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Indie Games and Game Categorization

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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby RegretZero » Thu May 09, 2013 5:25 am

This is a blog post. To read the original post, please click here »

Indie games, indie game elitism and video game categorization are discussed.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby Anon » Thu May 09, 2013 5:32 am

When a corporate piece of shit like Journey can be called indie and win all sorts of awards thereof, the term is completely meaningless.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby Brandon Schmidt » Thu May 09, 2013 5:49 am

I love seeing differing opinions, and yours might be the first negative one I've ever seen towards Journey. Interesting.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby SV » Thu May 09, 2013 10:22 am

"Should Stardew Valley still be considered an indie game?"

Why wouldn't it?

Stardew Valley is completely free from publisher interference. Chucklefish imposes no deadlines, it imposes no requirements, it provides no funding, those that sign under Chucklefish enjoy complete and total freedom to do what they wish with their project. The notion of a 'publisher' changes when the only thing the publisher is actually doing is providing their brand name to draw exposure towards the game they're bringing in.

Chucklefish isn't a publisher, and yet it's serving only for the purposes of marketing. It's doing PR work, but it's not a PR firm. The notion of publisher gets murky here, but anyone who implies Stardew Valley isn't 'indie' despite being worked on by a single man out of his home is being pretty silly.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby d2king10 » Thu May 09, 2013 11:09 am

Wanderlust: Rebirth was in development for 4+ years before being published. It is still very much indie. Not one dime was put into development that was not out of Matt or I's pocket. Having a publisher just allows us to reach a broader audience with our game, and still be able to make a living off of it.

To put it into perspective, after 4+ years of development, without a publisher, we were making roughly $500-$800 in a year. That comes out to around $125-$200 a year 'profit'. There are several kinds of publishers, you cannot simply generalize if a game is indie or not based on a publisher. Chucklefish did not pay us anything to create Wanderlust, we made it from everything we could financially and physically. Now there are other publishers that do pay for production, and expect to be reimbursed after release, I believe these are the types of publishers that make a game no longer indie.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby RegretZero » Thu May 09, 2013 8:39 pm

Actually interestingly enough Journey is one of those games in murky waters between "Indie" and "non-indie". Thatgamecompany (Not even kidding, that's the name of the company) was contracted by Sony Computer Entertainment to make three games for the Playstation 3. Journey was one of them.. So it's rather difficult to say for sure if it is or isn't.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby RegretZero » Thu May 09, 2013 8:45 pm

Thanks for the comment.

A couple of things:
- Publisher is defined as "A person or company that prepares and issues books, journals, music, or other works for sale.". Chucklefish has been doing exactly that, so I would argue that they have actually become a publisher... Though perhaps not in the traditional sense, like the way we think of companies such as Ubisoft or Electronic Arts.
- I think you're taking the question I posed to the reader a little too far. I wasn't necessarily implying that it should not be considered to be indie, but rather giving the reader some food for thought. I would personally consider it still to be indie, but not all people would and that is the point of this article

I do of course enjoy hearing your opinion on the matter, so thank you for your comment.

- Taylor
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby RegretZero » Thu May 09, 2013 8:51 pm

My apologies if I offended you based on the wording of the article.

I was not necessarily trying to state that Wanderlust Rebirth was not an indie game, just trying to show the reader how the interpretation can cause the term to stray from its original definition. I would consider Wanderlust Rebirth to be an indie game, but the point was not to show that it was or wasn't... Just that everybody has their own interpretation of what is and is not "indie".

I was also trying to show exactly what you are.. That games which have a "publisher" can still be indie, even though that's not exactly the way you might think of it based off of the definition.

Again, I apologize if you took what I said as Wanderlust not being an indie game, for that was not my intention. I hugely appreciate the comment however, especially the unique perspective you provided.

Thank you for your time.

- Taylor
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby SV » Thu May 09, 2013 9:25 pm

I didn't mean you were impyling it, just that anyone who would imply it is silly. Since there are people who have said that SV / TAW aren't indie games because they have a publisher.
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Indie Games and Game Categorization

Postby d2king10 » Fri May 10, 2013 9:00 am

Sorry if you took what I was saying as a defensive move, I was simply trying to clarify some things, and possibly shed some light on the situation.

I agree that the term indie is thrown around a lot with little meaning anymore. When you have huge industry vets from large companies "leaving" to make their own game, and then when they release it every media site covers them because of connections, you start to wonder if they are even indie anymore. Having these connections because you were in the professional industry and still being called indie is a bit iffy to me.

I wasn't trying to accuse you of putting Wanderlust: Rebirth down, I was simply trying to shine some light on the events that happen behind the scenes. If you have any questions I would love to answer some regarding our experiences with publishers and development.

I will point out that a lot of publishers are screwing indie games over, we know this first hand. The deals we were proposed were so scummy, basically leaving the publisher with 100% of the profits until they "recoop" their marketing expenses, but they are able to invest as much as they want into marketing. This could potentially leave the developers with 0% of the profits until the publisher decides they have been "paid" back; developers are basically paying publishers to do their job and make money off their game without having a hand in development.

Chucklefish has been amazing to work with. They do not trying to rob us, and are very supportive of our games. I would be willing to say they are the best indie publishers around from our experience.
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