Indie Bubble

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FamilyFriendlyGaming
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Indie Bubble

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

Anyone else expecting the indie bubble to burst pretty soon?

I have found myself less interested in indie games lately.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by Emwok »

Maybe. Last year was pretty much the Golden Age for indie games. It seems like all the good, new ideas have been taken, but I bet there are still some good games that have yet to be made.
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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by ccgr »

It depends. It's hard for small companies to get a decent following but good original games are harder and harder to come by. There are so many war, zombie, racing games, and so on. There's also been a lot of retro style games that have been fun but could have been better if higher quality graphics and controls were implemented into them.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by Sstavix »

I tend to agree, especially with the graphics part. At first, the "retro" style was cute. Now it's been done so much that it's starting to feel like lazy programming and feeble attempts to cash in on the latest craze.

Incidentally, Jeff Vogel (of Spiderweb Software) wrote about this almost a year ago in his blog. You can read his thoughts here, if you'd like.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

Emwok,

I see clever interesting things all the time. Take Affordable Space Adventure for example. The intro to the game is like watching a commercial. Neat idea, and it fits the game. But then the game play feels like Pid, and a ton of other action adventure puzzle games.

ccgr,
totally agree. I lose interest in so many press releases because too often it is just propaganda. I also agree on the graphics. When a company releases a second, third, fourth, etc. indie game and improves nothing I start to question if they ever will. RCMADIAX is a great example. Atari 2600 games look better than their games. They don't seem to be trying to get better graphics.

Sstavix,
Thank you. :) I remember reading an article about this some time back. It was his article. It is like the latest gold rush, which works out for some, but many others just waste a lot of time and money. :)


I am also bothered that Christian game developers are not included in the indie games very often. They were indie before indie was cool. Yet they are being left out in the cold.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by Deepfreeze32 »

ccgr wrote:There are so many war, zombie, racing games, and so on.
So this ExtraCredits video I think highlights that point in particular really well.




Basically the problem isn't too many games are being released, but that there's no easy way to discover new games that don't have a huge advertising campaign or fan following behind them. I think Steam and other distributors need to up their game (heh) in search and discovery, because there are plenty of cool games I only found about through friends, and I never would have found otherwise.

More succinctly, part of the problem with digital games and the booming indie business is that consumers have more titles than ever to wade through, and not enough tools to do so effectively. Heck, browsing the Steam store with a web browser is often better than using the client for finding new titles. I think that will be one of the key factors in whether or not the indie business contracts (or bursts).

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

Deepfreeze,

Excellent point. :)

I would also like to see physical copy distribution for more indie games. Minecraft and Terraria were able to release physical copies. Costs of physical copies has come down, and it would be awesome to see more physical copies in stores. I have talked to people who refused to buy a PS4 or Xbox One because there were not enough games on the store shelves. That is what they see, and they don't download games.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by ccgr »

or bigger hard drives in consoles...500GB doesn't go far these days

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

ccgr wrote:or bigger hard drives in consoles...500GB doesn't go far these days
The 32 gig Wii U is even worse. :)

I laughed when some people suggested buying an external drive. My attitude was - after spending $300 I should not have to buy something else because of poor design.

Easier upgrade options for early adopters should be present. I expect Microsoft and Sony to release larger hard drive machines. Which does not help any early adopters though.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by ccgr »

What about the 8GB Wii U model, that's even worse! How much free space (if any) is left after installing updates?

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by Deepfreeze32 »

Increasing the hard drive size does increase the cost of production, however. And consoles are already a net loss for the manufacturer, they have to recoup the costs through games and licensing.

My question is: Between the rapid influx of web-based/streaming games and the large mobile market, how relevant will game consoles continue to be?

In a lot of ways, consoles were seen as the successor to PCs for gaming because they were cheaper and standardized. They appealed to the mass market because they were accessible. But accessibility has moved on. Smartphones are more common than ever, and even a low-tech computer with a web browser can run decent browser-based games. PC gaming never went away, it just became slightly more niche.

