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The Indiepocalypse happened - we are now in the Indie Post-Apocalypse

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Infinitron, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    https://www.goldenkronehotel.com/wp/2018/08/26/the-indie-post-apocalypse/

     
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  2. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    We're not in the post-Indiepocalypse era just yet, but it doesn't seem to be far off now. Months at the most, maybe a year.

    The problem is that most people don't notice these signs because PC gaming (at least) is riding high on the PUGB/Fortnite wave. When that wave recedes (and if there's not another wave immediately coming after) then we'll at least see some serious damage.
     
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  3. Lahey Laheyist Patron

    Lahey
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    muh shovelware
     
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  4. Explorerbc Arcane

    Explorerbc
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    There is not really much to say on the subject that hasn't already been said countless of times before.

    It was fun while it lasted, but things will have to get back to normal.

    It is kinda depressing however to think of all the potential gems that will never be made because the market couldn't support them.
     
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  5. Spectacle Arcane

    Spectacle
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    One factor that's often overlooked is that AAA and AA games have significantly increased in quality since the popamole heyday of the 00's and the indie glory days. Nowadays there are plenty of high-budget games that are actually fun to play and have production values that indies can only dream of.
     
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  6. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    (1) I hate Infinitron's practice of mentioning me, then deleting the mention. :shakesfist:

    (2) "Now that Steam sells every hobbyist game ever made, median sales have gone down, how could this be?"

    (3) If Game X sells less in 20XX than it would have sold in 20XX-n because a cartel is broken and shelf space is no longer artificially restricted, that is certainly a tragedy for Developer X. But if Game ~X sells any copies in 20XX when it would not have been allowed to be sold in any major portal in 20XX-n, that is hardly a tragedy for Developer ~X. "Things have really gotten worse since we let the riffraff in," thinks every person born at the right time and place in all of history to enjoy special access to a restricted good. I certainly enjoyed the Greenlight country club, but at least I have the self-awareness to acknowledge it for what it was.

    (4) This is happening in every medium that can be cheaply released via digital distribution: news reporting, genre novels, spoken-word talk shows, etc.

    (5) It's naive to think that we're escaping cartelism and favoritism, though. ("HA! We destroyed newspapers!" they cried, until it turned out that Big Tech now decides what "citizen journalism" actually is visible.) Today, games depend a lot on Youtubers paying attention to them, for instance, and that creates lots of unpleasant distortions, too. You also have to accept on some level that people with the money/power/access/cleverness to exploit the cartel of 20XX will also manage to work out how to exploit the cartel of 20XX+n. At the end of the day, transferring power from IGN to some YTer is probably not going to hobble giant publishers for very long, since they can just coopt the YTer as they did journalists.

    (6) "I deserve to be able to support myself through working from home at my hobby" is fabulously utopian, and the fact that it seems like a plausible demand shows us how materially rich the developed world is at this moment of history. If you have a passion to make point-and-click adventure games, you should pursue that passion. Just as my grandfathers weren't able to earn a living whittling lovespoons, raising homing pigeons, or playing Cassino, but instead had to find work in engineering and law, kids today shouldn't think that they are entitled to get rich making visual novels or Metroidvanias. In college, I wrote two fantasy novels that not only sold zero copies but were only ever read by six people total (apologies are probably owed to the five of them that aren't me). That is almost certainly the fate of most people who have written fantasy (or other) novels. The median number of citations for a law review article is zero. We are all voices crying in the wilderness. Unless you enjoy crying, you should just save your throat and find some other hobby.
     
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  7. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    Steam is now where the App stores have been since 2011.
     
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  8. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    This may be so 2016 though, I remember reading an article by an indie dev, that youtube didn't have a great influence on copies sold (might be anecdotal wisdom specific to the game).
     
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  9. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Something I haven't really seen examined so much is the concept of designing games to fit players' time usage. Most people think about games in terms of value for money, when perhaps they should instead be thinking in terms of value for time.

    It seems to go something like this. Players have one big game that they play. For some of them it may be the same game over a period of years, an MMO, MOBA or multiplayer shooter that they spend their lives in. Others might be hopping from one big AAA open world game to the next. What these games have in common is that they consume a lot of the player's time.

    So the question is, if you're not a massive multiplayer game or an AAA, where do you slot into that?

    Indie games are often small of course, but could there be a way of more deliberately designing a game in such a way that makes it particularly appealing to play in between rounds of the larger, more time-consuming games?

    If I were the publisher of one of those time-guzzling games, I would investigate that question and attempt to release such a smaller game myself, to try to monopolize as much of my audience's time as possible. And perhaps this is what they do when they release mobile tie-in games and such.
     
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  10. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I can't keep track. Maybe today it all depends on hiring a firm that upvotes your positive reviews and downvotes your negative ones.
     
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  11. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    In F2P mobile games, developers went beyond simply fitting their games into the free time of the players, they try to steer the player to specific playtime time intervals (harvesting your fields / mines / log-in bonuses) - short at first (minutes), then laters hours and even days.

    In a way the success of the switch may be the result of serving both "AAA" time and in-between / mobile time.
     
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  12. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    The reason people are tired of indie games is because they never, ever have the polish and depth of features that games made in an actual studio with an actual budget.

    People buy Japanese console games with peace of mind because they know that no matter what it is, it will be polished, it will be fully realized and it will be a fun experience.

    With indie games because they are made by few people with a shoestring budget and by people who often collaborate with each other only through the Internet, it always suffers in the end.
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Continuing that train of thought -

    Old indie strategy: Not every game has to be a mass market title that sells millions, let's make lower budget games that target a niche of the audience.

