For my final blog post I have decided to focus one of the most interesting and fastest growing types of video games, indie-games. By definition, an independent video game development is the business of making games without the support of publishers. Indie-games have sparked a personal interest for me as they uphold the stereotypical story of the underdog; that is a small development team who against all odds (that is against bigger, more prominent video game companies) create critically and/or financially successful video games.
Given the growth of digital distribution it has become easier than ever for anyone with a computer to create something and put it online for the world to see. This ethos is what has fueled the recent surge of indie games in the video game market. Games such as Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, Braid and Limbo being a few in which received both critical and financial success.
Minecraft is a simple game where the player creates their own experience within a world comprised of physical squares each with different real-world properties. Interesting, Minecraft spent most of its life within the development beta stage (beta in 2009 and released as a full game in 2011). More significantly, as of today the game has been downloaded more than 14,142,395 times at $20 US a pop, the Minecraft team are siting on top of a financial goldmine any video game developer could simply dream of.
However, making a videogame by yourself of with a small team of friends is not as easy as you would expect. Phil Fish, the creator of the praised inde game Fez, is notorious for voicing his opinions on Twitter. Although last year he decided to leave the games sequel, Fez II, and video games all together…
This decision was sparked from Fish’s rise in popularity. The once secluded that found himself center stage in the discussion of indie video games. This on top of other factors such as deadlines and experiences with releasing the original Fez led to the Twitter outburst.
Similarly, the recent overnight viral indie game Flappy Bird was taken off the ios and android marketplace as the games developer, Don Nguyen, has simply had enough. Many believe that Nguyen took the Twitter hate comments to heart leading him to pull the plug on the game and calling it an “addictive game”.
Social media seems to link both the downfalls of Fez II and Flappy Birds together and while people argue that both developers should not have taken the trolls seriously it is hard not too when constantly bombarded by Tweets day in and day out.
If anyone wishes to learn more about indie-games I highly suggest they watch Indie Game the Movie, the trailer is found here.
Liam Sew Hoy