So, everything was cool this morning. The world was revolving as it should, I had coffee with my egg thing for breakfast, and woke my children from their slumber. Then, this happened.
I clicked, see. I clicked, when I should have turned away, disinterested.
Let me give you some background.
I have a deep-rooted interest in the evolution of the independent game development community. For years upon years now I have suffered the complaints and gripes of my fellow corporate slave monkeys who “wish there was some way to make money in games”, who would “love to make their own game” if only “there was any money in it”.
There are 10,000 variations on this line. The general idea is that where we are is all there is, and no one could possibly be doing the thing that we wish we were doing (which is making games that are fun), because clearly if that was possible, we, of course, would be doing it.
Let me apply an opinion to my otherwise dry and empty rhetoric. That, my friends, is a load of crap. So says I.
Thus, I watch with loving, adoring fascination as the independant games industry emerges from it’s chrysalis, and spreads its wings. The last two or three years have been amazing. I’ve said to several folks that the independents of today as a whole look to me like the whole industry did about 6 years ago. That is to say, small teams, some very high-quality product (with some real stinkers in there), and some folks that are starting to figure out how to actually sustain a profit.
There is, for example, PlayFirst. Oasis is an outstanding game, one that I dumped a vast quantity of time into over the last month. It’s the one that convinced me that it’s all up and running. Diner Dash has eaten my children. It had me in it’s foul grip for some time, but I believe I have escaped.
SO! Back to our thread. So I click. And I find Game Tunnel.
I had no idea these guys existed, and how can that be, but who cares, they have the Top 10 Indy Games of 2004! Shit, is that Wik & the Fable of Souls? I’ve played that! (It’s awesome, btw.) And, other stuff… and… and…
So you see, it’s been like this all morning, with no signs of abating. I have found, in the very same moment, proof that indy games are a viable alternative to the Big Guns (proof that I can send in an email no less), and found a rich, verdant jungle filled with mad gaming weirdness. HamsterBall?
It’s going to be a long week.