What are Indie Games?
Indie Games are created without the funding of large publishing companies and therefore self-funded. These games are often built to be freeware, or Open Source, however there are a few exceptions to the rule - Darwina, Alien Hominid [ more examples needed ]. Development teams often enjoy this style because they have full control of the game and can edit / develop the IP in any way they wish.
Indie Games have successfully sold from many genres (platform, shooter, puzzle) but most can be found aimed at Casual Gamers. Casual Games are generally marketed at the mass market (Generally games are aimed at young men, etc); this is often made up of women between the age of 30 - 45. These games often have simple rules and play style, and require very little strategy - making them easy to pick and play. The casual game market is said to be the largest of all the game markets and is becoming ever more aimed at by developers and publishers, thanks to the games (generally) lower development costs.
Popular Indie Games
First developed for the up and coming website, Newgrounds, Alien Hominid is a simple flash based shooter where you play the role of an alien who has crash landed on Earth. It was developed by a group of 4 guys, who go by the name of The Behemoth, all members funded this game in its development.
In the game you fight your way through waves of FBI agents and driving down busy motorways (trying to get away from yet more FBI agents). The game was highly rated, even from its early stages of development. The game was featured in Play, Edge and the Wired as previews, then later as reviews, scoring between 7 and 9 out of 10.
Alien Hominid received many indie game awards at the Independent Games Festival – including Innovation in Visuals and Technical Audience. Later in this games life, publisher 0-3 Entertainment took Alien Hominid to the Consoles (GameCube, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 Arcade).
Darwinia is an indie game developed by Introversion Software, it is currently available on: Windows (upto and including Vista), Linux, Mac OSX and is compatable with an Xbox 360.
It was crowned winner of the 2006 Indie Game Festival.
Released on March 4th 2005
Pro's: Doesnt require a high end machine to run the game, very addictive, fast paced, good learning curve
Con's: Although highly addictive at first once you have finished the game the newness will wear off
Average Score: 88%
After developing Darwinia Introversion Software began work on a new project that would push their company to new heights
Key Figures and Sites
The site is devoted to promoting independent games and innovation. It belongs to Greg Costikyan who has been a fighter for innovation in games for many years. He gave a speech in 2005 on the lack of innovation in games in 2005 and received a standing ovation. For a biography on Greg you can visit http://www.manifestogames.com/who.html !!
"The machinery of gaming has run amok. Instead of serving creative vision, it suppresses it. Instead of encouraging innovation, it represses it. Instead of taking its cue from our most imaginative minds, it takes its cue from the latest month's PC Data list. Instead of rewarding those who succeed, it penalizes them with development budgets so high and royalties so low that there can be no reward for creators. Instead of ascribing credit to those who deserve it, it seeks to associate success with the corporate machine. It is time for revolution."
Founded in 1998, the independant games festival is an event designed to encourage and allow innovation in game development and to recognize the best independent game developers.