Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1368046 Posts in 64191 Topics- by 56125 Members - Latest Member: Morgarten

October 20, 2019, 12:43:18 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsPlayerGeneralWhy don't indies rise up against the monopoly?
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Author Topic: Why don't indies rise up against the monopoly?  (Read 1196 times)
RoyalJello
Level 0
*


View Profile
« on: October 03, 2019, 01:54:40 PM »


After the success of my last thread, a really naive question about making a game in 24 hours, here's a facetious question.

Ala title:
Why don't indie devs rise up against the scene?


Are there ways to rearrange whats popular? I'd say so. I'm annoyed with all the games on the market that fail independently in a skewed fashion. I think the next place to advertise is real, because it seems that working on a game for 5 years doesnt work to sell a game. Reviews have a lot of bias for picking good quality indie titles. Most indies are on itch.io from what I can tell, but don't - won't sell as a physical release.
D
Logged
fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 02:22:45 PM »

1. Don't start this shit. There are no fucking activists here, and if there are, I don't want to meet them.

2. I think the 5-year passion project is a bit overrated. I tried that once and courted gog.com, but it was a big gamble. A learning experience, but not good business. Lessons were learned and I would advise "indies" in the games business to be less naive and more willing to accept failure.
Logged
Superb Joe
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 02:53:04 PM »

can you think of any way to monetise an indie video game to any degree of success that doesn't simply replicate the current issues but perhaps as a smaller, less useful fractal representation of a more fundamental problem
Logged
fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 02:58:55 PM »

can you think of any way to monetise an indie video game to any degree of success that doesn't simply replicate the current issues but perhaps as a smaller, less useful fractal representation of a more fundamental problem

In a paper bag on the side of the road next to the Mexican selling oranges.
Logged
velocirection
Level 1
*


Your favorite pizza raptor game developer


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2019, 09:45:45 PM »

Look I'll be honest, there's problem with the indie game scene(or really, the games scene as a whole) that are simply impossible to fix.
1. AAA vs. "indie" vs. indie. So as you know, the vast majority of people playing games are playing AAA games(or mobile) and a very small portion of people who are playing games are playing "indie" games. As in, the ones that have gotten their foot in the door of the public's mind. Very very few people are playing REAL indie games. As in, you're browsing here or you're on Itch and actively seeking something that indie. How exactly do you reverse this? But that's the same problem with *every* industry. Like .1% of people are actually digging around trying to find hidden gems. Everyone else, in music for example, listens to the radio. But others are searching through bandcamp to find new vaporwave/fusion albums to hear(who could that be? ;p) jazz fusion will always be a very niche genre and stuff like pop and rap will always be what everyone listens to.

In order to rise up, you need people to buy your games. How do you get people to buy your game if no one knows who you are, the space is so crowded, it's so hard to get eyeballs on your thing and finally to actually have someone *spend money* is like the planets and every asteroid in the asteroid belt aligning. However I'd say the very very very small percentage of people actively seeking hidden gems are much more likely to buy a neat little indie game they found while searching on itch.

Are there ways to rearrange whats popular? I mean with enough money and resources yes. But like... that's the problem.

I'll tell you this. If you want to get into a space that's less crowded and more fair and you have a better chance of standing out, make adult games. It's a lot easier to find your target audience. Advertising on some places is quite cheap considering the impressions you get. Though I only speak of my experience making regular games and making furry smut games so ymmv.
Logged

Superb Joe
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 12:35:56 AM »

if i were developing a game, i would simply not use steam and pour extra labour into recreating the exact same overburdened structures that made it impossible for my game to be successful or visible on steam
Logged
fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2019, 03:08:29 AM »

People expect a pause menu, idle animations, a gallery to view the items they've collected, and possibly an original soundtrack. But in the extreme niche indie monochrome land that supposedly exists on itch.io, perhaps not. It's the same way with film, the difference being that in film it's impossible to get actors to participate in something like Trash Humpers.

At the same time, there is a casual mobile market full of small but polished games that nobody is downloading. Maybe PC gamers are looking for something like that. That's what I'm investigating.
Logged
Daid
Level 3
***



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2019, 10:54:29 AM »

If you ask this main question, then you missed what happened on PC platforms the last 10 years.

10 years ago you could pretty much could ONLY get AAA games, or crappy shovelware.

Now, you have games like KerbalSpaceProgram, Minecraft, Factorio. All started without big funding, and have huge player bases. Steam has a good selection of indie games and while there is some shovelware and a lot of AAA options. It has a pretty decent balance, large part of my steam library is indie games.


So on the desktop, I don't see an issue. Consoles are slowly changing, where access is slowly opened up in the last years. Mobile however, seems to be one big mess. Not sure if there are simply no good games made for mobile, or if the shovelware moneygrabs are just overshadowing anything else.
Logged

Software engineer by trade. Game development by hobby.
The Tribute Of Legends Devlog Co-op zelda.
EmptyEpsilon Free Co-op multiplayer spaceship simulator
fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2019, 11:27:05 AM »

I see the mobile market as a snowball rolling down a hill.

