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What would we do without indie developers?

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03-07-2013, 04:57 PM
  #1
Turrican*
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What would we do without indie developers?

Big name companies are so complacent, and people are so lazy that they just want the same easy game over and over, its terrible.

Kickstarter is probably the best thing ever made. As it allows deep games to come out.

Deepness is definitely not something that is widespread anymore... Remember in the 90s when you bought a PC game, you knew you would have to take 1hr learning all the options given to you? And now?... ********.

Just needed to rant. It pisses me off that big name companies come out with such recycled garbage with no depth and its the same old ****.






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03-08-2013, 06:51 AM
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Jill Sandwich
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Deepness? Do you mean depth? Oh wait you say depth later in the next paragraph. ... Now I'm awful confused.

I've literally just watched a person play through all of Doom 2 on Ultraviolence. And the majority of his time was spent lost and frustrated, checking every wall for secret doors. The best part of Doom is the shooting guys, and time after time you wind up shooting nobody, wandering aimlessly for 20 minutes. So, no, I don't want to go back to nonsense map design. Especially in games where that doesn't make any sense. It's going to be a strange modern military shooter where the guy has to wander around a sprawling complex to find the blue key to open the blue door.

Also, Torment is kind of an unfair comparison. Torment was miles more wordy than BioWare or even Black Isle's other games. Also keep in mind that all the actual mechanics were kind of sucky.


And lastly, it's really hard to refer to 100 person companies like Obsidian and inXile as 'indie'. Especially when until Kickstarter, they got their money to pay their staff from those awful big publishers like Square and Bethesda.

Those 'big name publishers' would still be making those kind of games if they were profitable. Because why wouldn't they. They're in the business of making money. Bethesda still makes Elder Scrolls because it returns a profit. When it stops returning a profit, do you think they'll continue making it?


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03-08-2013, 12:39 PM
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karnige
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Sandwich View Post
Deepness? Do you mean depth? Oh wait you say depth later in the next paragraph. ... Now I'm awful confused.

I've literally just watched a person play through all of Doom 2 on Ultraviolence. And the majority of his time was spent lost and frustrated, checking every wall for secret doors. The best part of Doom is the shooting guys, and time after time you wind up shooting nobody, wandering aimlessly for 20 minutes. So, no, I don't want to go back to nonsense map design. Especially in games where that doesn't make any sense. It's going to be a strange modern military shooter where the guy has to wander around a sprawling complex to find the blue key to open the blue door.

Also, Torment is kind of an unfair comparison. Torment was miles more wordy than BioWare or even Black Isle's other games. Also keep in mind that all the actual mechanics were kind of sucky.


And lastly, it's really hard to refer to 100 person companies like Obsidian and inXile as 'indie'. Especially when until Kickstarter, they got their money to pay their staff from those awful big publishers like Square and Bethesda.

Those 'big name publishers' would still be making those kind of games if they were profitable. Because why wouldn't they. They're in the business of making money. Bethesda still makes Elder Scrolls because it returns a profit. When it stops returning a profit, do you think they'll continue making it?
I agree with this 100%. Fact is those style of games aren't a big enough market now. Its about the $$$.

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03-08-2013, 01:17 PM
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So you associate poor user interface design that requires a lot of work to master with depth?

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03-08-2013, 01:40 PM
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Depth in a game can best be described as "Easy to learn but difficult to master". If it takes hours to learn how to play a game using it's basic features then most people won't find it entertaining.

A good example of a game doing it right would be Call of Duty. It's incredibly easy to learn how to play the game and you can have a lot of fun with the basics but you have to grind and put in hours to find what combination of weapons, perks, attachments, and (to an extent) controls work best for you.

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03-08-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karnige View Post
I agree with this 100%. Fact is those style of games aren't a big enough market now. Its about the $$$.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill Sandwich View Post

Those 'big name publishers' would still be making those kind of games if they were profitable. Because why wouldn't they. They're in the business of making money. Bethesda still makes Elder Scrolls because it returns a profit. When it stops returning a profit, do you think they'll continue making it?
Karnige is closer, it's not that these games are not profitable. Built on the same scale as they were previously, these types of games have always been profitable. Both Brian Fargo(Interplay) and Tim Cain (Troika) have said even their titles with lackluster sales like Arcanum, and Planescape Torment were profitable. The reason the big publishers do not fund them any more is because they are not profitable enough by their standards. The Publishers grew bigger than the market they used to serve, and no one took their place. That's ALL, the market didn't shrink or become less profitable.

