Just one...little...indie game m'sieu

If there’s one thing that has surprised me with this generation of upcoming gaming, is that indie developers are getting a lot more of the spotlight this time around. And there’s a good reason why the Playstation 4 will have so much indie content on the way.

Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida and Mark Cerny spoke to Famitsu via VG247 about the influx of indie talent, a strategy they say will help create a buffer between bigger game releases. One of the primary Sony goals right now though, is to make development easier for any studio.

“We asked assorted creators what kind of functionality we should put in, and we used their responses as a base when we finalized the hardware architecture,” Cerny said.

We’re aiming for not just performance, but also an environment setup that allows for smooth PS4 game development.

This will help smaller studios with less experience get a better grip on the PS4 architecture, an issue that the PS3 was notorious for when it first launched. ”Small-scale projects don’t even take a month [to reach that point], and even big titles can get rolling in two or three months,” Cerny explained.

As a result, I think we’ve built one of the neatest launch lineups in game history. With our PS3 experience, we understand the factors needed for powerful, effective development, so that’s why we treated our twin goals of performance and ease of development so seriously. Thanks to that, I think we were able to reduce development time on Knack by around a year.

Shuhei Yoshida then responded to a question about the Playstation 4 playing its launch line-up hand too early, possibly leading to a shortage of games until new ones could come along. According to him, this is where the indie games come in handy.

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“That’s why we’re trying to give our help out to indie titles. Huge titles from large makers take time to develop; they can’t just be brought out immediately. However, with the indie scene, especially in the West, we’re seeing really neat games coming out from there pretty much every week” Yoshida said.

I’d like to get that indie flow going in the Japan market as well, with unique titles coming out one after the other. More and more users are making digital purchases these days, so even studios making games with small teams can make it into a business.

It’s a solid strategy. The way I see it, indie games are pretty much play and throw away games. Disposable games that scratch that itch until something bigger comes along. And this is a strategy that I can get behind fully.

Last Updated: September 12, 2013

was reviewed on PC

Darryn Bonthuys

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