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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesBeginner's Guide to Indie Gaming (WIP)
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Kon-Tiki
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« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2007, 04:10:17 PM »

@Derek: Hehe, no need to apologize. I was voicing my opinion, and although I don't understand why people think N's so great, I don't mind them thinking that.

About the categorisation... it fits some games perfectly, but others're really hard to categorize, like Sunset Over Imdahl. Some might concider that an adventure game, others an RPG. It's somewhere inbetween... RPG engine with adventure gameplay.

Btw, what's this Chocolate Castle game?

Another recommendation:
Glest
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Raf Vermeulen
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« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2007, 04:33:49 PM »

I don't think the 'unwashed masses' would disapprove of N's style; in fact it seems to be one of the more broadly appreciated games from the indie crowd.  It won a bunch of awards and got picked up for ports to PSP, DS, and XBLA.  That doesn't mean you have to like it, of course, but it does make it a bit absurd to predict that people in general will not appreciate it.

If I were to leave something off the lists, I would rather leave off something like Akuji the Demon, which looks great but feels ... unsurprising.  Not that it's bad, but it doesn't really differentiate itself from what a decent studio might produce for the GBA.  If that were my first indie game, I would think of indie games as merely light, low budget counterparts to 'full' commercial games.  Something like Kyntt, on the other hand, shows me how indie games can be more than that; they can present unique creative visions that would be unlikely to find support from companies focused on the mainstream marketplace.
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Kon-Tiki
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2007, 04:48:27 PM »

Different focus then, I suppose. I'm mainly attracted to games like Akuji the Demon, played it through twice straight after each other, and found it great fun. Knytt was a bit of a disappointment due to the lack of life or interactivity. I think most people more look for a game, and not as much a display of a creative idea. Doesn't mean Knytt is bad, though, on the contrary. I just wouldn't go as far as kicking a game like Akuji the Demon out in favour of one like N. Akuji the Demon shows people that freeware isn't just crappy or weird-ass games (which, I'm afraid, most people seem to think), but that there're freeware/indie games out there that can match the big business games. Differentiating between the great games, but quite experimental, like Knytt, and more contemporary games, like Buster's games, seem to be the best way for an introduction.
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Raf Vermeulen
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« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2007, 05:11:12 PM »

I don't really get why indie games have to emulate mainstream games to be "good".

I think Knytt is more interesting than Akuji, because it avoids the temptation to just throw coins, enemies and a bunch of other cliches in the game because "people expect it". It does its own thing, and I feel it works on its own terms - the problem is that a lot of people are so close-minded about what a game "should" be, that it doesn't get played with a sense of discovery.

All graphical styles should be acceptable if they're well done. It seems silly to hold styles to arbitrary standards, in a time when minimalist designs like N and Darwinia can succeed and attract a huge audience.

I guess the idea is that style and polish are two different things. I'd rather see something with a unique/interesting style and good polish, than just good polish.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 05:13:00 PM by Alec » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2007, 05:22:37 PM »

I don't really get why indie games have to emulate mainstream games to be "good".

I think Knytt is more interesting than Akuji, because it avoids the temptation to just throw coins, enemies and a bunch of other cliches in the game because "people expect it". It does its own thing, and I feel it works on its own terms - the problem is that a lot of people are so close-minded about what a game "should" be, that it doesn't get played with a sense of discovery.

All graphical styles should be acceptable if they're well done. It seems silly to hold styles to arbitrary standards, in a time when minimalist designs like N and Darwinia can succeed and attract a huge audience.

I guess the idea is that style and polish are two different things. I'd rather see something with a unique/interesting style and good polish, than just good polish.

I think you're contradicting your own statement here by comparing Akuji to Knytt. Might as well be comparing Knytt to Shadow of the Colossus.

Just because Cave Story doesn't have graphics like Aquaria doesn't mean that one is better than the other - both can be equally enjoyable to some extent. You have forgotten the term 'indie' when you start comparing indie games to one another. Doesn't matter if they're both platformers or not.
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« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2007, 05:25:01 PM »

That closed-mindedness's exactly the thing. You're you, and you've been around in indie games for a long time. The focus of this thing's to get new people interested. As you said, there're alot of closed-minded people out there. If you want to open their eyes, you got to do that one step at a time. If you show them nothing but games that don't have the style, polish, or feel of the games they know, they'll just turn their backs on it. If you mingle games that appeal to what they know and games that do their own thing, they'll look at the games they recognize, and will be more opened up for the other games mentioned.

Take this example: There's this guy who's been playing nothing but FPS games, and you want to introduce him to Roguelikes. How'll you do that? I think the best way'd be to first introduce him to Diablo 2, then Diablo 1 (yes, not directly to Diablo 1), then a graphical frontend of Nethack (like Falcon's Eye) and then Nethack itself. If you present Nethack to him immediately, he'll just ignore it. This would also work by presenting him all these games at once. He'll pretty much pick them in that order as well, but'll get to Nethack that way too. Present him with Nethack, Ancient Domains of Mystery, Dwarven Fortress and Rogue itself, then he'll ignore it all again.

