Indie games II – Definition

This post is the first part of the talk I gave at IES Alfons III and belongs to this root post.

In the previous post, we learned how video game industry evolved and become monopolised by game franchises that repeat the same ideas release after release. The consumers may not be bored of such games, but among this a déja vu mist, fresh ideas shine like a lighthouse.

Way of expression

In the first place, an indie video game is a personal project made to send a message. The author needs to express himself to the player, either transmitting a concern about a topic (global warming, war, humanity…), explaining his personal experience (diseases, traumas, memories…), or justinducing some feelings (friendship, love, cosiness…).

Super Meat Boy is a great example of this expression. In the Indie Game movie, Edmund McMillen explains that the main character (Meat Boy) doesn’t have a skin, while his girlfriend (Bandage Girl) is all made of bandages, which suggests that not only does Meat Boy loves her, but also needs her. And this is quite a deep and breathtaking concept that the author is communicating to the player.

 

Closeness to players

This kind of expressiveness will necessarily lead to a strong connection with the player, as the developer opens himself in a very natural and honest way.

 

Multidisciplinary

Developing a game requires a combination of several branches of knowledge, as it includes not only coding, but also drawing, musical composition, designing, storytelling, physics…

If you want to create your own game, be prepared to embrace the unknown and collaborate with other people from other disciplines. This will require you to manage other skills, like teamwork, leadership, researching, continuous learning, among others.

 

Creative

As we learned before, the key about indie games is their originality. Empathic stories, new game mechanics and unique graphics.

 

Motivational

At some point you may get inversions and maybe you will be able to distribute your game. But do not expect this. Usually, the games you make will end up becoming nothing.

Indie games are born because suddenly someone needs to express him/herself, and this person uses the game to embody that message.

 

Conclusion

Si this is what an indie video game is: A way of expression, an art, a craft, a challenge, an empathic connection with the player, and usually, a low-budget project.

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