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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 bluescrn ( 2120492 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @06:52AM (#46937781)
    But 'right now' is possibly the hardest that it's ever been to *make money* from indie development - simply because there's so many people making games (due to much-improved tools), it's incredibly hard to get noticed, and the bulk of the media attention goes to the already-successful 'super-indies'.

    And even with all the digital distribution options out there, there are new all-powerful middlemen controlling what has a chance of real success - Steam, Humble, Apple (featured content), etc

    Personally, I loved the 90s, when the technology was really exciting and evolving fast. The indie boom of the late 2000s was cool too, but now we seem to be facing oversaturation and race-to-the-bottom pricing (even beyond mobile).
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @08:02AM (#46938133) Homepage

    "make money" as in become rock star rich? yes, and That is a good thing. Sorry to burst people's bubbles but programming and game development is not the lottery, you dont get a big payout.

    Make money as in cover your costs and turn a modest profit? that is more reasonable, and if these Indie people are going into business without a business plan and fully researching the market as well as costs and other financials as well as research as to their lower price to sell at as well as what price that will not scare people away from their game.

    If you are an indie company and think you ca get $60 for your game you are insane, $16.00 to $29.00 for a professional quality game (as in better than the buggy untested crap from bioware) is easily achieved as can be seen by the success of a lot of indie games out there.

    But if a developer thinks they will get rich or start living the 6 digit income levels? They need to stop now and work on something else, as they have zero clue as what it's like to sell software let alone games.

  • by Githaron ( 2462596 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @10:33AM (#46939565)
    While I don't know what made Minecraft initially popular, I think its prolonged success was a happy accident. Notch decided to write the Minecraft client and server in Java which is a relatively easy to decompile language. This encourage a few hacker types to make their own mods. This eventually evolved into third-party mod APIs like Bukkit and Forge which further encouraged third-party content. I don't know what the percentages are but I would guess there is a lot more people playing modded Minecraft than vanilla Minecraft. Since there is not an official modding API, I don't think Minecraft would be nearly as popular today if it had been written in C or C++ because there would much less likely be such a rich modding community for the game.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein