular idea reach consumers intact. That collective decision making, determine by vote approach is poisonous to the unique. Collaboration is fine, but having an idea and getting others to help execute various parts of it is not the same thing as a user study panel driven marketing analyzed 3 management levels approved Frankenstein hive mind approach to creation.

That environment was toxic to indie development and thus all the various infrastructure and tools that are now available to support indie development(kick starter, steam greenlight, etc) did not yet have a reason to exist. The industry was focused away from such things.

Fast forward to the aging of the unifying consoles, in today's environment we have focus shifted back to the PC, the untamed and savage landscape of possibility and choice. You can see where I am going with this by now I suspect. It isn't that there hasn't been the ability to supply indie games nor a lack of demand for them, it is that the means to create them has been improved in various ways as the PC is given more attention by the whole game industry. Indie gamers are finding more resources to do what they do even better.

Psi 5 Trading for the C64 (1)

therealeddie (2880869) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328783)

Hmm, interesting concept for FTL. Sounds awfully like Psi 5 Trading for the C64.

Re:Psi 5 Trading for the C64 (2)

bug_hunter (32923) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328859)

Yay, somebody else who played Psi 5! They're somewhat similar but far from "awfully like".
FTL has a bit of story and changing scenarios and a far different mood. Psi 5 still had awesome crew personalities and a hectic pace when things got rough.

I don't get it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328793)

... is there something subtle I'm missing? Did samzenpus forget something? Maybe it wasn't really samzenpus posting.

Expo (5, Informative)

Niris (1443675) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328813)

I was actually lucky enough to have been there on Friday for the expo portion with a student pass, and I have to say the big companies didn't really show up for that portion. Sony and Microsoft had very light presence at the expo, despite having larger booths. Intel and AMD, along with various smaller vendors for something cloud based or app marketing based (that's about all there was in the small business area, apart from marmalade and corona). However, aside from there not being a big large business presence, the indie games were pretty awesome. I'm definitely going to buy Starforge this week because it was a mix of Halo and Minecraft, and I loved it.

Re:Expo (1)

frinsore (153020) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329527)

I think you're missing some context, the reason that the booths were light was because the booths are there as an introduction to the company or a quick faq. There were meeting rooms set aside to do real business across the street (in the room that held the expo floor last year) not to mention all the hotel conference room meetings that traditionally happen. Hitting up a big platform owner's booth and striking up a deal is pretty rare, generally your business people call their business people and schedule a meeting away from the noise of the convention and then talk about what ever needs discussing.

And while there was a large advertising, cloud (database & server), and analytics contingent there was also the usual motion capture vendors (real time, facial, etc), middleware (AI, procedural textures, procedural cities, particle editors), content out-sourcers (animations, audio, 2D animation, cut scenes) and a few engines (unity, havok, corona, marmalade, etc). I had to make several passes over the show floor before I felt confident that I hadn't missed anything interesting. It's easy to tune out the booths that were just there to accept resumes or representing schools, the harder part is to notice the booth that just happens to be next to something interesting. Every time I walked by the oculus rift booth my attention was drawn to the video of people playing hawken instead of what ever booth happened to be adjacent to the oculus rift's booth.

Re:Expo (1)

tgd (2822) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329931)

I was actually lucky enough to have been there on Friday for the expo portion with a student pass, and I have to say the big companies didn't really show up for that portion. Sony and Microsoft had very light presence at the expo, despite having larger booths. Intel and AMD, along with various smaller vendors for something cloud based or app marketing based (that's about all there was in the small business area, apart from marmalade and corona). However, aside from there not being a big large business presence, the indie games were pretty awesome. I'm definitely going to buy Starforge this week because it was a mix of Halo and Minecraft, and I loved it.

PAX East was the same way -- I think the problem is most of the big game studios (and the 1st party companies) are mid-cycle developing games for systems that aren't public or public enough to give details on, so everything they're showing are either games that are already released or ho-hum filler. The "indie" shops (although I dislike the term) don't have access to the new kits yet, so they're still innovating on the current platforms.

Indies are nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328843)

Sometimes I want something bigger. Sometimes I want to have a lot of voice acting and a story arc that takes a trilogy to iron out. At some point I want to see someone "do Skyrim right" where the stories all intertwine and actually matter wrt each other.

Indies are great, but not everything needs to be like indies. Comics are great but I'd still like to read books. Harry Potter books are great but not every story needs to read and flow like Harry Potter. Games like Journey are great, but that doesn't mean everything needs to be like Journey etc. etc.

Re: Indies are nice, but (2)

Rational (1990) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328851)

No need to sound so apologetic. I also like my games to have some production values.

