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Jeff Vogel Soapbox Thread

Lyric Suite

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First, a brief history of the Indie bubble. In 2008, big budget developers were doing fine, but they had mostly abandoned a lot of genres many gamers loved (puzzle games, adventure games, 2-D platformers, classic-style RPGs, Roguelikes, etc.)

A few young, hungry developers stepped in and showed that classics can be written on low budgets by young, plucky people with unruly facial hair. (Braid. World of Goo. Castle Crashers. Minecraft. And so on.)

Lost me right here. How the fuck are any of the shit he mentioned "classics" in the sense he implied in the previous sentence?

The only "indie" game i can think of in recent memory that wasn't utter shit is Path of Exile, and that's only because that is a real game, the type we gamers "loved" but haven't been getting from big budget companies and pretentious indie developers.

They're only 'classics' in his mind because they were ahead of the deluge. Can't speak for Minecraft (but I guess it did sort of start a sub-genre) but those other games are trash. Braid is just a shitty pretentious platformer with goofy time mechanics. World of Goo is a fairly generic iOS game. Castle Crashers is just a rip-off of Golden Axe and other 1980's beat-em-ups.

The reason it doesn't make sense is that in the first sentence he seems to be talking about himself, but then he cites examples of games that have nothing to do with the genres many people "loved" that have been abandoned by big budget developers. Indie gaming was basically the ghetto version of AAA gaming, but it was a very low profile thing because we still had good big budget games, and many people simply preferred pouring their creativity on existing commercial titles, though modding and map making. When big budged developers begun to abandon many of the genres people liked, this was the moment the indie scene was supposed to shine, with independent developers trying to fill up the void left by the big industry. Instead, we got shit like Braid, or World of Goo? His argument simply doesn't add up.
 
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Gord

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I think there's a misconception that indie titles are only worthwhile if they mimic big titles out of genres the big publishers have shunned at some point.
Most of the indie deluge however is relatively small-scope games, often experimenting with or focusing on single gameplay elements that are somehow supposed to set them apart from other games. If you've got a talented dev that can work, but you still get a rather small game that's usually only good for a few hours of gaming - but then you also pay only a few bucks for it, so from time to time something like that can be fun enough to warrant spending the money.
But of course many devs (or wanna-be devs) don't have the necessary talent. And since it's currently easy to market your attempt at creating a game, we get too much of it.
Eventually the bubble will burst and after a while the market will hopefully find a new healthier balance. This has happened before, and it will happen again.

If you are looking for really deep games that require serious investments in time, it's hard (and always was hard) to find it in the indie scene - such games exist, but they are definitely the exception. Having a big indie scene alone is not enough for that to happen more frequently, since such games require dedication and/or a certain amount of organizationand manpower that's hard to set up with the possibilities of the average indie dev.
 

BigWeather

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If you are looking for really deep games that require serious investments in time, it's hard (and always was hard) to find it in the indie scene - such games exist, but they are definitely the exception. Having a big indie scene alone is not enough for that to happen more frequently, since such games require dedication and/or a certain amount of organizationand manpower that's hard to set up with the possibilities of the average indie dev.

Agreed here. I think a shakeout of the indie scene will disproportionately affect the clones, gimmick-based, and shorter experiences -- just as the boom was comprised disproportionately of them. The deep games, often appealing to niche audiences, will be fine. Will their creators ever get rich off of them? Probably not, but that is true in boom or bust.
 

Turjan

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Eventually the bubble will burst and after a while the market will hopefully find a new healthier balance. This has happened before, and it will happen again.

I think it's really happening right now, so his article was quite timely. I see it with myself. Looking at the always same bundle games got tedious by now, and I have been a relatively constant bundle buyer. However, the number of bundles increases, my buying decreases. I'm not even sure there are less good games released than before, but the incredible tedium of wading through that glut just gets me. I can't see it anymore.

It's also getting a bit pathetic. I accidentally clicked on "Today's Deal" in the Steam window, which is "The Typing of The Dead: Overkill", and it told me that I have that game. Don't ask. I have no idea.

Edit: Sega bundle probably. Not indie, but part of the bundle flood.
 
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am i the only one here who thinks vogel is a fucking retard always and only pushing his own agenda?

the e.t. landfill is a wrong example because that wasn't an increase in offer, that was a supply of a single product. a bigger offer is NEVER negative for the customer. NEVER. even if it's mostly crap, it's still more to choose from, tastes differ, there's always a market for something, for as small as it can be.
who can have issues with a wider offer? shit sellers with no multimillionary marketing. oh wait...
 

Roguey

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Lost me right here. How the fuck are any of the shit he mentioned "classics" in the sense he implied in the previous sentence?
World of Goo is a great puzzle game and I consider it one of the greatest ever made.
The only "indie" game i can think of in recent memory that wasn't utter shit is Path of Exile, and that's only because that is a real game, the type we gamers "loved" but haven't been getting from big budget companies and pretentious indie developers.
Ah yes, Diablo clone, can't get enough of those.
 

DalekFlay

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They're only 'classics' in his mind because they were ahead of the deluge. Can't speak for Minecraft (but I guess it did sort of start a sub-genre) but those other games are trash. Braid is just a shitty pretentious platformer with goofy time mechanics. World of Goo is a fairly generic iOS game. Castle Crashers is just a rip-off of Golden Axe and other 1980's beat-em-ups.