    New indie strategy(?): Not every game has to be a timesink that you play all day, let's make games that target a niche of the audience's time.

    The corollary of this theorem - attempting to make big, long, engrossing games on a budget is generally a bad idea. Not because their graphics aren't good enough, but primarily because your audience doesn't have time to play them.
     
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  14. Strange Fellow Erudite Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    I find that line of thought ironic, since when I play AAA titles it's usually as a break from more demanding games, for times when I want to learn back, turn my brain off and enjoy the fireworks for a while. I only ever play them in short bursts.
     
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  15. DeepOcean Arcane

    DeepOcean
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    I don't get why those people are complaining, nobody has a right for sales and those talks of wanting steam to limit the number of games seems like anti consumer practice disguised as caring with mah poor indie developers. Wanna people to buy your game? Give them a reason to. Oh, did you get zero sales of your shitty platformer made on Unity? Tough luck, I don't feel motivated by your tears.
     
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  16. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    This and your theory about monopolizing the players' time might be an explanation for companies pushing game passes / subscriptions to access a "vault" of games.
     
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  17. Shinji Learned

    Shinji
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    Escape the Omnochronom!, the game in question:

    [​IMG]

    Also:



    Fine, I get it, it's not as easy to sell a game as before. I agree with that.

    But honestly, there's nothing at first glance in this game that screams "buy it, it's worth it!". It looks like every other indie pixel art game out there, and the marketing the guy did doesn't even give me an idea of what this game is about to begin with.

    The game industry is highly competitive nowadays -- which is something good to begin with -- so you can't just make a game on a budget and expect it to sell millions.
     
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  18. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Yep. Get rid of the publishers and distributors and stores, we said, we'll create a great new world where they won't stop cool niche games from being made. Now, we're dependent on Gabe and a gaggle of incoherent Youtubers who are working round the clock for their own dorito tubes.
     
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  19. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    Lmao, cry me a river. Anybody who actually believed the dream of "quit my job at evil corporation and become filthy rich by making indie games from home" probably didn't have any business sense in a first place. Those few years when the indie market exploded was the exception, not the rule. It was just a matter of time before the market corrects. It has now gone the way of the publishing businesses, and guess what. Most books ever written don't get published and those that do get published, end up flopping. Some people make decent money writing 50 page ebooks for Amazon, but they're skilled and exploiting that business model and benefits of digital distribution.

    And the end it's just competition like any other. The difference is, entertainment industry was always one of the most brutal and selective. For every Justin Bieber there's 20 Rebeccas Black who had massive corporate money for promotion pumped into them and still flop without a trace.

    Market can open up only if a big transformation occurs. The transition to digital distribution, the invention of mp3s, the switch from traditional press to YouTubers and streamers. If you can get there early and exploit it, good for you. Otherwise, it's survival of the fittest. Welcome to Darwin, dear aspiring indie developer.
     
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  20. Generic-Giant-Spider Prophet

    Generic-Giant-Spider
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    HEY GUYS DO YOU LIKE L00T?!?!

    DO YOU LIKE ROGUELIKES?!

    DEEP CRAFTING?!?!

    SKILL TREES?!

    SOULS COMBAT/DIFFICULTY?!?!

    MAJESTIC PIXEL ART?!

    THEN YOU'RE GONNA LOVE MY GAME.

    AND EVERY FUCKING OTHER INDIE GAME SINCE 2012.
     
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  21. agentorange Arcane Patron

    agentorange
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    Codex 2012
    Before the Indiepocalypse: make a good game
    During the Indiepocalypse: make a good game
    After the Indiepocalypse: make a good game
     
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  22. Mortmal Arcane

    Mortmal
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    Theres no such thing as indiepocalypse, its more like shovelwarepocalypse. There will be always sales for quality indies. Most of the indie stuff on steam, no one will even bother it to torrent...Can someone mention something really good with very poor sales on steam ?
     
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  23. CyberWhale Arcane

    CyberWhale
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    1) If you have zero sales than you obviously haven't done any market research. When you start developing a project, you should probably find some kind of a community that would love to play a similar game and serve as the potential customer base.

    2) If your first game is a relatively large success, you should invest that money in a business/property that is not related to game development. That way you can collect enough profit/rent for the living costs and focus your energy on making the game you want without having to constantly worry how it will do financially.
     
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  24. Viata Arcane

    Viata
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    So simple and yet a lot of people don't get it.
     
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  25. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I'm sure this game has a great deal to recommend it, but everything about what you posted is a tremendous turn off -- little things like inconsistent resolution between fonts, portraits, and sprites; cluttered and amateurish UI; advertising your game as a competitor to the leading title in a nearly winner-take-all genre; etc. The developer basically picked a genre in which he couldn't possibly win, made a game that is visually unappealing, and then made the game's only selling point a lack of "toxicity" when it is obviously inferior in the two substantive aspects of the genre (balance and player base) as well as in polish. Even the title of the game is basically a "only come here for ironic insecurity" kind of title. I couldn't even manage to read all the way to the end of the last word in the title.

    But wait, there's more!

    I defy you to actually imagine what this game is. Here is its Steam description:
    DOTA is a real-time, multiplayer, tactical* game. (* At most.)

    Would you like to know more?
    I hope this guy gets to keep making games, lives his loves, and finds riches in his hobby. But to be honest, everything about this combines market-chasing (ROGUE LIKE! MOBA! DOTA! TOXICITY! EARLY ACCESS!) with self-indulgence. I don't come away from this feeling like someone poured his heart and soul into a project and was ground down by capitalism, but like someone tried to moneyball the market and didn't succeed.
     
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