Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Happy Indie Day

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 4, 2012

For the half or so of you who are in the United States – Happy Independence Day!

For the rest of you, happy Wednesday!

While here in the U.S. it’s a day of barbecues and fireworks (though hopefully, here in drought country during a fire season for the record books, this is all kept very safe today), it’s a good chance to reflect on our history, to appreciate our freedoms and the sacrifices made to grant us that, and the principles on which these freedoms were founded.

And maybe to think a little bit about independence. A simple definition is “freedom,” but it’s more than that – it’s about being capable of surviving and thriving without the constant care of another. It’s about achieving a level of self-sufficiency. It doesn’t necessarily imply a complete severing of relations. Like children becoming independent of their parents, or… game developers becoming independent of the big studio model that dominated the industry for years.

And independence goes both ways. Bringing things back to gaming, I quote a tweet from Robert Boyd yesterday: “As an indie developer, I’m not trying to save the industry. I’m trying to make a living, make fun games, and improve as a developer.”

That’s really the point.

I find it hard not to get too hyperbolic myself when I evangelize indie gaming. More than half of my favorite games these days are indie titles, and I’m really thrilled that the indie movement has reached a point in its maturity where it’s able to bring back some of the kick-butt joy and innovation in gaming that thrilled me and made me a gamer many years ago. I don’t think I’ve ever said that indie gaming will save the industry, but if I ever did, please don’t take that as meaning that the indies must shoulder the responsibility.

As an indie and as a gamer, I am not super concerned about “the industry.” Nor should I. It’s about the games. I recognize that there’s some kind of industry that naturally forms around all that, and that there’s actually a benefit to me (as both consumer and developer) as a result. And I recognize that in some small way I’m a part of it. Fine. Do I have some kind of allergy or phobia about partnering at any point with the “big business” side of the industry? Well, I’d say a healthy level of caution, considering their past, but I don’t think being indie means we must never have anything to do with our big-city cousins beyond giving them the finger. We just do our own thing.

To me, independence is best exemplified by peaceful coexistence and – when appropriate – cooperation.

I think any indie whose motivating factor is some “damn-fool idealistic crusade” about the industry rather than the games themselves is probably hurting their own cause. We’re independent, remember? We serve our customers, not the industry.

And that’s how it ought to be.



Filed Under: Indie Evangelism - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • Charles said,

    We don’t have indie day. But a lot of people in the world celebrate having become indie from us. Not fair.

  • Gareth Fouche said,

    Here here, Jay.