Many people are used to hearing about famous commercial video game projects from big studios like EA Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Rockstar Games etc. Even those who didn’t play video games know Mario Bros., Counter-Strike, and Minecraft. Nevertheless, only avid admirers of this art know about the existence of a huge secret world of unpopular and unusual indie games developed by independent enthusiasts.
Why are indie projects so important?
Because everyone who is interested in programming and video game development can create his personal game. The goal of most such developers is not making money and build your business, but bring your idea to like-minded people and express oneself like painters exhibiting their paintings. As so often happens, novice developers working on a volunteer basis bring many ingenious and non-standard ideas to the world of video games, making it better. For example, Undertale. This game will never become as popular and profitable as Call of Duty because you will not find here impressive graphics, great visual effects, and many amazing actions. But in Undertale you will find a very unusual and confusing story and its outcome depends heavily on your actions. The game created by only one person received the highest scores of critics and gaming magazines.
But do not think that independent developers can create only beautiful stories and do not understand anything about cool graphics creating! Pay attention to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by The Astronauts and you will see revolutionary technical solutions of 3D visualization. Few commercial games can boast of such beauty of the images. The Astronauts used photogrammetry (graphics creation based on real objects of the world) and reached an unprecedented result. You can read more about this technique here. This suggests that indie projects bring many innovations to the modern game industry.
Why is it so hard to be an indie developer?
First of all, because it is a difficult work based on full enthusiasm. There is a very low probability that you will find sponsors for your game. Thereby you will have to invest yourself and incur losses. Your goal is not profit, but your idea.
Secondly, it is difficult to find like-minded people. The member of Black Shell Games studio admits in his article that adults or even your friends can do not understand you if you say that you are working on a video game. You need to have a strong desire and strong perseverance to succeed. That’s why every good indie game is a result of hard work and unique idea.
Which platforms are preferred by indie gamers?
You can easily play almost all indie games on PC or PS4. But there are also a lot of developers who choose Nintendo Switch as the main platform for their creations. Foremost, because Nintendo Switch become the newest handheld game console and it is comfortable if you want to play outside of the home. And also because it revived the movement of old school gaming. Nevertheless, indie games remain available almost on all platforms.