Sketch 89: Charmin’ Charmander
A Charmander snoring his head off to complete the Kanto- starter terrarium trilogy (p.s hello and welcome to my new followers! I’m very pleased to meet you!)
our bottle of anonymous men got confused by words
Sea Slugs That Prove Aliens Already Live On Planet Earth
’ afternoon tea’
new painting from my 1920+ universe, aristocratic/royal family resting in the garden, carefree and well protected,
and yes… ?on the foreground it is a samovar on legs : ]
You might have heard recently some discouraging news about the viability of the indie gaming industry, most notably TotalBiscuit devoted a talk to it after a developer wrote about his troubles, the guy behind SteamSpy tweeted about it, and Kotaku and some other games sites have been running articles about how difficult it is not just to release a game, but to find an audience for it after the fact.
At first glance this sounds discouraging. It sounds like bad news for indies.
And to be frank, if you are an indie dev making a 2D platformer, or to a lesser extent a rouge-lite, it IS bad news if you ask me.
But I think for everyone else, you really shouldn’t worry too much.
To understand why, first we need to remind ourselves what the greatest asset the indie developer has at their disposal is: risk.
See, we can take risks the big studio’s simply can’t. The thing the general public isn’t necessarily aware of is that AAA game development is weighed down by it’s own budget. Having a multi-million dollar budget is not freeing, it’s a straight jacket. When people give you that much money to work with they don’t want risks, they want a safe investment built on proven standards, or in other words, the First Person Shooter.
We were never going to compete with the AAA scene by doing what they do. That’s why the indie-fps is so rare, because developers at least understand that anything they make will be held up to the same scrutiny as the CoD’s, Halo’s, and Bioshock’s of the world, and frankly no indie can compete on that level.
Where we can compete, and in fact beat out AAA, is in risk-taking. I can make an airship themed arena-shooter/RTS hybrid because it’s a comparatively low risk since it’s only my time and funds. Other developers can make a co-op shmup with time management, an open world space sim, or an action rpg with turn based strategy systems.
The point is that the indie developers greatest asset is the ability to take risks and create the content that the AAA industry financially can’t afford to take bets on.
But the indie scene didn’t, and now it’s finally realizing it.
Not everyone of course, but too many developers fell into this trap. Risk was and is our greatest strength, yet countless indie developers instead took to making the least risky projects they could, and in droves they began to make the indie equivalent of a FPS: The Platformer.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a well made platformer, and the past decade has been a great time to be a platformer fan simply due to the number of new titles. Beyond that even, the Platformer has some inherent strengths that cannot be overlooked. It’s cheaper to make in terms of art resources due to the perspective, it’s comparatively simple to program, and you can explore a lot of design ideas inside it, I mean, we have horror platformers, rpg platformers, puzzle platformers, metroidvanias, racers, runners, and even existential platformers. There’s some fertile ground there.
But frankly, these are all variations on an idea that has been thoroughly explored. With every platformer being created the market was becoming more and more saturated. There may be an endless expanse of possibilities for platformers, but the average consumer is only going to be interested in so many of them with their mileage varying on how dedicated a platforming fan they are.
Platformer’s became the FPS of the indie scene. No one searched you out anymore because they all knew that the best one’s would come to their attention eventually regardless of how much they looked for them.
There was for a time a perception that the platformer was the least risky indie game you could make. With hits like Braid, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, and Fez, how couldn’t there be money and fame in platformers?
Yet that perception has gotten us here. The indie scene forgot about it’s greatest strength, it’s ability to take risks, in lieu of making the same thing everyone else was making.
Rouge-lites are on their way there too.
You don’t need to stop making these games of course, but you need to ask yourself why you are making indie games before you make one of these. Certainly you can’t be making them for the money because there is no money here, but are you making them because you have a truly unique idea? Not an idea that is unique in nuance, not an idea you think is unique, but an idea that is unique in a blow-your-socks-off way. Because if you don’t, and you’re making a platformer, or a rougelite, your job of getting people interested in your game just came with the baggage of a thousand other titles that already did what you are doing.
And they probably did it better than you.
So just make something new. In a genre that doesn’t get over-used so much, unless you are 1000% certain your idea is the next big thing for platformers. And if it’s not, and you try to say?“but I only want to make platformers”, then you have bigger problems as a designer than this is made to deal with.
It’s kinda reassuring in a way, but also disheartening. I’m glad I’m focusing on the Action/Survival genre for the time being, knowing this. However, I was really?hoping to go Platformer for my next game.
Really doing some soul-searching tonight after reading this. After all, why do I want to make this game? Am I okay with the fact that it 99.9% won’t be a huge hit? That it will blend in?
Going to simmer on this for a while. One must not be blind to the truth out there, after all. I can’t hype my game up with story and feels only. I need gameplay here. Need to find a hook.
Other followers if you haven’t already checked out our contribution to the 2d indie platformer glut go take a look at Amygdala on Steam!
“TAG YOUR GORE/POMEGRANATES ASSHOLE”
GREATEST SENTENCE EVER.
Reasons people need to back away from tumblr once in a while
There is a world outside of tumblr, ppl. GO OUTSIDE
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im coming friend
im here i love u