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Why it's hard to get into indie games

2 min read

As you may be aware, we have published our first game: The Last Stand. Now that we are bonafide indie game developers, we can talk about some of the issues with indie gaming.

I’m quite willing to accept that indie games will not have traditional graphics, or even physics engines. Sometimes they will, but it’s not part of my expectation.  That said, I do expect an interesting game. If I want a predictable type of game, I will buy it from the big studios who have the time and money to make it polished. With indie games, I’m looking for something unique.

Let’s look at some big success stories in indie gaming: Minecraft, Bastion, Terraria, Super Meat Boy. They might not all look the prettiest, but they offer something to the market that wasn’t there before. Also, they simply wouldn’t work if released from traditional development houses – can you imagine EA making Minecraft? It would be filled with micro transactions, DLCs and sequels.
Then there’s the issue of quantity. There are tons of indie games out there. Ridiculous amounts of games. Not all of them are great, but there certainly it quantity. Which brings in the issue of finding the signal in the noise. How do you know which games are good? How do you even find out about these games? I do my best to keep my ear to the ground about awesome indie games, but I’m still often behind on them. How is the average gamer supposed to find and support indie games?
Most people go to the “best selling” section – if everyone else is buying it, it must be good… right? I decided to check out the all-time best-selling indie games on the Xbox marketplace. There we can find such amazing titles as “Baby Maker Extreme“, “A Perfect Massage” and “Try Not to Fart“. These might be funny, unique or relaxing games, but they certainly won’t appeal to someone looking for a ‘real’ game.
Finally, there’s the issue of distribution. Despite being a proponent of indie games, I have never purchased one for my console. I only purchase indie games through Steam, that just seems to be the way it works out. PlayStation may continually tout their indie credentials and Xbox has had huge success with their indie games.  However, some developers simply find it easier and more cost effective to only develop for PC (and occasionally Mac and Linux). In the end, the same problem comes to the fore – how to find the good games, whatever platform they may be on.
Are you an indie gamer?  What draws you to the non-AAA titles, and how do you find them?

Last Updated: August 15, 2013


  1. Sageville

    August 15, 2013 at 15:34

    I’m no fan of indie games, whereas the missus loves them.

    I keep eagle eyes on all the AAA titles prior to release, I goto this dodge website “Lezigemer” and pick up future title releases, then I check the Youtube gameplay and read the reviews. By then I’m usually frothing at the edges to get the good games on pre-order.

    That being said, some titles have left sour tastes in my mouth previously, so I’ll actively avoid any sequels of those titles.


  2. Argentil

    August 15, 2013 at 15:36

    Bastion ‘not the prettiest?’ What heresy is this?


    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      August 15, 2013 at 15:40

      Meh, Bastion is not pretty ….. it’s BEAUTIFUL


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        August 15, 2013 at 15:49

        and the narrator is awesome.


        • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

          August 15, 2013 at 16:10

          I wish he could narrate my life


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 15, 2013 at 15:37

    He’s not a lion, he’s a very naughty boy.


  4. John ain't got time to bleed

    August 15, 2013 at 15:37

    Those tags…


  5. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    August 15, 2013 at 15:39

    I love Indie games, there so many amazing games. I honestly scoure the net for them, sometimes you find lil gems like Wither. Youtube is another great source It’s a crime that not more people play Bastion or Lone Survivor


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      August 15, 2013 at 15:47



  6. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    August 15, 2013 at 15:46

    Currently back to being addicted to Terraria…. 🙁 Now I have it on two platforms. PS3 and PC… Wait, I need to go mine some ore again. Tonight I will defeat you Wall of Flesh! I WILL DEFEAT YOU!


  7. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 15, 2013 at 15:47

    I don’t really go looking for them. They’re either mentioned on sites I frequent & I’ve subscribed to a few indie bundle sites. If they look fun then I’ll go for it, otherwise I couldn’t be too bothered really. I work on the assumption that the best will bubble to the top & arrive in front of my eyes.


  8. Kanti

    August 15, 2013 at 16:57



  9. kathirine

    August 16, 2013 at 00:32

    My roomate’s mother makes $87 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 7 months but last month her pay was $21739 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here… http://www.Pro67.com


  10. Crash0Lux

    August 17, 2013 at 15:19

    Speaking of indie games. Have any of you guys checked out Vapour yet? It’s a really creepy free horror prototype game made by two young South African guys (they call themselves Skobbejak Games, hehe pretty kick ass name). Plus theyre game has already been played by Markiplier, Yamimash and PewDiePie among a bunch of other youtube viewers. Lazygamer, should try and do a story about them or an interview maybe. I know you can download the game at their website: http://www.skobbejakgames.com Pretty fricken wierd and terrifying game, it’s definitely something unique.

    Damn, so many South African games popping up in this one year, I think its safe to say that we actually starting to build a legitimate game dev industry now.


  11. merri

    October 11, 2013 at 17:54

    Author doesn’t seem to be familiar with the troves of amazing independently published games on the PC platform.


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