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Pondering Indie Spirit: Derek Yu Speaks
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Pondering Indie Spirit: Derek Yu Speaks

December 11, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Many people have been complaining about game graphics going away from what they enjoy and becoming all slick, 3D, everything shiny, and again bald space marines.

It seems like a lot of the people that are making the interesting games now that have the cool chunky graphics like Spelunky or Cave Story, maybe those people who got older and are now able to make video games are actually like, "Alright, I wanted this, and nobody's making it, so now I'm going to make it."

DY: Yeah, I think that's definitely true. The thing is I love graphics, so I think they should be a priority, but [the problem is] when it ends up taking over the entire development.

But, yeah, I think the kind of nice thing about indie games is that they can move sort of laterally as opposed to always kind of jumping forward with whatever the latest kind of technological advances are.

They can even move backward.

DY: They can move backwards, yeah. I think that's totally valid. I also think that there's really an opportunity for indie developers to make games that have the sort of depth that I'm not sure that you see in mainstream titles that just focus on the graphics.

Do you think that's because of the types of constraints that are placed on the different groups?

DY: I think so. You know, everyone complains about quick time events, for example, and that's just a result of just having graphics that are so good that you almost don't want to do anything with them. That's a way to try to make a cutscene interactive, as opposed to make a game, I would say. I think the priorities are just different. I think once you get beyond a certain point in terms of people and resources and money that you're putting into it, it just changes.

There's also something about making a creative product under certain constraints as an indie. You don't really have any money necessarily maybe or you're living at your mom's house or something like that. So, you've got these kind of stressful external pressures that force you into this creative outlet.

DY: Yeah, it's true. Suffering, I think, definitely helps the kind of artistic side of things. [laughs] I do agree that a lot of good games and entertainment comes out of people just going through tough times.

That's another interesting thing, whether these indie developers that do make it -- become successful -- where do you go from there? Once you have your blockbuster... As far as I know, right now, there aren't many indie developers that have had more than one hit because there haven't been many developers that have really released more than one game in a mainstream outlet.

I feel like The Behemoth is on the way there. Alien Hominid is really easy to understand. And Castle Crashers is easy to understand because it's a brawler, and everybody frickin' loved it. It sold like a million on XBLA, at least.

It's interesting to see what they're doing and where they're going. I feel like they're the one indie that everybody knows now.

DY: Right, right, right. They're definitely one of the few that have had a successful title as an indie developer. They have kind of a veteran status as far as this particular movement is concerned.

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