It started with Symbian/J2ME, which was an open platform, but data plans were unreliable due to the lack of 3G infrastructure at the time.

Then came the iPhone, and although it demonstrated the power of an app store, it was cost-prohibitive to buy both a Mac and what was at the time an expensive phone.

Then came Android, which opened the door for the most seasoned programmers who knew advanced Java concepts to experiment with a touch screen platform. It did okay within a certain niche.

Then came Unity and the market flooded. Shitty water ran out of the market and mixed with snow to form a big ball of frozen shit that started rolling downhill. Now the same programmers who embraced Android back in the day condemn it with words like "proprietary", "shovelware", and "scam". I don't totally agree with them, but I see where they're coming from. The market expects shit, and it gets what it expects.
Logged
woodsmoke
Level 3
***



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2019, 12:00:02 AM »

I am of the opinion that the indie scene is rising up as hard as it possibly can.

Bigger players will always have bigger budgets for "skewing" (advertising, marketing)

Monopoly surely isn't the correct term you are looking for.
You want physical releases for 50MB games?
Logged

michaelplzno
Level 4
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2019, 03:23:32 PM »

To some extent there has been a lot of rising up: I read a gama article saying something to the effect of "now anyone has a shot and that's the problem"

The market is much more open, which imo is good, but it does mean more competition. The problem now that the floodgates are open is that people can't find what they want. In my dream universe, anyone with skill could hang up a shingle and get at least a moderate amount of business if their games were good. The big issue is that it seems its all or nothing, either you have a runaway hit or you get nothing but scraps, which is depressing.

So to answer Joe's question about how to make it better, the first step is opening the market, which happened, the second step is to have a structure that makes it possible via some discovery system for games to find at least enough critical mass to keep at it.

Then people can truly be independent and make the games they want and with some equitable system for doling out who gets what attention.
Logged

fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2019, 06:39:34 PM »

The term "critical mass" refers to the inciting reaction of a nuclear explosion. Nothing so dramatic is necessary; minimum wage would be fine with me.
Logged
miki
Level 0
*


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2019, 12:28:38 AM »

Hi, not so sure I get the OP.
monopoly surely is a wrong word to use? What scene are we talking about? (are indie devs to rise against themselves?; rise against the popular?) But ok, since the thread has picked up...


From the commercial point of view,
as long as indie scene that is making great games carry the same label ('indie') as a trashy-done-in-a-hurry-game-that-scream-'look Ma, i CAN make a videogame' it is really shooting itself in the foot.
It all comes down to supply and demand.
And as a kind of absolute view, one might say that there is really no AAA and indie. One wants numbers, one must create games that appeal to a large number of people. The consumer don't care if you are independent or under a contract & a business plan.
The rise of indies will never happen as long as trashy-done-in-a-hurry games are permitted as representative samples of the indie scene (if we are talking commercial path) or while people will want to charge money for an indie game (if we are talking scene/subculture kind of thing).

If we are talking scene/culture kind of thing,
possibly 'indie games' means a niche that interests only the people wanting to make video games? And this scene became popular for its 15 minutes of fame - now the hype ship has sailed and the scene is slowly settling at phase 5 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle). And, though hype cycle is not proven to be scientific, it still might be of value to consider.
There's a funny thought.

The use of the label 'indie' either needs to change or we need to accept that it simply means too many things to be practical.

When one says 'indie game' I don't know if they are talking a quality commercial product or someone learning to program and completing something that remotely resembles a videogame. So what exactly is meant with 'rise against the scene' if 'an indie game' only means 'a video game'?

Logged
michaelplzno
Level 4
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2019, 10:18:00 AM »

@miki the labels don't do much, Spelunky is considered indie and it sold better than some AAA games. Also sometimes AAA games are full of bugs and glitches that are low quality. One of the GTA PC ports wouldn't even run on my computer and had just way more glitches than most games considered indie. Also, the shovel asset flip games are just clutter that are already getting ignored pretty well so I don't see them as much of a problem. Most people can take one look at those and know what they are.

The question is: by what process do we allot visibility to various games? Obviously everyone comes up with ways to say "my games should get the most attention" to that question, but being as impartial as we can, the future of games depends on answering that question really well. Figuring that out would be the next phase of games.

@fluf even a nuclear reactor needs critical mass to start the sustained reaction, but yes, I do wish I could have something become a giant explosive hit. Also, if people are doing good work they deserve a good wage that offers stability and comfort, so I would advocate for devs to get considerably more than minimum wage.
Logged

fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2019, 11:04:01 AM »

That's a nice thought, but too idealistic for a combustion generator like me. To me, indie games are:

1. A distraction from life

2. A possible (though unlikely) way out of the desert

I'm not asking more than the market can support. If you want to make the next Minecraft, folks around here may be too down-to-earth for you. I hear gamedev.net is a busier forum.
Logged
omnilith
Level 2
**



View Profile
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2019, 11:20:01 AM »

So, you talk about the need to sell your game, but have you ever asked yourself: why? Why should creators need to sell a certain amount of their game? Why are they subjected to this popularity contest marketplace in the first place? Shouldn't artistic products like games be an expression of their creator's artistic vision, rather than something designed to sell to a specific mass market?

