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Feature: 'The State of Indie Gaming'

Feature: 'The State of Indie Gaming'

April 30, 2008 | By Eric Caoili

April 30, 2008 | By Eric Caoili
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More: Console/PC, Indie

In this in-depth Gamasutra analysis, casual game veteran Gril looks at the state of, and opportunities in, independent gaming, from PC to console, from Desktop Tower Defense to fl0w and beyond...

Though PC downloads promise the biggest revenue for casual games compared to other platforms, Gril believes the glut of titles being produced have created a crisis for casual game downloads:

"There is a number of good studios cranking out a far higher number of good games than the audience can consume, creating a glut of good titles and reducing the shelf life of every title.

This crisis is accentuated by the fact that portals haven't turned out to an Amazon or Netflix model; instead, they pushing the same top 10 to every user, regardless of the user's tastes.

This has forced portals to look only for titles that appeal to the vast majority of people. Genres like time management, hidden object, lightweight adventure, puzzle, and simulation are well accepted by the audience, and if you can innovate in these genres then you have a good opportunity"

While PC downloads have an impressive library of innovative titles, thanks to studios like PopCap and Introversion, if you're wondering where most of the radical innovation in independent video game design is happening, look to web games.

"For every innovative Wii game in the market, there are dozens of innovative Flash games.

It's not only because the barriers of entry and the production costs are lower, it's also a platform open for experimentation. You can throw something out there, discover that you wanted to change something, change it on your server, and boom, it's available for everybody else."

You can now read the full feature on the state of, and opportunities in, independent gaming for all platforms -- PC downloads, web, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and WiiWare (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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