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03-08-2013, 03:49 PM
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Ya. The big companies are TOO greedy.
Who cares about a quality product, rehash the same old crap. If its bad, PATCH IT UP.
Didn't sell enough? Create DLC! Sold a lot? Create DLC!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I can't wait for Star Citizen, I put in over 150 dollars to support it and I'll never have to pay an additional penny for extra things. Oh not to mention all the perks I get with it, (USB, book, shirt, etc)

You can pay 150 for DLC with some games from large publishers. Greedy ****s.

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03-08-2013, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SniperHF View Post
Karnige is closer, it's not that these games are not profitable. Built on the same scale as they were previously, these types of games have always been profitable. Both Brian Fargo(Interplay) and Tim Cain (Troika) have said even their titles with lackluster sales like Arcanum, and Planescape Torment were profitable. The reason the big publishers do not fund them any more is because they are not profitable enough by their standards. The Publishers grew bigger than the market they used to serve, and no one took their place. That's ALL, the market didn't shrink or become less profitable.
Here lies the problem. Instead of making a healthy profit, companies want to make insane profit.

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03-08-2013, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by karnige View Post
Here lies the problem. Instead of making a healthy profit, companies want to make insane profit.
Pretty much. If you bring an expensive project into the boardroom that could make $50 million in profits, or a smaller project that will only cost 1/10th to make but is only expected to make $5 million in profits, they'll take the big project every time.

That's where the big developers like EA, Activision/Blizzard, Ubisoft, etc stand, they all want to make the next Call of Duty or WoW. Problem is when no one ends up making the $5 million game it creates a vacuum which was left unfilled for a good number of year, where thankfully kickstarter and indy developers are now starting to pick up the slack.

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03-08-2013, 04:57 PM
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For every EA, there's a company like Atlus. Certain publishers may be "evil" or whatever you are defining them as, but Atlus has consistently churned out damned good games. If I compare my favorite "old school" JRPG (FF6) to my favorite recent JRPGs (Persona 3 and 4) I don't see a quality dip at all, as a matter of fact, I see a game that's just as good that does a few things better than FF6.

The line between independent and a publisher is so blurry these days to begin with, it's better to just say that game making as a whole is taking far less risks. I'd agree with that, because there are some Publishers out there (Atlus, Sony) that definitely do take risks and they should be applauded for it.

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03-08-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Orpheus View Post
For every EA, there's a company like Atlus. Certain publishers may be "evil" or whatever you are defining them as, but Atlus has consistently churned out damned good games. If I compare my favorite "old school" JRPG (FF6) to my favorite recent JRPGs (Persona 3 and 4) I don't see a quality dip at all, as a matter of fact, I see a game that's just as good that does a few things better than FF6.

The line between independent and a publisher is so blurry these days to begin with, it's better to just say that game making as a whole is taking far less risks. I'd agree with that, because there are some Publishers out there (Atlus, Sony) that definitely do take risks and they should be applauded for it.
Ya I hear ya.
When is the last time Atlus had a bad launch or buggy release?
Considering they have games like Disgaea which have more numbers than you can shake a stick at.

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03-08-2013, 05:14 PM
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Ya I hear ya.
When is the last time Atlus had a bad launch or buggy release?
Considering they have games like Disgaea which have more numbers than you can shake a stick at.
Correct answer to that would be Game of Thrones. Atlus has admitted the game was a mistake though and they should have been more careful with it before publishing it.

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03-08-2013, 06:02 PM
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I like both. *shrug*

As long as the company is working to serve client needs and wants I don't really have a problem.

There's a great variety of games these days, especially on PC.

Last few months i've played:
-SC2 HOTS
-X-Com: Enemy Unknown
-FarCry 3
-Hotline Miami
-Legends of Grimrock
-Magic the Gathering 2013
-Spec Ops: The Line

Mostly great gaming experiences.

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03-09-2013, 06:02 AM
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Jill Sandwich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperHF View Post
Karnige is closer, it's not that these games are not profitable. Built on the same scale as they were previously, these types of games have always been profitable. Both Brian Fargo(Interplay) and Tim Cain (Troika) have said even their titles with lackluster sales like Arcanum, and Planescape Torment were profitable. The reason the big publishers do not fund them any more is because they are not profitable enough by their standards. The Publishers grew bigger than the market they used to serve, and no one took their place. That's ALL, the market didn't shrink or become less profitable.
While I don't doubt a level of this is true, when your company gets largely (and especially if you've gone public) you do require a certain volume to make anything worth your time. But no matter what industry you're in, you want great margins. Merely returning the investment is not considered a success because of opportunity cost.

The problem with the 'all they want is insane profit' requires that they be posting insane profit at their earnings calls, and they're not. IIRC, EA's been posting in the red for several quarters, it's difficult to look at that and say they need to be less tight-fisted with their budgeting. Now lately that has to do with the overall downturn in gaming caused by the economy, old 7th gen machines, and a great move to phones and tablet gaming.

And yeah, once you start throwing around millions to fund development rather than small bets, the business end becomes less about serving an audience and more about risk mitigation. And the difficulty with Kickstarter is people still don't understand how expensive development can be.

Though none of this really has much to do with the 'games aren't complicated enough!' part of the initial spiel.

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03-09-2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jill Sandwich View Post
While I don't doubt a level of this is true, when your company gets largely (and especially if you've gone public) you do require a certain volume to make anything worth your time. But no matter what industry you're in, you want great margins. Merely returning the investment is not considered a success because of opportunity cost.

The problem with the 'all they want is insane profit' requires that they be posting insane profit at their earnings calls, and they're not. IIRC, EA's been posting in the red for several quarters, it's difficult to look at that and say they need to be less tight-fisted with their budgeting. Now lately that has to do with the overall downturn in gaming caused by the economy, old 7th gen machines, and a great move to phones and tablet gaming.

And yeah, once you start throwing around millions to fund development rather than small bets, the business end becomes less about serving an audience and more about risk mitigation. And the difficulty with Kickstarter is people still don't understand how expensive development can be.

Though none of this really has much to do with the 'games aren't complicated enough!' part of the initial spiel.
Just an observation/question from someone who hasn't done the research to know the answer - but are some of these bigger companies like EA perhaps victims of their own success?

I know in other industries, sometimes a company will enjoy a lot of financial success, they'll grow because of that success, and in an attempt to perpetuate and grow that success. However, with that success comes increased expectations, and such a company is expected more and more to churn out the next biggest thing. The smaller yet strong successes they had become too little to sustain such a large company, yet the margins needed on the bigger and bigger projects to support such large companies become increasingly difficult or even possible to achieve. The smaller projects are simply not within the scope of what the company can justify to their stockholders. Essentially they start to struggle under the weight of their own success.

Maybe this doesn't describe the industry at all, but as an uninformed bystander, it sounds kind of like it. For those in the know, what do you think?

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03-09-2013, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Just an observation/question from someone who hasn't done the research to know the answer - but are some of these bigger companies like EA perhaps victims of their own success?

I know in other industries, sometimes a company will enjoy a lot of financial success, they'll grow because of that success, and in an attempt to perpetuate and grow that success. However, with that success comes increased expectations, and such a company is expected more and more to churn out the next biggest thing. The smaller yet strong successes they had become too little to sustain such a large company, yet the margins needed on the bigger and bigger projects to support such large companies become increasingly difficult or even possible to achieve. The smaller projects are simply not within the scope of what the company can justify to their stockholders. Essentially they start to struggle under the weight of their own success.

Maybe this doesn't describe the industry at all, but as an uninformed bystander, it sounds kind of like it. For those in the know, what do you think?
While I follow the industry business side as an enthusiast, I'm not an analyst so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

I'd say the biggest struggle for companies like EA is that they're publicly traded, so that's definitely a part of it. It's less about big and small and more about the difference between private owners and public shareholders. Whereas a private company like Valve can grow or shrink and make decisions to protect the company, and its existence, public companies need to make decisions to protect their shareholders. If the market turns down and last quarter's 11% growth has shrunk to 3% (or worse), they can make decisions to ensure the continuation of their plans. If a public company suffers that same situation, they need to come up with a way to keep their shareholders engaged.

(If you can't tell, I personally am way in favor of private companies. Shareholders cannibalize business profits by matter of their function, whereas private owners is a matter of management)

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03-09-2013, 07:15 PM
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While I follow the industry business side as an enthusiast, I'm not an analyst so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

I'd say the biggest struggle for companies like EA is that they're publicly traded, so that's definitely a part of it. It's less about big and small and more about the difference between private owners and public shareholders. Whereas a private company like Valve can grow or shrink and make decisions to protect the company, and its existence, public companies need to make decisions to protect their shareholders. If the market turns down and last quarter's 11% growth has shrunk to 3% (or worse), they can make decisions to ensure the continuation of their plans. If a public company suffers that same situation, they need to come up with a way to keep their shareholders engaged.

(If you can't tell, I personally am way in favor of private companies. Shareholders cannibalize business profits by matter of their function, whereas private owners is a matter of management)
Definitely makes sense. I think there's a time and place for publicly traded companies, but yeah, there's definitely the problem of shareholders not sharing or understanding management's vision or time line. I'm a neophyte in that arena too, but with my limited knowledge, I would definitely agree that private ownership is generally preferable. Thanks for weighing in!

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03-10-2013, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Leman Russ View Post
Ya. The big companies are TOO greedy.
Who cares about a quality product, rehash the same old crap. If its bad, PATCH IT UP.
Didn't sell enough? Create DLC! Sold a lot? Create DLC!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I can't wait for Star Citizen, I put in over 150 dollars to support it and I'll never have to pay an additional penny for extra things. Oh not to mention all the perks I get with it, (USB, book, shirt, etc)

You can pay 150 for DLC with some games from large publishers. Greedy ****s.
You just paid $150 for a game.

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03-10-2013, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Jill Sandwich View Post
While I don't doubt a level of this is true, when your company gets largely (and especially if you've gone public) you do require a certain volume to make anything worth your time. But no matter what industry you're in, you want great margins. Merely returning the investment is not considered a success because of opportunity cost.
I agree with that. I don't blame the larger publishers for chasing newer bigger markets. What frustrated me for so many years was the lack of someone taking their place in the middle. And there was no hope 3 years ago of getting these types of games made on any scale worth mentioning. Now there is, so I'm way less bitter toward the big guys than I used to be. At this stage I just chalk it up to a weird growing pain of a still infantile industry.

Quote:
Though none of this really has much to do with the 'games aren't complicated enough!' part of the initial spiel.
I mostly stay out of that these days. Different types of games attract different types of crowds. Now that the types of games I want to play might actually be available again, it's all good.

Still not ready to call the kickstarter phenomenon a success yet. I wanna see one of Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, Star Citizen, T:ToN, or Planetary Annihilation be a good game first. Right now fully expecting that some of these larger projects are going to be a let down somewhere.


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You just paid $150 for a game.
During the dark ages of RPG's(2004 to hopefully 2012), I would think about how much I'd pay for another Fallout.

The answer to that apparently was apparently a lot.

Now if someone would only make a good pitch for a tactical shooter.........

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03-10-2013, 05:54 AM
  #20
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You just paid $150 for a game.
I'm getting other things with it too. But yes I did.
But I know it will be the best space sim ever made, and I feel good to know I am supporting quality and not greed.

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03-10-2013, 11:03 AM
  #21
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To summarize it..

the video game industry is a multimillion mega bla bla bla money making industry today. You have CEOS in some of the biggest company whos gamingexperience is 1h of Supermario. It's all about the cash. Developers dont even have 100% freedom today becuse their "products" must be "aimed towards certin groups". Some companies wont even let you realese their game if you dont have multiplayer.

Its stupid to compare eras.

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03-10-2013, 03:25 PM
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Jill Sandwich
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the video game industry is a multimillion mega bla bla bla money making industry today. You have CEOS in some of the biggest company whos gamingexperience is 1h of Supermario. It's all about the cash. Developers dont even have 100% freedom today becuse
Because the thing they want from the publisher is... their cash? If you think the publisher shouldn't care about the cash as much, you should tell the developer that they shouldn't care about receiving their paycheques. Then the developers should tell their landlords that they shouldn't care about receiving the rent.

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