The problems with the game industry are the same problems we see in all other art & entertainment industries: all are stifled by a need to realize profit at the expense of all other concerns due to the fundamental misalignment of the interests of capitalism with the interests of humanity as a whole. As long as this capitalist framework exists, artists will always be forced to surrender their creative visions so that their art can be made into a commodity to be bought and sold for someone else's profit.

Individual efforts against capitalist hegemony are nice tokens, but ultimately the problems are systemic and can only be changed by concerted mass action. I recommend getting in touch with your nearest socialist/labor rights organization; there are many people out there who share your frustrations and who can help you get involved in changing the world for the better.
Logged

fluffrabbit
Guest
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2019, 11:34:57 AM »

Not in my America, comrade. I would be a white collar straight shooter if I could, but I have the artistic disability like most others here.
Logged
Daid
Level 3
***



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2019, 02:33:53 PM »

If you want to make the next Minecraft, folks around here may be too down-to-earth for you. I hear gamedev.net is a busier forum.
Anyone who sets out to make the new minecraft will fail. Minecraft, Spelunky, NoTimeToExplain. All freak exceptions, sheer luck made them super successful. Yes, they are good games. But there are many more good games that never got the same attention.


I think @velocirection is spot on. Know your target audience. I think that's where many "oh noes, why do I fail? Must be the AAA games!" indies go wrong. Your audience can be furry porn lovers, fans of pixel art, or people that enjoy odd mechanics.

Example in the other direction. There is this "genre" called "starship bridge simulators". It tailors towards a very specific group of people, space nerds that have a group of friends that are also space nerds and like to play cooperative video games.
Now, https://artemisspaceshipbridge.com/ is the primary one. It's the one that everyone knows that is into these kinds of games.
I made and maintain the free open-source variant at https://github.com/daid/EmptyEpsilon

Now, the last few years I've seen a few new indie attempts to come up in this genre, and they all seem to fail. And the reason is simple, they fail to see how ridiculously small this player group is. Artemis, the primary goto game, is a part time job for it's sole developer.
I got like, a few 100 dollar in donations the past 5 years or so, but I'm not in it for the money.

This is just a very small audience. And it's crowded already. So you need something really unique to break into that, and even then, you'll most likely won't make a living off it. Because it just has a specific audience, which is already served by existing solutions just fine.
And yes, you could make that kind of game a lot more complex and add a lot more depth, which makes it even a smaller audience, as then you would end up with only the group that can play regularly instead of casually.
Logged

Software engineer by trade. Game development by hobby.
The Tribute Of Legends Devlog Co-op zelda.
EmptyEpsilon Free Co-op multiplayer spaceship simulator
michaelplzno
Level 4
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2019, 12:33:15 AM »

I'm saying I would like a system where games like the eternal classic NoTimeToExplain aren't just freak successes, but rather the systems we use are more deliberate about what makes it. When we give in to "its all just random, the universe will have its way: to powerful to master" we have given up in general. Why shower in the morning because rain is random, there is no point. The weather cannot be predicted.

In terms of "the next minecraft" its mostly just a fantasy for me personally to make something mainstream. Generally I focus on what I can control: making my stuff fun and bug free and easy to enjoy, but when I design I think of a wide audience just in terms of accessibility because I like that challenge. I have designed stuff that is targeted at niche audiences too, for my own process I like to be inclusive just b/c that's who i am as a designer. But yes, I would love to make a game that is a kiss to the whole world even if that may be doomed to failure. I guess its quixotic but whatever.

Re: socalism, I'm not aware of any socalist system that has produced any artistic expression of note, usually that is the first thing to go.
Logged

Daid
Level 3
***



View Profile
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2019, 01:28:35 AM »

When we give in to "its all just random, the universe will have its way: to powerful to master" we have given up in general. Why shower in the morning because rain is random, there is no point. The weather cannot be predicted.
Classic "shooting down an opinion by making it black and white". But, as you can read from my post, I didn't say it's all random. As I said they where decent games to start with. The random bit is between successful and super successful. Hench, aim for success, not super success. And maybe, with sheer luck, you hit the jackpot.

Quote
Why shower in the morning because rain is random, there is no point. The weather cannot be predicted.
Uhm, the weather can be predicted actually... also rain isn't a proper alternative for a shower. Facepalm

Quote
I'm saying I would like a system where games like the eternal classic NoTimeToExplain aren't just freak successes, but rather the systems we use are more deliberate about what makes it.
You are basically trying to answer "what makes a hype?" And it needs a bunch of ingredients, but randomness is a part of it I would say.

Also, a "system", because people conform to systems so well...
Logged

Software engineer by trade. Game development by hobby.
The Tribute Of Legends Devlog Co-op zelda.
EmptyEpsilon Free Co-op multiplayer spaceship simulator
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic