As gamers, we live in an incredible time. Never have we had such easy access to not just games, but also the tools to create them & with companies like Xbox embracing these smaller titles, now is a great time for the Indie gamer.
Indie games do not tend to have the backing of a larger publisher, they are more homegrown, more personal & it is only in the 21st century that they have truly been able to come into their own and yet, they have made their mark on the industry for a long time.
The very first examples of indie gaming were on the PC during the 1980’s-90’s. Shareware made it possible for small, new creative teams (such as Epic Megagames) to mass produce free demos that could be handed out to entice gamers. A try before you buy option that some of us will remember from gaming magazines of that time.
It was this cost efficient method of game production which would help lift the PC into the gaming arena and help establish it as a viable platform for this entertainment and would leave us with some memorable games like Duke Nukem (1991) or Wolfenstein 3D (1992).
In the later half of the 1990’s, Indie games were not as prolific, rising costs and advances in technology (such as 3D gaming) meant that the smaller companies just couldn’t compete or afford to make these titles as efficiently as they had previously but that brings us to now.
Now is a golden time for both the Indie gamer or creator. We have access to so many tools or different software resources online that even a novice can try and create their vision.
Indie games often do not reach the high acclaim of Minecraft or Braid (which both started as an indie game) and they often do not garner the same loyalties from their audience but they should.
Most of these games are not made for profit, they do not come with a high price tag or a celebrities voice but they offer something more precious, their creators hearts and stand unashamed amongst AAA titles and shout “here we are”.
Never before has it been so easy to access these games, digital sales bring them directly to our home and with Xbox & other gaming companies embracing indie games for the interesting and eclectic area it is, we as gamers should encourage that.
Indie creators should be celebrated for what they bring to our community. They give us their hopes & dreams and offer something unique in a gaming landscape that seems drawn to battle royales.
They give us an adventure we may not of thought of, a land you might not see anywhere else. They give us their stories and ask only that we spend some time in their world, they are the new heart & soul of gaming.
They may not be as expensive to make or even take that long to play, some may not look as aesthetically impressive as a larger title but they give us an originality and whimsy that some games just can not compete with.
Indie games are only going to get better as more of the community see the value in their creations and our technology improves, so let us as a community encourage these creators and the treasures they give us because the time to support them is now.
I personally can not wait to see what the future holds for this eccentric, stunning area of game development. I am confident that with our support and technological growth, Indie is where the future of gaming lies.