Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Why Indie Is Important…

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 13, 2014

I’m not going to offer much commentary here, and it’s a big article. From my perspective, this is a story about exactly why there is such a thing as “indie” – bypassing the gatekeepers, the publishers and manufacturers, as much as possible. Because, simply put, if your business is beholden to another that doesn’t have a need to keep your best interest in mind, then that’s one more great big thing that can go wrong even if everything else is perfect. Game studios face enough trouble as it is. If you liked Defense Grid and are looking forward to Defense Grid 2, the glimpse inside the sausage factory might also be interesting to you:

When a Successful Game is a Failure

I think Russ Pitts nails it when he says, “And the most extraordinary thing about this story is that it’s not extraordinary at all. This story could be about almost any game you’ve ever played and several hundred you never will. It is a glimpse into the fickle world of business and politics that simmers underneath the buzz and excitement of making video games. It is the dark, very human and ultimately political underbelly of the business of making fun… This is game development.”

Sadly, yes. And the ugliest parts are from the traditional areas of game development – the part that indies have tried to bypass as much as possible. Things are a lot better than they used to be, from what I hear, just because everybody understands there is another viable route.

Another amusing excerpt (and this is, I think, far more common on the indie side of the fence (but maybe it’s just ‘cuz I’ve gotten lucky… or just been naive…): “Dengler and Pobst did what might seem like lunacy to business people, but for each of them, it just came naturally: They were honest with each other. Pobst outlined the deal he wanted to see and what he needed to make it happen. Dengler did the same. They agreed on almost everything. To say this never happens would be to dramatically understate the corrosive environment of traditional video game funding.”

Filed Under: Biz - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

  • Maklak said,

    I took a look at Grid Defence and it looks polished and all, but in the end, I prefer top-down tower defence games. The 3D graphics just looks ridiculous to me.

  • ShadowTiger said,

    I hope that Triumph Studios and Notch to a post-mortum on their relationship for Age of Wonders 3!!!

    I certainly hope that more of this type of investment happens in the future. Right now you can get grants and alternative investments for making educational or artistic pieces, but niche hardcore games are the hardest to get funding for.

    I think another problem is that not enough people get rich by actually making games. You can be that if people like Brian Fargo were rolling in the dough they would go out and support games personally as well.

    But for now we can look forward to those $1000 to $10,000 kickstarter “Executive producer” rewards being met and hope the future is brighter (and greener) for us all.

  • Cuthalion said,

    Long article indeed, but I think it was worth the read. Good to hear about the investor and publisher they ended up with and hope it works out for them.