Video games can be great, and they can be rubbish. Whether they’re indie games or AAA block busters.
We live in a world where “Artisan” is supposedly a mark of quality. And where Big Business is contributing to the gentrification of our beloved high streets and hamlets. Personally, I don’t necessarily believe that one is innately better than the other.
Sure, local businesses do great work. But big chains have got to that position for a reason. Usually because they provide a decent service or product.
But I also believe that smaller businesses, with dedicated and passionate people, can do just as good a job as multi-million corporations with thousands of staff behind them. Which is why I feel that Indie Games can be just as good as a AAA title. Here’s my thinking.
They’re made with love
I’m not necessarily suggesting that non-indie games aren’t made with love. I’m sure that those behind Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield or FIFA love their jobs. But I’m not as sure that they experience the same hardships. The same effort that goes into making an indie game.
From finding the backers (be they corporate or the crowd) to delivering the final product. The journey of an indie game is fraught with pain and anguish. But what you get at the end, in general, is a labor of love.
You can often feel that commitment. That passion. In an indie game. Indie games often have more substance because of it.
Unless you’re looking at a game like No Man’s Sky – indie titles are relatively inexpensive. You can get some fantastic indie titles for under £10. Trawl through Steam and you’ll probably find some for even less.
There’s a whole world of indie games out there, waiting to be explored. And, for the price of one AAA title, you could easily find yourself 5 great indie games to play.
The weird and wonderful world of indie games
Indie games hold their own niche. Sure, some of them are scaled down versions of the titles that you’ve come to love. You have your FPSs and your open-world RPGs.
But then there are the games that come from Left Field. Your Octodads. Or Goat Simulators. They’re fun, they’re wacky and they’re different. It’s the sort of experience that you’ll never see EA or Activision publishing. Sometimes for good reason.
A focused, fun experience
Games like Skyrim, Mass Effect, Battlefield – the big guns. They’re great. You can do a whole wealth of things in them, from exploring the world to playing mini-games within the title. But an indie game isn’t usually like that.
More often than not, an indie game is a focused experience. It’ll be about one or two specific things. You won’t be wandering around aimlessly for an hour. Instead, you’ll be thrown right into the thick of the game – usually after a brief introduction.
Your time commitment
Yes. I love open-world games. I enjoy a title that’ll take me hours to complete. The sort of game that I commit days to, rather than hours. But I don’t have a huge number of days to go round. I’d like to play the latest Mass Effect, for example – but I’ll never have the time.
That’s where indie games often hold their own. You can play them for half hour at a time, because they’re usually short. More often than not, you’ll complete it in a few hours – meaning that you can have an awesome time without worrying about committing too much of your life to it.
So there are my five reasons for loving indie games. And for beleiving that some indie games are just as good (if not better) than AAA titles. I’ll be off to EGX Rezzed this weekend with the DXP guys. So I can’t wait to get my hands on a whole score of awesome looking indie titles!