Btw, honestly, Buster did his own thing on Akuji the Demon too Tongue It turned out to be one of the most fun platformers I've ever played. Don't diss it simply because it's a variation on an old genre, as that'd make you just as close-minded as those that don't want to try out the more experimental games (and for the record, experimental doesn't mean creative. That Tales of Seven Wind Island game's not experimental and fits a typical adventure game style, but still does its own thing and's highly creative)
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Raf Vermeulen
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« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2007, 05:33:06 PM »

And I have to say this applies to all of you. If you're going to add games to a beginner's guide, just go ahead and do it. When someone suggests something, put it in. Don't leave out games based on your own personal preferences. Might as well start writing the damn list yourself, right?

And I don't even want to start asking how Aquaria is in that list, unless Guert has played it. Yes, Derek and Alec is going to make damn sure the game doesn't disappoint, but the list is already based on speculation and it's no different than what Joystick and Otaku does.
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« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2007, 05:40:16 PM »

I dunno, I guess Akuji didn't interest me and Knytt did. Knytt feels like personal expression, and Akuji feels like a game.

I think the reason Aquaria is on the list, is because Guert was listing upcoming games of interest. If I remember correctly, there were more games in there than Aquaria.

But hey, if you want to bash it because you don't like me, go right the fuck ahead.

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Derek
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« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2007, 05:41:41 PM »

Btw, honestly, Buster did his own thing on Akuji the Demon too Tongue It turned out to be one of the most fun platformers I've ever played. Don't diss it simply because it's a variation on an old genre, as that'd make you just as close-minded as those that don't want to try out the more experimental games (and for the record, experimental doesn't mean creative. That Tales of Seven Wind Island game's not experimental and fits a typical adventure game style, but still does its own thing and's highly creative)

I agree, you can be close-minded in the other direction, where you're closed off to anything that isn't different.  That said, I had a great time with Akuji, but I would put Knytt on the list over it just because it is different! Smiley

Overall, I'm going to pick different games for different reasons... all the games will be good, but may get chosen over others to give as broad a view of indie games as possible.  I'll favor more unique titles just because I think that's an edge that indie games have.

I like Dwarf Fortress because you would never ever see anything close to it in the mainstream industry.  It's by two guys, and it's probably one of the most massive, complex RPG/strategy simulations ever made.  Would a FPS person get into it?  Hell, I can't even get very far into it.  But I think anyone could be excited by the concepts behind it.  It's mind-boggling.  (It was also in Games for Windows, which says something about that.)

But, as I said, I'll link this thread and leave it open for discussion til' the end of the internets.
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« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2007, 05:45:13 PM »

You can add:
-Remar games (ex:castle of elite)
-PixelJam games (ex:gamma bros)
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« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2007, 05:45:39 PM »

I think the reason Aquaria is on the list, is because Guert was listing upcoming games of interest. If I remember correctly, there were more games in there than Aquaria.

But hey, if you want to bash it because you don't like me, go right the fuck ahead.

Nope, you're right about everything. It's just that the title of the topic is 'beginner's guide to indie gaming', and three of the games on the list have playable demos, so I'm just curious if Aquaria was leaked - that's all.

I'm sure sure sure Aquaria won't disappoint.
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Alec
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« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2007, 05:48:52 PM »

Well I think its just Guert's suggestion anyways. I don't know if it'll make the final article. I think I'll leave that up to Derek, if it was up to me I'd be too embarrassed to include it.
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Derek
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« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2007, 05:51:58 PM »

And I have to say this applies to all of you. If you're going to add games to a beginner's guide, just go ahead and do it. When someone suggests something, put it in. Don't leave out games based on your own personal preferences. Might as well start writing the damn list yourself, right?

Well, I am going to write the list myself, so it will be based on my personal preferences in the end.  We could either make a list of every game that everyone likes, and it would be hundreds of games long and probably no one would read it, or I could get people's input and then pare it down to something that gets to the point immediately... and then send a link to this thread for people who want to see more.  How's that sound? Wink

And I don't even want to start asking how Aquaria is in that list, unless Guert has played it. Yes, Derek and Alec is going to make damn sure the game doesn't disappoint, but the list is already based on speculation and it's no different than what Joystick and Otaku does.

Aquaria won't be on the list, so no worries.

