It´s all the fault of George Clingerman, or his son – because when George asked him “…what makes a game an indie game?” the answer was: “This is easy. Indie games have less than 100 people in the credits.” And then George posted it to Google+ where Philippe Da Silva and I started a small discussion. Then Philippe wrote a blog about it “Indie” = “Startup”.
I don´t really share Philippe´s point of view, even though he does make some good points.
So here comes what I define as indie (today – my opinion here is not set in stone):
You are indie …
… if your game design decisions are not based on exterior influences (like money, a boss …)
… if the motivation to create a game comes from yourself and not an exterior influence (like like the need for money, or a boss…)
… if you´d rather give away your game for free then see it getting lost
… if you know everyone involved in the creation process by name
… if you are free in the choice of your distribution channel (no that does not mean you need to be able to publish via XBLA!)
… if nobody else has a sayso in any decisions in your “company” (if you want a yellow bath duck in your company logo, then you can have it!)
Due to time issues I haven´t covered the Dream Build Play 2011 (or anything else for that matter), but it´s never to late, right? So I will try to post at least some cool stuff, like this trailer. And yeah it´s indie – just wait until the end.
Okay, maybe they don´t exactly rule Steam – but compared to how their games did on XBLIG the good fellows at Zeboyd must at least feel like they rule supreme.
I don´t want to tell you again about CSTW or its predeccessor BoD VII – both games are worth much more than what Zeboyd is asking for on Steam or XBLIG.
What I do want is compare how well the title did on Steam and XBLIG. Developers are complaining about Microsoft more or less ignoring the channel – there simply seems to be nobody at Microsoft that sorts out the pearls in all the rubbish (yes – I´m talking about massage titles and guides for little kids on how to have free sex *didn´t work by the way!*). Steam does – they don´t allow every rubbish title, they select the games that developers actually spend love and time on.
Microsoft wake up!!! You created XNA and now you let others reap the fruits of your labour. Promising XNA devs flee the platform, others are at least planing to release on other platforms as well and those with a hit in the pipeline might switch sides as soon as they get their quartly sales figures.
Maybe you heard of the Summer Uprising? I must admit that due to time issues these last few months I hardly had time to follow it. But it´s still a while until the finalists are announced and I will try to cover the most promising title. And there are a lot of titles worth playing from the looks of it.
Today lets start with “Cute Things Dying Violently“! The first time I noticed the game was on the Neogaf forum where I watched some early material that was mostly bloody – bloody fun that is. Now the game obviously is nearing completion and you see that it´s a title made with a lot of love and effort spend on it. Enjoy the trailer.
We indienerds follow a simple recipe with our reviews; if it is not worth playing for at least fans of the genre, then we don´t bother reviewing it. No point in wasting your time or ours.
The games reviewed here represent the best you can find on the Xbox Live Indie marketplace and when I tell you that “Cthulhu Saves The World” is one of the finest indie games I ever reviewed, you might want to consider skipping the review and just go ahead and download it. I won´t blame you (much) and I don´t limit this suggestion to fans of the (J)RPG genre – this game is suited for everyone who enjoys a good laugh and well-thought-out dialogs.
Before you hit the MORE button to read the full review you should prepare yourself by adding the game to your download queue on the marketplace site and turn on your Xbox.
When I saw the trailer for Astroman from StarQuail (which you can watch after the MORE button in the full review), I immediately wanted to play the game. I like platformers, and this one seemed to be quite polished for an Xbox Live Indie title.
Now that I have played it, I am in awe, because it’s a beautiful game with an atmosphere that very few titles manage to establish these days. But I also do have some mixed feelings for the game, because I can’t recommend it for everyone.
Epic Dungeon from Eyehook Games was the first title released in the Indie Games Winter Uprising and so far seems to be the most successful one (discounting recent releases such as Decimation X3, as they haven’t received sales data yet). It was instantly a best seller with almost 50% conversion rate (meaning one out of two people that tried the game purchased it afterwards). That said it is a no brainer that you should check it out, but if you’d like to know a little bit more about it, then press the MORE button and read the review and watch the trailer.
When I got my hands on Crossfire 2 (download here) I was amazed at how much fun it was to reduce wave after wave of Space Invaders to pixel dust. This time it´s coupled with a very nice and fast going upgrade system that turns your little ship into a bullet spitting hell machine. Every casual gamer should have just as much fun with the normal wave mode as cracks of the genre will have trying to rise in the online scoreboards. The game comes a week late, and I´m feeling half guilty for that, but is certainly worth checking out.
And buy it, because the fate of Crossfire 2 might decide the fate of radiangames as Luke Schneider wrote on Radiangames.com. Maybe he should have called it Final Invaders.
So to support Luke a little bit…
So help one of the finest developers on the Xbox Indie channel to keep developing great games – don´t forget it´s just $6 for 6 great games and it´s (almost) christmas. Spread the word – link to this blog post or to radiangames.com directly in forums, blogs or whereever you see the chance.
Decimation X3 is the successor to the quite successful Decimation X that I hold very dearly to my heart since it robbed me of many hours of my life – and I just can´t blame it. I also love the indie reviews from Michael Connolly (digitalquarters.blogspot.com) a lot and when he offered to write a Decimation X3 review for indienerds.com I was very happy. And then he didn´t like Decimation X3 even though I did. BUGGER! Still a great review and absolutely worth reading – I just had to add my personal conclusion at the very end of it. So now I hand over to Michael and get back to you at the very end.
Sometimes things come along that remind us what happens when we concentrate just a little bit too much on gratuitous shooting and explosions rather than substance. Usually, Michael Bay has us covered on that front, but I couldn’t help thinking “less is more” during my time with Decimation X3, Xona’s recent XBLIG shooter.