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Classic Games (Games) Games

What Was the Greatest Age For Indie Games? 92

jonyami writes: "Indie games have existed for as long as there's been something to play and something to play it on. From the humble Apple II to modern PCs, Xbox Live Arcade and the Kickstarter revolution, just what was the greatest age for indie games? A new article takes a look at the various eras, the top indie games and the future — which one do you reckon is on top?"
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What Was the Greatest Age For Indie Games?

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  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @06:33AM (#46937697)
    Never before have documentation and good tools been so available to even indie developers.

    Never before has it been so easy to actually earn money with indie game development.

    And things might be getting even better.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @09:26AM (#46938825) Homepage
    6 digit income levels? $100,000 a year is a 6 digit income. That's not a huge amount of income to ask for as a developer. Then again $500,000 is also a 6 digit income, but that's actually a large amount of money to be making.

    Personally, I think that game programming is like the lottery. Notch basically won the lottery with Minecraft. There's nothing particularly amazing about the game, but for some reason, it caught on, and now he's rich. It's hard to pin down what makes one game sell millions, while other games struggle to sell in the thousands.
  • by crossmr ( 957846 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @09:41AM (#46939005) Journal

    Say what you will about all the access devs have now, but it was that time when things were greatest.

    People were still experimenting. Not just with concepts but core mechanics. Interfaces, everything. It was the wild west.

    People weren't yet dumbing things down to make them more "Accessible", when you got a game there wasn't going to be another one in 5 minutes. The internet wasn't everywhere. People still had slow connections when it came around. You read magazines, hunted for games and traded with friends.

    The early days were really the best for the entirety of computing. Sure, things are flashy, we have such powerful machines now. Those were the days of great games and great indie games.

  • by Ranbot ( 2648297 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @09:57AM (#46939201)

    You must be young. Almost all indy titles today are shovelware using asset stores for their code, art and sounds. Games are being thrown together by everyone with a view of creation lots of titles hoping one is a hit

    I used to scour BBS on my 14.4 modem looking for indy games to download, so I think I'm old enough to tell you to stop looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses. There was an indy PC game movement in the 80's and 90's that created some great things but there was plenty of forgettable shovelware too, you just forgot about that (go figure). Those old games also recycled plenty of their own code, art, and sounds. Also, 80's/90's indy developers were almost completely shut out of the console markets, but not so today. 80's/90's indy developers were also much more limited by the technology available, and not just graphics, but also the interface was mostly limited to keyboard/mouse and maybe a joystick. Today's indy developers has so much more available to them to use creatively. Graphics is obvious, but also things like Wii-Mote, Kinect, mobile phone capabilities (cameras, GPS, etc.), and new VR tech. Then you've got Kickstarter, digital distribution, and flexible pricing to get indy developer ideas/projects off the ground. Yeah there are going to be plenty of indy game turds, but there always have been.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan