The way of the indie
Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform based in the United States, it is probably the most well-known crowd funding website in existence. You can obtain money for any creative project you can think of. (Stuff like businesses, charities, etc., are not allowed)
You start by submitting a description of your project (usually alongside a short video) and promising rewards to people who “pledge” different amounts.
Here are 3 video games projects on kickstarter that I am interested, and have personally funded
Yooka-Laylee is an all-new 3D platformer from the creative talent behind the Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country games have come together to form Playtonic Games and create a spiritual successor to their most cherished work from the past!
Mighty No. 9 is an all-new Japanese side-scrolling action game that takes the best aspects of the 8- and 16-bit era classics you know and love, and transforms them with modern tech, fresh mechanics, and fan input into something fresh and amazing!
An exploration-focused, side-scrolling platformer featuring RPG and crafting elements. Koji Igarashi, the namesake of “Igavania”-style games, is leading the project, with Michiru Yamane composing the music and Inti Creates leading the development.
Coincidentally. all three of these games are “Spiritual Successors” to older games, In order Yooka-Laylee is to Banjo-Kazooie which is owned by Microsoft, Mighty no 9 is to Mega Man which is owned by Capcom and Bloodstained is to Castlevania which is owned by Konami, as the companies who owned the original properties have either stopped caring about the franchises (Microsoft, Capcom) or are going under, or something like that (Konami).
All of the games are actually being made by people responsible for creating the original games, broken off from the original, very controlling companies to make their own games how they like.
Independent video games (or just, indie games) are video games created by individuals or small teams generally without video game publisher financial support. Indie games often focus on innovation and rely on digital distribution.
While the site has enjoyed a reasonable success beforehand, Kickstarter has gone through an explosion in popularity after February 2012: not only did an iPhone dock become the first project to raise a million dollars, but legendary game developer Tim Schafer announced he was going to raise money for a new adventure game, and Double Fine was only asking for $400,000 as its goal. Said project ended up raising over three million, with one million raised in a single day.
Before Kickstarter, there were sites like Newgrounds which housed various flash games and shows.
Newgrounds is a very popular Web Animation and Web Games site, created by Tom Fulp in the late ‘90’s. Originally he made it to show off his own flash works, but soon other people began to ask if they could upload their works too. Now you’ll find far over 200,000 Flash animations and games submitted, watched and played by over 1,500,000 users. Lots of indie developers use newgrounds to show off their games, an example of this is Edmund McMillen creator of Super Meat Boy having uploaded previous flash based works onto the site.
Steam is a Digital Platform for PC games, Made by Valve in 2004 to sell their own games cheaply, it began simply as a shaky and buggy beginning, but has since evolved into a must-haves for PC Gamers, featuring automatic game updates, a messaging system, an online multiplayer platform, Achievements, and an in-game web browser,
Steam is an excellent place for indie games to start off and grab attention.
The term “independent game”, generally refers to a video game developed without the backing of a major publisher.
Recently I went to the European Games Expo, there was notable amount of indie games, having a large corner of the expo to themselves, multiple rows of computers all with demos of their games, There were quite a few, unfortunately I didn’t get to play as many as I liked but they all looked cool, their entire area consisted of computers, computers that were full of other people, which is why I couldn’t play as much as I liked.
Lab Zero Games, is a small, independent game development studio based in Souther California. The studio was formed from staff originally from Reverge Labs, a studio that was formed to develop the 2D Fighting Game Skullgirls. When Reverge could no longer continue to support Skullgirls due to legal issues between Konami and Autumn Games, the team behind the game formed Lab Zero as a way to continue to develop content for the game.
The team is known for their use of gorgeous hand drawn 2D art that is animated more like traditional cartoon than sprite art in their games, as well as their ability to generate that art quickly. The latter is done by outsourcing most of the work to independent contractors, many of which are fans of the games themselves.
Another thing the team has become known for is being able to get the services of popular Japanese video game composers to contribute their music.
So far, the studio has only worked on one game, Skullgirls. However, they are currently hard at work at Indivisible, a side scrolling adventure game that combines elements of Metroidvania* with the 2D combat of Valkyrie Profile, and have set up an Indiegogo campaign.
* = Metroidvania a portmanteau of the games Metroid and Castlevania, two of the first games that used this style of gameplay.
Progress in the game is driven by the discovery of tools that vary from actions to abilities, inventory items, more than just a “key”; for unlocking new areas, they can be a weapon powerful enough to destroy certain walls and will often deal more damage to enemies, it could also be the ability to climb walls could be used to avoid enemies as well as reach high places. The player will often pass many numerous obstacles as they explore the game, which they must backtrack to after finding the appropriate item/ability.
What does an aspiring indie developer need to start up and publish their first game? Equipment and skills
Many talents are needed to be a game designer in the first place, art skills, computer skills, computer art skills, you also need an imagination, as well as an understanding of games and what people like to do with them
As with Movies games also use many genres, from the familiar things such as horror to action to mystery, along with the genres specific to games such as “Shooter” “RPG” and “Side-scroller”
A lot of these can be mixed together, such a Side-scroller Mystery game or a Horror Shooter game, games can even mix their own genres, for example, a Side-scroller Shooter, there’s a lot that games have to offer.
Though there were many before it, such as Pac-Land, Flicky and Jump Bug.
The most popular game in the side-scrolling platforming genre is undeniably, Super Mario Bros, released September 13, 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System which has gone on to influence many things in the industry.