So will consoles become niche? Or will they go away? It's not too hard to envision a future where the gaming console is no longer needed (For example, streaming games like the defunct Onlive system, or using web browsers), or at least not mass market. If they won't make money, will companies make them? I'm not sure how many gaming console cycles we have left before it's just not worth it anymore, but I'd hedge some bets around maybe 2 or 3. Maybe. We're reaching a point where the hardware necessary to produce a new generation of game graphics is eclipsing the possible profits a console manufacturer can see.

The other concern is the handheld market outside of smartphones. Will systems like the DS be able to compete with smartphones? I see people carry both around, but I'm far too lazy to carry a portable system around with me.


So what happens next? I don't know, but I'm willing to bet that games will get less physical, and more distributed. Not exactly the answer you were hoping for, but unless market pressures change, that's what the future looks like from my perspective. (And to clarify, I'm not exactly ok with it. I like having a physical copy, if only because I have something cool to put on my shelf.)

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

ccgr wrote:What about the 8GB Wii U model, that's even worse! How much free space (if any) is left after installing updates?
It reaches the un-useable point with the 8GB. And you are right - worse. :)

Deepfreeze32,
I want to challenge one of your assumptions. Console makers tell us they lose money on every single machine. Have you seen the actual costs of production, versus sales price? I have not. So I question that as these companies trying to get sympathy. Here is another reason to challenge it - how much money do these companies have in the bank? Nintendo has BILLIONS. Where did that money come from? Us, and licensing fees. Since they have that much money I assert their game prices and system prices are over inflated. Meaning they need to lower them. If they have billions in the bank, they could cut us some slack on prices.

Unless they are being greedy, and we are enabling them in that sin.

That is an excellent question. Console gamers are pretty loyal. Nintendo brought in casual and family gamers with the Wii, and lost them with the Wii U. Neither Microsoft or Sony has done much to reach out to casual and family gamers and are not getting their dollars. The rise of phone and tablet gaming has catered to the casual gamers. Look at the VR Sony is working on. That could bring in plenty of different kinds of gamers and keep console going strong until there is a portable holodeck in your living room. It is always hard to predict since something cool can come out of nowhere. Also core gamers will never leave. I know plenty that will play retro systems as opposed to go to the phones and tablets.

Personally I do not like the control limitations on phones and tablets. Too many games control better with some form of a controller.

I agree with you on the digital distribution. Which is why I fully support the physical copy movement. To have the idea out there that some of us do not want to give away our rights to these companies. Can't trade, barter and give away a download. At least not yet. Like you said it is nice to see cases of games with the art on them, and a game booklet. I also see it as the direction the industry is trying to go.

I also expect to see this in the future - pay for each level, or pay for each world. Imagine a future Mario game where you play world 1 for free. And then you have to pay $6-$8 dollars to unlock and play world 2. Same for world 3, etc. Companies will use this is see where to continue developing games. As long as there are enough sales, they will make more levels/worlds for it. Sales dip, they move resources to a game that is selling levels/worlds. It is a repeat pay to play nightmare.

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by coffeeblocks33 »

I don't feel the "Indie" game craze to be a bubble at all. Low overhead, part-time developers are the future of gaming in my opinion. With the coding tools available today, anyone can make a successful flash game. The cost of entry into the gaming market has never been lower. The true "bubble" I feel is high cost console gaming. How long are people going to continue paying $100's of dollars on XBOX and PS games?

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Re: Indie Bubble

Post by FamilyFriendlyGaming »

coffeeblocks33 wrote:I don't feel the "Indie" game craze to be a bubble at all. Low overhead, part-time developers are the future of gaming in my opinion. With the coding tools available today, anyone can make a successful flash game. The cost of entry into the gaming market has never been lower. The true "bubble" I feel is high cost console gaming. How long are people going to continue paying $100's of dollars on XBOX and PS games?
Interesting stance, thanks. :)

Also very interesting projection on the future. :)

That is a really complex question - on how long people will pay $100s of dollars on XBOX and PS games. We can talk about video game addiction, marketing and propaganda, culture and society, economy, organizations and perspectives. We can also talk about when Jesus comes back and what that means for technology. A Lamborghini is outside of my budget, yet the company is still making cars.

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