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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:13PM Uthink said

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If Glitch is a indie game. I think you can say it won. Also look at your article you didnt mention one indie game. but you got the WoW reference in there.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:25PM odericko said

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Only indie games worth my money (IMO) are EVE (and it's debatable whether it's indie or not still), Glitch, and Wurm. All the others I played were either severely underdeveloped or just not good games.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:39PM Borick said

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@odericko

Vendetta Online
Minecraft
Global Agenda

All three games have given me more value than any AAA title I've played since EverQuest. The money I used to spend on AAA titles goes to those above three. A game doesn't need to be mainstream-popular to be rich and satisfying.
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:17PM DancingCow said

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@odericko

"severely underdeveloped or just not good games" - that applies to most big budget MMOs too :)
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Posted: Feb 1st 2012 11:00AM (Unverified) said

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@Borick

I have tons of hours played in Dungeon Defenders as well, and it's only $15 (more for the DLC but well worth it).
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:34PM (Unverified) said

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I think in this situation, it's best to respond to why I personally don't try out all these games instead of generalizing. It gives you an idea of what opinions are out there and makes for a better understanding.

One deterrent is the hassle of making a new account and password. With each new game I try, I have to make up new account names, passwords and oftentimes e-mails with their own e-mails and passwords. Sure it sounds lazy to gripe about, but it's the reality of the situation. I hate having to think up new information that has to be added to the already long list I have now.

Another deterrent is time. Why try out this other game if I could be playing a game I know I already enjoy or some other activity? Reasonably I know it's not like every moment matters and that it's okay to reach out for something new, but I'll be damned to admit that I'm an old fuddy duddy in this regard.

Third is the point you brought up: perception of a game's quality by graphics and gameplay footage. Many titles don't catch my eye with their art design. I want to like the aesthetics of a game and if the graphics are rough around the edges, that puts me off. And one design feature that really irks me is how the user interface is implemented. It's one thing to look at but another to use that interface and come out frustrated. If I can glance at the UI in a screenshot or video and it looks bad, I'm not going to feel motivated to give that game a shot.

I suppose the biggest deterrent I could think of is not being knowledgeable about a title. Sure it's more of a side effect, but I can't rule it out. It's hard in this case since indie titles don't have much money to advertise and word of mouth doesn't reach very far. To illustrate on how important it can be I'll mention how I came to try out Glitch. Without having known anything about the game, nor how it looked, I was motivated to try Glitch thanks to it being talked about on the Massively podcast. The same can be said for Fallen Earth.

And just to be a nit-picker I'll mention that for there are games I do know enough about and don't try. I know they're not my playstyle, and I will simply not try them.

All that said, I freely admit to skipping over articles about games that I don't know anything about. I feel a bit bad since there could be a hidden gem out there that's waiting for me that I haven't given the time of day. I'll try to keep my mind open, even if it's only a bit more. See? Just having you talk about it motivates me, I'll give your articles a read more often.

Good write-up Beau, thanks.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:18PM h4ngedm4n said

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Beau articles ftw. I agree those of us who want to see more innovation need to help support and bring awareness to low budget indie titles. The big companies cannot take any serious risks because it would not be in their shareholders interests.

More generally, I think the root of the problem isn't gaming related, its societal. In consumerist societies, people are conditioned to believe that more money = better product. This just extends to gaming, so the thinking is that "name brand" games like WoW or SWTOR are the quality ones while the low budget ones are cheap knockoff made-in-chinas.

Also, definitely checking out Glitch when it gets out of beta.
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:30PM h4ngedm4n said

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@myself
this wasn't meant to reply to (Unverified). clicked wrongly somehow. Massively, please upgrade your comments system :(
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 10:39PM Saucelah said

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@h4ngedm4n you can put in a request to join Glitch now though no idea how long it will take -- they've been sending out invites in batches rather than as they come in.

But after the relaunch it will be moar betterer so waiting might be a good idea.

I wouldn't be too shocked to see it relaunch in about six or seven weeks, right around SXSW.
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:35PM (Unverified) said

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I don't think it's that people have a fear of anything new so much as a fear of something looking so niche and low-budget that it'll be a waste of money.

I personally want something that looks professionally made. That's just my preference. I don't need to play something as big as some of the AAA titles available, but at the same time I don't want to play anything that looks like it was made on a shoestring budget, either.

Just like with indie movies or indie artists, you can try it and usually go "yeah, that was alright" but in the back of your head you know it kinda sucks.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:18PM odericko said

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Err, should've added MMO to my post. Yes, there are tons of good indie non MMOs :D
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:41PM avaloner said

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Is RIFT considered an indie game? I don't see why its not. Its from an indapendent dev/publisher, so is their an reasont its not considered indi? or is it because it got a comercial release?