Re: Indies are nice, but (1)

foniksonik (573572) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329707)

Try out Don't Starve. Indie game on Steam or as a Chrome app. It's a work in progress but the production value is really great. They are working on the story part of it but the sandbox area is quite nice (generative worlds) and the game mechanics are pretty solid at this point.

Features crafting from components, mob algos, npc recruiting, weather systems, r/t combat (not turn based), multiple characters you can switch out, hunger, health and insanity meters you have to maintain (pick flowers, play music, make fancy clothes and eat candy to boost your sanity up). This list doesn't do it justice.

When they get adventure mode completed its going to be even better.

http://www.dontstarvegame.com/ [dontstarvegame.com]

WHERE IS APRIL FOOL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328861)

Where is my April Fool's? Huh? Huh!?!? *cries*

Re:WHERE IS APRIL FOOL!!! (5, Insightful)

chromas (1085949) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328875)

This April Fool's Day, the staff of Slashdot will post only the most well-researched and carefully edited articles—for the entire day!

Re:WHERE IS APRIL FOOL!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43328913)

That wouldn't be an April Fool's Day joke.. that would be a sign of the apocalypse :P

Re:WHERE IS APRIL FOOL!!! (1)

DaneM (810927) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328927)

This April Fool's Day, the staff of Slashdot will post only the most well-researched and carefully edited articles—for the entire day!

That wouldn't be an April Fool's Day joke.. that would be a sign of the apocalypse :P

+1 to parents! :-)

LOL

Strong Bad said it best... (1)

DaneM (810927) | 1 year,23 days | (#43328939)

So, aside from this being a likely April Fools' article...

The best dissertation on the "indie" phenomon I've yet seen:
http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail203.html [homestarrunner.com]

I do like a fair number of indie games, of course...but there's something to be said for the established mores of "professionalism."

Not really (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329039)

Indy in the context of computer games just means done outside of the publishing industry. Most games, particularly big budget games, are financed and controlled through publishers. A company like EA, MS, 2K, etc puts up the money, either to a studio they own or another studio, to make a game. They then own all the rights and distribution for it.

Indy games are when a company, or maybe just a programmer, goes and makes their own game, no publishers involved. The size and budget can really vary. For example one of the games, listed, FTL, was written by two dudes in China, and they hired another guy to do the music. On the flip side there is a game like Wasteland (not yet released) that has a sizable studio behind it, but is entirely financed through Kickstarter and thus is independent of any publishers.

It's not so much a question of professional vs not, but a question of funding and development models. You can see professional and unprofessional results in both cases. You probably see more unprofessional results with indy games since, well, anyone can release an indy game you just need to write one and stick it on the net.

The main difference though is assets and homogeneity. Games from publishers with big budgets have more assets than indy games, like full voice acting, higher detail art, all that kind of thing. They can afford more of it so they have more of it. They also tend to be more homogeneous. There's a big outlay of money, thus a big risk, so publishers want to stick with formulas proven to work. They are unlikely to take too many risks, do too much different.

Two gamepads, one monitor (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329409)

The main difference though is assets and homogeneity.

That and the fact that consoles have traditionally been the only hardware on which people expect to play certain genres, such as fighting games and other genres that rely on same-screen multiplayer.

ralph lauren polo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329003)

http://www.polosale-online.com/

Sexism biggest star of GDC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#43329085)

I would say sexism is the biggest star of GDC 2013. It was the hottest topic that never went away, the entire GDC. It culminated in the fantastic moment, recorded int he following youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t_0sTq1hIo [youtube.com]

In it, the poem "John Romero's Wives" (a reference to how journalists have occasionally written about Brenda Brathwaite merely as Romero's wife, despite being a respected and accomplished game designer of thirty years), written by gaming blogger Cara Ellison about how hard the video game industry is on women, and how hard gamers are on women, and how games are only about breasts, and about how women are about to be raped at every turn at game and developer conferences is read before an audience at GDC, by indie game developer "Anna Anthropy" (a pre-op, I believe, man).

I have been a constant supporter of getting more women into games (if they want to be) and into the tech and gaming industry (if they want to be) and against them being mistreated as anything other than any other human being would be in the same situations. However, I have kind of lost it after that video. I have given money to causes, spoken up for charities, and held the line in discussions with pig-nosed sexist stubborn morons. That was where I had to draw the line, though. . . . and hearing a tranny give an impassioned poetry reading about how hard it is for him and all the other women in this sexist and misogynist industry and hobby. Not that I have anything against trannies. I understand that gender is a serious issue for a lot of people and who am I to say what gender you really feel like inside? (And there have been documented occurrences where hermaphrodites have one set of genitals removed as children, but as they grow up they discover that they really feel internally like a gender other than those of the genitals that were kept, so I can see how varieties of this could exist without the hermaphroditic aspect). I mean, seriously, that is quite LITERALLY a man complaining about sexism as a woman being cheered on by an audience full of men and women for standing up for women by sharing his experiences of being mistreated and judged because he is a . . . woman (with comments like how dare people sometimes say he isn't a woman, just because he has man-parts).

