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The XX Show #7 – Indie Games.

Join Nate and Troy as they discuss indie games and the role Steam has played in promoting them. Indie games are beginning to dominate the volume of new releases on Steam, and therefore are becoming an important issue to consider. In this episode, the hosts examine to what extent the market may be flooded with small games and which recent indie titles have managed to shine.

eXplorminate Music by MangaDrive

Show notes:

8 replies »

  1. Interesting listen – wondering if we have hit the perfect storm of Early Access burnout + title saturation? 2017 should be interesting.

    I think there might be another factor at work here too.

    When I brought games home in the 80s, 90s, and even early 21st century, I tore open the box and played them immediately.

    Now, even games that are releasing in a finished, complete, and playable state are light years away from what they *might* look like in a year or two with sufficient developer and community support. For example, playing something like Warlock 2 with the amazing Renaissance mod, or StarDrive 2 with the 1.4/community mod, is a totally different and 1000% more enjoyable experience than playing the original released game. Even GalCiv3, released in 2015, is going to look “totally different / better” when then expandalone/DLC/whatever comes out next year, if Brad’s claims are anything to go by.

    It’s a weird mindset to be in, I’m buying games and putting them away for 6 months (or longer!) because I know that the experience could be so much better once they’re patched up and have some community feedback, and I’d prefer to spend what little gaming time I have playing great games, not good-games-that-will-hopefully-eventually-be-better.

    I’m wondering when this is going to tip over into “no point buying it until it’s 2 years old – and then I can probably get the game, all DLCs, and community mods for 25% of the original cost too!”.

    Maybe the business model needs to change?

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    • I fixed the date for you.

      Also, you make a very valid point. I’m the same way mostly, but good games are good games. Some I store for later, while others I play right away.

      Its very situational.

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    • Excellent points, Silas. Although I think there will always be plenty of players who want to buy new games right when they come out, veteran gamers are getting turned off to new releases more and more. You’re right in that after a couple years, you can probably get the whole game plus some DLC at a huge discount.

      Companies need to start reevaluating their business models. Things have really changed in the last 3 years.

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    • Really great points. I think the situation is defiantly most accuse for big strategy games, but a lot of RPGs suffer from this too, particularly open world stuff that isn’t based around a central narrative.

      Internet patching, online distribution, crowdfunding, early access, post release development road maps, and DLC models are all factors that slowly erodes away what it means for a game be “complete.” The upside is that games that are broken or underwhelming on release can be improved, that the community can help influence design (good or bad), that games could have a longer tail and revenue stream for Devs. The downside is that it’s much less clear when the game is in really good shape – and you may end up sinking a lot of time into games that are a shadow of their potential.

      This is one reason why I like boardgames. The game in the box is the game in the box. While expansions can maybe shore up or expand a games content – there is a lot more risk and attention paid to getting it right when it launches, because you only have one shot to get it right.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, so, Apollo4X has a lot of owners on Steam because they gave away a lot of keys.
    In January 2016 exactly 10k of them were bulk gifted. See https://www.steamgifts.com/giveaway/lC4Q3/apollo4x

    It might’ve actually worked to generate some sales, possibly.
    But, again, 10k of the total owners definitely did not grant a single penny to the developers.

    But yeah the saturation is real. And I’m thinking that after this glut has passed it’ll be very quiet for a long time; at least on the Indie side of things.

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  3. SilasOfBorg wrote:

    “Even GalCiv3, released in 2015, is going to look “totally different / better” when then expandalone/DLC/whatever comes out next year, if Brad’s claims are anything to go by”

    Sorry if I didn’t catch what was said about this in the show or if Brad has been talking about it somewhere, but is GalCiv3 Crusade going to have a totally different “look” from GalCiv3 2015? I expect it will have some nice improvements and play differently but had thought it would look more or less the same. I wish the strategic map would get a total makeover.

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