What do you call indie movies? Crap. The same goes for indie games. The advantage indie games has had on pc markets is their low price. But as more games move into this market, they are bringing low prices. Indie games are stuck into a category of their own. Shooter, Strategy, RPG, oh and Indie. As if Indie is some sort of container for new crappy games. I don’t think this but everyone else does.
When you go to the book store, is there a shelf that says ‘indie writer’? Of course not. The new writers are with the established ones. A brand new science fiction writer has his book placed next to Heinlein and Asimov. If he cannot compete against those other writers, then his book won’t be in print long.
I don’t believe in the ‘indie’ label. If you make a space shooter game, it should go into the space shooter category. If you make an RPG, it should go into the RPG category. Instead, we get this category called ‘INDIE’ which has games of all categories thrown together. It is not useful for the consumer because just because a game is ‘indie’ doesn’t tell us anything. Why isn’t the game with the other categories? Indie category might as well be called ‘shovelware category’ because indie games are treated like a disease, something to be isolated.
If you make an indie game on strategy, then it should go in the strategy section. Your game would be next to Master of Orion or Civilization. If your game can compete with those titles, it will do very well. If not, then everyone will ignore it.
“But my indie game is so inferior that it shouldn’t be placed next to them.” Then how else can you compete? Perhaps by price? Why not make your game cheaper?
In my universe, there is no such thing as ‘indie games’. There is just ‘games’. (Also in my universe, there are no ‘years’ or ‘generations’. All games compete against my time. Pac-Man competes against my time TODAY against the newest games.)
Minecraft and Rollercoaster Tycoon are technically “indie games” but no one talks about them that way. This means what does indie games mean?
Does indie games mean nothing more than ‘shitty-games-we’re-supposed-to-buy-to-help-poor-develoeprs’? Why not just rename it to be Charity Games? Or perhaps ‘Starving Developer’ games? I like that. ‘Starving Developer’ category. Sounds better than indie anyway.
If I was an indie developer, I’d want to not be associated with ‘indie-ness’ and be considered the ‘norm’. The best way to do that I think is to stop talking about how ‘indie’ the game is and to market why it is the best type of game it is compared to every other game. If the game is a space shooter, don’t tell me it is an indie game. Tell me why it is an awesome space shooter. It being an indie game means nothing to me. It’s like indie is being used as an excuse for bad graphics or shitty code or something.