Indie games are a unique category of products with unforgettable styles, mechanics, and concepts. In them, the creativity of developers, publishers, and sound engineers is fully manifested. So let’s break down what’s so special about indie projects.
Indie Game Definition
The name of this category comes from the abbreviated word “independent.” It can give you more insight into why these games differ from all the others. Their creators are independent developers, those who do not work for giants like Ubisoft and EA. Independent studios may have only a few employees; often, there is one person behind the creation of some hits.
Indie Format Advantages and Disadvantages
Independence from big bosses’ opinions makes indie developers free to choose a genre, category, style, and so on. However, it, of course, imposes certain restrictions.
Here are the benefits of building projects independently:
- Creative freedom. It is a critical factor needed to create a unique game. Thanks to it, you can experiment with genres and gameplay.
- Recognition. When a large studio is behind the game creation, the achievements of developers seem to be overlooked. In the indie industry, you can be sure that your success will only be yours.
- Flexible schedule. Major publishers are notorious for forcing their employees to overwork to meet the plan and complete the work on time. As an independent creator, you can set your deadlines.
- Community. Even at the stage of creation, developers manage to create a cozy community that expects the game release, gives advice, and even sponsors the work.
Among the disadvantages of indie game development are the following:
- Limited resources. It can be money, time, specialists, and so on. You can only rely on your own forces.
- No holidays. You can get days off or sick leaves in large corporations since another person can temporarily do your work. If you’re a self-employed developer, you can’t do so.
- Flexible schedule. It is both a plus and a minus. If you fail to establish personal management, you risk working seven days a week and threatening to burn out.
- Marketing. A large part of your project’s success depends on it. If you don’t have a famous name, you will have to spend a lot of resources to tell the world about you.
Indie Game Success Secret
Despite all the difficulties indie developers face, their projects still gain popularity among users and become niche projects. The secret of success from consumers’ point of view is that they get games with unique graphics, gameplay, or sound design. Also, many players are attracted by the fact that indie developers are closer to their consumers than large publishers and actively interact with the players. Of course, it does not mean every indie project is successful, but many of them do have something special.
Popular Indie Titles
New cool games are released every year. However, there are unshakable indie classics that remain popular despite the time. Among such projects, Cuphead, Hollow Knight, Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Undertale, and others are worth noting. They became famous as the developers managed to gather around themselves a community of loyal users who helped them make their projects more popular thanks to word of mouth.
Income From Indie Games
Your profit from creating an indie game can vary significantly on project size, start-up costs, and success with users. Video Game Insights reported that more than half of Steam publishers could earn no more than $1000 from their titles. Only 3% of developers received more than a million dollars. There is no one-size-fits-all guide to creating an indie game that will become a hit. However, if you have a great and unique idea, it might be worth considering building your own project.
What do you think about indie games? What are your favorite titles?