Minecraft is an actual great game, from what I have seen, even if it isn't my thing. The others are famous simply for being early to the party, and aren't anything special. That's the thing with Steam having no curation anymore: every indie game is on there, and you see just what throwaway trash they all are. Even GOG, which touts its continued curation, releases 2 or 3 shitty indie platformers a week that I don't care about.

When World of Goo came out it was "OMG pixel art puzzle game in 2008???" and people were excited. Now it's "oh god, another pixel art puzzle platformer, fuck off."
 

Infinitron

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World of Goo isn't really a pixel art game. :M
 

Lyric Suite

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"Puzzle game" is code word for shit game that pretends to be smart or artsy. World of Goo is just a tad better than stupid shit like Angry Birds, or any high quality iOS game, no more, no less. Slap in cutesy visuals and its an indie slam dunk.

Ah yes, Diablo clone, can't get enough of those.

How many good ones did we get? Ho that's right, you are a retard. Path of Exile is a better "Diablo" clone than Diablo 3. When big companies fail to deliver, indie developers step up into the game. Or at any rate, that was the underlying idea, and the heart of the argument. Instead, what we get is pixelated hipster nonsense. So what went wrong?
 
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Peter

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I can just as easily say that "ARPG" is code word for shit game that pretends to be deep and old-skool.

World of Goo is a clever game. As a matter of fact, none of those first wave indie games were bad. They wouldn't have been successful and the movement wouldn't have taken off like it did if they had been. Whether you were into what they were doing or not, they were all finely crafted, with good design (for what they were) and presentation, and worth the small price of admission. Many codexers can't seem to tell the difference between 'small game' and 'bad game' unless it's a genre they personally like.
 

DalekFlay

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Well it looks like one! My point is the style, it was fresh and exciting when it was rare, now it's boring.
Do you even have a clue what pixel art is?

Yes. I haven't played the game in 6 years, so forgive me for not remembering it's exact look. I remember it having the pixel look, but maybe it doesn't. In either case the old school looking 2D indie game was exciting, now it isn't, because it's everywhere. Not a hard point to grasp.

Edit: Google image searched, you're right it's not pixel art at all. Still stand by my general point.
 

CSM

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3D games are everywhere as well. So that means none of them can be exciting anymore?

What does a developer have to do nowadays to please people? Go full text? Back to Zork?
 

DalekFlay

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3D games are everywhere as well. So that means none of them can be exciting anymore?

No, it means they have to be good games to excite people. There was a time where all you had to do was be 2D and look old school to excite people. That time is long past now. You have to be a quality game as well.
 

Angthoron

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I think Jeff Vogel caused a Jeff Vogel game over-saturation.

Think how much more money he'd get if he'd only have released one game. Everyone'd be buying it, again and again. Why'd you have to fuck it up and make dozens, Vogel, why?
 

Metro

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World of Goo is mediocre at best. Again, only praised because it was ahead of the curve. Nothing even remotely 'clever' about it. Unless you have the IQ of an Orangutan.
 

Raapys

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Eh, got bored about half-way through and couldn't figure out what point he was making. Capitalism and 'free market' is doing its thing, and that's bad suddenly? Personally I think the more games the better. Sure, it can take a few months, maybe even years before you discover all the great ones, but great games are rarely forgotten. And more competition forces them to do different things, which brings back the diversity from the 90's. All I can see is good.
 
Self-Ejected

ZodoZ

Self-Ejected
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Shadorwun: Hong Kong
Short version:
Early Indie cRPG creator evaluates that the Indie bubble is at this point *
* : {RE: to attached image: point on graph may lie somewhere between "Greed" & "Delusion"}

Stages_of_a_bubble.png


Don't worry guyz, despair is coming.

:negative:
 

Abelian

Somebody's Alt
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Nov 17, 2013
Messages
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All these sales and bundles have another adverse effect: conditioning the consumers to expect cheap entertainment. For example, check out this comment by a Steam user on Banished. Groupon has had a similar effect:
In addition to cannibalizing on profits from loyal customers, a Groupon campaign can attract new ones that are only there because of the deal.
In the music industry, iTunes and Amazon have had a similar effect, where the companies decide the song/album price so that it's attractive to customers.

If a product has a 50%, 67% or 75% sale, then it's going to take 2, 3, or 4 times, respectively, as many sales in order to compensate for the discount. Any many of those sales are going to be used by fans that would have bought the product at full price anyway.
 

Infinitron

I post news
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RPG Wokedex 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 [Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.] Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Any many of those sales are going to be used by fans that would have bought the product at full price anyway.

The solution is to do something along the lines of Early Access releases that cost more than the final release, ala Planetery Annihilation, Wasteland 2, JA:F, etc.

It may sound horrible to some, but if you can't sell your game to everybody for the same price anymore, then you have to find the audiences willing to pay MORE for it, not just those willing to pay less. Price discrimination cuts both ways.

(The other option is DLC, which is a lot more annoying IMO.)
 

DragoFireheart

all caps, rainbow colors, SOMETHING.
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I read parts of this article and then I read this post:

I think the growing controversy surrounding the quality of Steam access games (the abandonment of Towns and removal of Earth: Year 2066 in particular), along with people actually starting to take legal action on Kickstarters which fail to deliver a product at least indicates that people are starting to catch on to how easily abusable the system really is by scam artists and half-assed devs looking to cash in a quick buck. I hope that this trend will lead to more qualitative control being undertaken by both services, but I'm not expecting much.

My only thought:
North American video game crash of 1983.
 

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