And in any case, this isn't a "top whatever" list, really.  It's going to be a nice smattering of indie games for people to get started with and to give them an idea about what's out there.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2007, 06:30:40 PM »

I could get people's input and then pare it down to something that gets to the point immediately... and then send a link to this thread for people who want to see more.  How's that sound? Wink
Well, aside from the fact that the poor, innocent fellows who follow that link will be accosted by then-self-referential rambling about what should or shouldn't be on the list, it sounds good to me.  There are (of course) many other recommendation lists they might enjoy as well, such as:
TIGSource's own recommended category ( http://www.tigsource.com/articles/category/highly-recommended )
The annual GFW 101 free games lists ( http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3156339 )
Indygamer's numerous best-of lists ( http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2005/02/special-features.html )
Freehare ( http://www.freehare.com/ )
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« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2007, 06:56:19 PM »

This actually my first post. I've been scanning over this forum recently looking for great indie games and I just happened to stumble across this great idea for a topic. I've been a nonparticapting member of the indie scene for a rather long time now, and have been following many indie-based games. Aquaria and Cortex Command especially. I still can't manage to get over that amazing hand drawn art style you have managed to achieve in that game, Derek, and based on the extreme polish of the gameplay and level of production value on every aspect of the game (including the new editor), Alec has got to be one of the best programmers on the face of the earth. Since these games have already been mentioned, I will instead mention a game that I, surprisingly, haven't seen anywhere else on this forum: World of Goo. I've been constantly checking up at the developers site for a while now (just got a new blog set up) www.2dboy.com. Everyone probably already knows, but from his past work, it's obvious that Kyle Gabler is a very talented programmer, and if World of Goo is anything like Tower of Goo, he'll definitely have a hit on his hands. Based on the screenshots from the game, it looks just like a more polished version of Tower of Goo with a more gameplay-ish element to it. Although there is no demo yet, I feel that this game should make this list.
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« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2007, 07:30:50 PM »

Well, I'd just like to point out that, no, I haven't played Aquaria.

My first idea was not to put games in categories since there's always games that you just can't categorize. Plus, it's always fun to discover games rather than say "I don't like puzzles, I'll skip it". To me, the more categories you have, the more false opinions you'll get.

I don't mind what games are on the list or not, as long as the basic idea is to help a new comer to get into indie gaming. Once the player has taken its first indie baby steps, we can throw all sorts of crazy games a it and he'll enjoy them. He'll even look for them and we'll be able to show him the way with links to sites who host them or talk about them (like TIGsource). If we tell him to try out a game that is too different than what he's used to play, he'll simply go away thinking that indie are simply f*cked up lunatics living in their own worlds and they'll never go outside of it which, of course, is very bad for the indie scene Wink

Strong gameplay, appealing graphics/sound and overall game polishing should be our main criteria of selection. On top of that, we have to tell to the player why it's good so we can steer him in the right direction. I'm not saying to take cheap game rip-offs or games that are cutsie daisy, but games that will interest the players to seek other games of the indie world.

Hoping into the indie scene is very hard. There are thousands of games that are worth playing but we always have to keep it mind that we're not the best judges here since we are already in this community.

What was your first indie game you've played? How did you find out about the indie scene? What pushed you toward the indie scene? These are the questions we shoudl ask ourself and have clear answers to. then we find game that can help illustrate our answers.

Well, that's my view of the thing...
What do you think?
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« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2007, 08:06:19 PM »

I don't think we need a top 100 indie games list or anything, but I don't think we should pare it down too much either. One big shining attribute of independent games is how varied and niche a lot of them are: there's something for everyone. So I don't think only mentioning like ten would be a good idea either.

Anyway, I'm off to play Within a Deep Forest -- I haven't yet tried that one yet.
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« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2007, 08:12:08 PM »

I don't know, are we really indebted to making mainstream players care about indie games?

I think all you really have to worry about is showcasing the indie games that are really worth playing, whatever you think they are. I'd be worried if you were trying to second guess your own instincts by what you think a coked up Halo 3 fanboi wants out of indie games. There's just no point.

Even if we "faked" them into thinking the indie scene can somehow compete with the mainstream on the mainstream's terms, once they hung out around here long enough they'd realize that a lot of indie games are 2D and "gay" and then get back to pretending to drop their sacks in their friend's mouths over the internet.
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« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2007, 08:25:15 PM »

I also don't even think this should be targeted toward people who like mainstream games. What about people who don't normally play games that much, or people who used to play games in the old days and now don't because they think games got too boring or they think they grew out of them, or people who mainly play casual games? There's a variety of people who would enjoy these games if they tried them out.

Another thing is -- most people who play mainstream games already know about indie games, they just don't really care. The Joystiq or Kotaku entries on indie games often get far fewer comments or interest than their normal posts.
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« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2007, 09:23:07 PM »

Another thing is -- most people who play mainstream games already know about indie games, they just don't really care. The Joystiq or Kotaku entries on indie games often get far fewer comments or interest than their normal posts.

Yeah, exactly. Sad

I think the only thing that will really sway general public opinion is an increasing stream of really well made games, that fill niches that the mainstream doesn't cover.

Until then, all we can do is present the best of what we've got. Smiley
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