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Indie Report July: Content Overflow

By Joseph | July 11, 2009 at 5:59 am

This second edition of the Indie Report features: an interview, two reviews, developer input on one of the biggest issues in indie gaming today, a link for a free RPG, and anything else I feel like talking about. How’s that for some content?

This month there is a lot to look through for those wanting some real Indie news. As promised in last month’s Indie Report, I sat down with Mark Pay, the developer of The Spirit Engine 1 and 2 to get his thoughts on developing Indie games. Check out the interview to see what he has to say. Alternatively, you could check out the review. For those looking for a really quality Indie RPG, look no further.

I just beat Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled, and it’s an awesome buy for those looking to get some bang out of their Indie buck. My final game clock is sitting at about 46 hours. I must say I loved it, and I think any old school gamers will too. Can’t say that I can speak for those young hooligans out there, though. Check out my review to get the full scoop on this tribute to the SNES greats.

Got a couple minutes you wanna burn? Check out Sophie Houlden’s “The Linear RPG” for about 10 minutes worth of free RPG hilarity. And yeah, it really earns the title.

Possibly the biggest controversy in the Indie world right now is the fact that big game outlets (Big Fish Games and others) have been slashing prices. It can be seen as good for those who are buying the games, but not so much for developers whose games that were originally selling for about $15 a copy to have their prices cut down to $5-6 per game. I talked to Amanda Fitch from Amaranth Games, who was interviewed last month, and Mark Pay, this months interviewee to see what they had to say:

Amanda Fitch, Amaranth Games

“To survive the tremendous price cuts (70% loss), we have cut the size of our games from 20 hours to 8-10 hours.

“At first, I was worried about the industry change, but ironically, this shift has produced some exciting new possibilities:

“1) Small development time per game, so less “burn out” during a dev cycle.

“2) More affordable games for players, so if $20 is too much money to spend at one time, player’s can spread out their spending to $5-10 per purchase over a longer period of time.

“3) Series. I like the idea of spreading a game idea out over a long period of time. Smaller chapters makes this easy and possible.

“4) Less risk for us. If we make a game and it bombs, we will only have spent 5 months on it instead of our typical 16 months. More or less, the chance of the company going under because of one or two “bombs” won’t put us out of business.

“5) More creative freedom to experiment with other games. Because our games are smaller and don’t require as much time, we have more time to experiment with other types of games.”

Mark Pay weighed in as well, saying:

“It’s bad news for small developers, obviously. From what I’ve been reading, increased sales are not sufficient to cover the price differences. Many indie devs are having to pull out of portal deals (if they can ), find new ways to keep their revenue up ( like Amaranth cutting Aveyond 3 into pieces ) or just suffering.”

Well, that’s all for this month’s Indie Report. Next month will have a review of Aveyond: Lord of Twilight, some more developers sharing their thoughts on price slashing, and whatever other content I can grab. Keep the input coming: randar23rhenn@rpgland.com


Topics: Amaranth Games, Aveyond, Aveyond: Lord of Twilight, Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled, Indie, Indie games, Indie Report, Indy games, The Spirit Engine, The Spirit Engine 2