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:52PM edgecrusherO0 said

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@avaloner

It's definitely NOT an indie game. It had tens of millions of dollars in funding. Indie games run on very small budgets.
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:29PM h4ngedm4n said

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@edgecrusherO0
I guess one can say Trion is an independent big company. Independent in the strict interpretation of the word, but not "Indie" in spirit of a small number of devs working on a low budget.
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Posted: Feb 1st 2012 12:03AM avaloner said

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@h4ngedm4n
If thats the case I guess it gets pretty vague at whats considered enough funding for a game to be not considered a indie game or how many devs can a game have before its not considered indie. I would think everyone has differnt interpratations as to what constitutes indie then.
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Posted: Feb 1st 2012 2:25AM h4ngedm4n said

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@avaloner
I think an analogy is how George Lucas is considered an "independent filmmaker" and Lucasfilm an "independent studio", but the stuff he makes are not the same as "indie films". Its all quite confusing :(
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Posted: Jan 31st 2012 7:46PM kahnbloodbane said

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indie games?... I bought minecraft for me and ALL my friends when it was in alpha. notch is Rich now. I also bought and play lots other awesome indie games such as dungeons of dreadmor, URW (unreal world by sami manareen), geneforge when it came out, avadon the black fortress, space empires IV and V, Galactic civilizations 1 2 and elemental, and many others, I tend to like my indie strategy games or rpg games. I know some of those I mentioned aren't exactly indie now, still they was in the origin, Hell even ultima 1 was an indie! and arkabeth! I also recommend dungeons of grimrock (dungeon master style game) when it will come out, indie has a ton of potential (see minecraft..)

about indie MMO, they are the same, I am looking right now at something that might be nice (haven't tried it yet I'm waiting to have some time!) it's called miner wars, a space based MMO with completely destructable enviroments, it will come out both as a single player and as MMO :)

remember guys, when you got little budget you best have some really freaking good ideas outta there!... this makes interesting games!

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:04PM agc002 said

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I want to like Indie MMO's, but there's a few things that stop me from getting into them that weren't mentioned or were only indirectly mentioned in your article.

First is this idea of "quality". I don't think quality necessarily equates to good graphics. I'm not so worried about graphics (unless its a game with a $60+ price tag, then its an issue). When I say I want a quality game I want one that plays reasonable well with most systems intact and with few game breaking bugs. The last indie MMO I shelled out money for up front was Earthrise. This was after they had supposedly worked out the kinks and the game was running smoother. I got into it and found it to be more or less unplayable. That experience as well as bad press about similar issues in indie MMO's (Mortal Online) keeps me from dumping money into them. I like non-mmo games from indie producers (the spiderweb software games, mount and blade, and the stardock strategy games.)

Another thing that keeps from really digging into quirky indie games is time and attention. I'm the kind of gamer that likes to play one game intensely for along period (6 months to 1 year usually). Once I'm off a game I tend to cycle through titles pretty quickly before hitting that next big game (or going back to an old favorite). I just don't have the time or the inclination to dabble in multiple games.

Maybe the biggest thing that keeps me from playing other indie titles is the 3 or 4 friends that I play MMO's with. I like my friends, I don't have any desire to get new ones, and I like to play MMO's with them. They like AAA titles, and I don't hate them. We are playing swtor now, I really like it after being skeptical going into it. It feels like more a coop game than a mmo to me, which is good because I'm only interested in playing with my friends anyway.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:25PM (Unverified) said

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First off, Avatar is a great film, and proves a popular myth that high budget movies can't be good (also look at Inception, Harry Potters, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, new Batmans etc etc for good big budget films.)

Secondly I do think it's budgets that scare players away from indie mmo's, but not for the same reasons as you have put. People are scared because we think these games will be a waste of time and money, good on paper but didn't turn out so well with a small budget.

Don't get me wrong, some games surprise me (Glitch and Rift mainly.) But many, maybe even most, are disappointing games that do not live up to their promises.

This can also be said for AAA MMO's, but not to the same extent. Indie games don't live up to their expectations and become unplayable, AAA's are just disappointing (Final Fantasy XIV, under the bed quick, before they remember you!)

I do like to try indie MMO's though, not to the same extent as AAA's, but I find, like I stated above, that I am disappointed most of the time.

Posted: Jan 31st 2012 8:26PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) disproves*********** (referring to my Avatar statement above.)
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