It's baffling and kind of.. fuck it, I don't even know. I sympathize with the sexism thing. I sympathize with the mistreatment of transgendered persons thing. But those are separate things. How the fuck is it misogyny when you're not even a woman?!

Background:
http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=1985&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=romeros-wives [auntiepixelante.com]

The poem:

There comes a time when you’re more angry than tired
There comes a point where sitting in silence is more terrifying than standing and speaking
The games industry is a man in love with his libido
I have a libido

Had to be joked away at conferences
Had to be scrolled past on internet forums
Had to be hissed under your breath
Had to be leant over a keyboard at 3am
Had to be seen in the statistics
Had to be segregated in schools
Had to be guided away from the sciences
Had to be a self-taught programmer
Our apathy and the games industry are in cahoots

Had to be Jenn Frank’s endless patience
Had to be Leigh Alexander on a Bombcast
Had to be Mattie Brice making a game so she could finally be the main character
Had to be Mattie’s game misattributed to Merritt Kopas
Had to be Merritt’s game misattributed to me
Had to be unable to make room for more than one trans game designer
Had to be Lara Croft shipwrecked on an island of rapists
Had to be David Cage’s sex bot begging for her life
Had to be protected by a man
Had to be marooned on Makeb
Had to be games where women moan when they’re shot
Had to be Remember Me rejected because a woman protagonist makes it gay
Had to be Rhianna Pratchett asking “but what if the player’s female?”
Had to be a Mojang security guard asking “what do you expect me to do?”
Had to be the forty hottest women in tech
Had to be fake geek girls

Brenda Braithwaite can’t bring her daughter to E3

Had to be moaned through knees in the bath
Had to be screamed into a pillow
Had to be rewritten a hundred times
Had to be deleted before I clicked “send”
Had to be in fear
Had to be fat, ugly or slutty
Had to be told I’m really a man
Had to be asked why my name doesn’t match my ID
Had to be a feminazi slut
Had to be an attention whore
Had to be obsessed with my own sexuality
Had to be on display
Had to be a torso on a shelf
Had to be mistaken for a booth babe
Had to be told to stop talking about it
Had to be told “this isn’t an intelligent conversation”
Had to be told to get your husband’s permission before posting on the internet
Had to be verbally abused
Had to be clogging Patricia Hernandez’s inbox
Had to be Lana Polansky scared to talk about sex
Had to be Tracey afraid to comment on her own site
Had to be Dani Bunten denied her own name
Had to be the indie game developer who told my friend she could give him a blowjob
Had to be Adria losing her job because she said “no more”
Anita Sarkeesian’s face is bruised

Had to be rage
Had to be fear
Had to be scared to use the bathroom
Had to be silenced
Had to make a rape joke
Had to put it on a t-shirt
Had to get your wife to insist that you’re not sexist
Had to refuse to call Dys4ia a game
Had to deny that Tentacle Bento is a game about rape
Had to leave two hundred comments on an open letter to Destructoid
Had to hate other women because you were taught to
Had to call us “females” like we’re another species
Had to give me a panic attack
Had to push me out of the chair and play the game for me
Had to take away my agency
Had to take away my identity

Had to be John Romero’s wife
Had to be John Romero’s wives
All had to be John Romero’s wives
All had to be John Romero’s wives

Oculus VR (3, Interesting)

Ralph Barbagallo (2881145) | 1 year,23 days | (#43329159)

The biggest thing there was Oculus Rift by a longshot. 2.5 hour wait to try it for a few minutes. Granted, GDC is not a consumer focused show, but I've never seen a crowd like that for something at GDC before.

Most indie games... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | 1 year,22 days | (#43333203)

... are crap. While I enjoyed FTL and thought it was one of the few indie games worth anything. Most indie games are worse then NES/SNES/PC games from 20 years ago.

The reality is the middle market for game development is coming back via kickstarter and indie games were really mostly smaller developers attempt to push mostly crapware on a gullible consumer base that will eat garbage if they propagandize properly via popular gaming sites.

The internet is a bizarre echochamber of gullible morons when it comes to gaming and you especially see this with how games have become homogenized as they've gotten more popular with the masses. For us expert gamers, gaming has really gone to shit everything has become lowest common denominator. Oldsters like myself hope to see a bit of a renewal of more complex games via kickstarter but most of us older geeks are taking a wait and see approach to see how it will all pan out given the limited funds for projects like PA.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/659943965/planetary-annihilation-a-next-generation-rts [kickstarter.com]

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