Why I Cover Indie Games

Why I Cover Indie Games

Greetings one and all, I’m Red Angel and
I’m going to talk about myself today. More specifically: I’ll answer a question
that a lot of people have for me when they see the videos on my channel. As such, if you don’t want to hear me prattle
on about the games industry or me being an overly opinionated, critically thinking ginger
owl cat person, this video probably isn’t for you. The Question is this
“Why are indie games such a focus of my channel and why do I cover them so often? I could always give you the easier answer,
which would be something along the lines of “indie games are cheaper and I get a lot
of them for free anyways thanks to me being a game journalist, so they’re just simpler
to cover” and be done with it. But that’s not the answer… well, at least
not all of it. Indie games, for me, offer a variety that
I just don’t see in mainstream games anymore. They force me to change my perspective and
look at things differently in order to get past a certain part. While I do know there are AAA games that provide
this, challenging you and forcing you to become adaptive, many do not – or worse, they were
canceled. *Cough cough* Scalebound *cough cough* See, I like it when games do something unique
and make me think differently about how a game quote unquote “should” work. Sure, I enjoy playing games like Far Cry 3
because it’s a fun open world game I can get lost in for a while. I don’t have to think too hard about it
other than changing my playstyle to fit the loads of enemies that are about to break my
neck. I’m not too worried about the story or the
characters, especially now that I’ve finished the game with that marvelous ending which
I want to cover someday because wow that was just a misguided piece of- Anyway, back on
topic. I can understand why the bigger companies
are trying to do what they do. After all, they need to make money. If they change the wheel too much, they might
scare off their core fan base. Mainstream gaming is trying to adapt to its
changing audience though, especially this year with Breath of the Wild and Horizon:
Zero Dawn being released alongside a variety of other titles that mix up the formula. But I just think that there’s a part of
them that’s lost sight of things that indie games have recaptured, at least for me. Now don’t think of me as naïve; I know
there is just as much capitalistic greed in the indie circles as there is in the mainstream. I know there are asset flippers, overpriced
Kickstarters that never deliver, and people who get past Steam Greenlight making crap
products who expect their games to be reviewed well and throw a fit when they aren’t. I’ve dealt with them before; they’re not
pleasant in the slightest. I know that there is a seedy underbelly to
everything that exists, especially when money is involved, and that some people will try
to make an easy buck. It just happens. In spite of this, I still focus on the indie
games scene more than I do AAA scene, because they give me a variety of game types to cover,
a wide range of subjects to ponder upon, unique takes upon their respective genres and countless
other things I could mention. But most of all, do you want to know what
Indie games really give me? Hope. They give me hope for this industry that I
had become completely disinterested in when I was in college. I had lost interest in recent games almost
entirely, when I stumbled across a little game called Bastion… which instantly reignited
the passion that was flickering out. It just blew my mind when I realized the game
wasn’t from a company I had heard of at that point. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of
gaming, and I began to tentatively watch that “scene” of games. I was getting back into gaming, yet I found
myself more and more drawn to these games that burnt through that thorny wall I had
around myself and said to me “Hey! We are small passion projects by people who
really care about what they’re doing! Do you want to play?” And my response was
“Yes, Yes I do.” It’s this passion from creators that makes
me want to cover a game from an independent developer. I know the PR and journalist song and dance;
I know the developers who just want you to talk about their games so they can make money. I’m a journalist after all, and I’ve worked
a bit in PR, which helps me know what there is to deal with out there. Then there are those who just love what they’re
doing so much that it just oozes from every pore of their game – it’s infectious. When I see that a developer truly loves their
game, that’s when I’m willing to just talk about a game that’s not even done yet
in earnest; look at what I did with Heartbound. Indie developers need someone in their corner,
someone who is willing to give their game a chance before making a judgement call. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll tear apart a
game if it’s bad, and I can be downright ruthless if need be, especially if the game
shows signs of things that could have been fixed prior to being released. I’m a reviewer, I write reviews; doing honest
reviews is what I do. But I’d rather cover indie games that have
the passion and knowledge behind them to become something truly great. What I’m trying to say is, I cover indie
games for a multitude of reasons, but the biggest reason of all is that they show me
that the passion and love for making games isn’t dead. That it’s more than just making a consumer
product, that it’s something that the people working on this have love for and faith in. . Indie games help keep that fire in my heart
that I have for video games burning brightly, far more than any AAA games have in recent
years. I’m a better gamer because of them and they’re
part of why this channel exists in the first place. I wanted to start talking about indie games
and I was originally planning on starting with Bastion, so in a way, you have Bastion
to thank for why this channel and why my videos are the way that they are. I hope this answers any future questions about
why I cover indie games as much as I do. Feel free to talk in the comments and agree
or disagree with me if you wish. I’ve just been wanting to make this video
for some time, so here I am making it. I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you all
next time.

21 thoughts on “Why I Cover Indie Games

  1. French director and critic Francois Truffaut, said "There are no good and bad movies, only good and bad directors". He believed that greatness was a measure of originality and vision, rather than of craft. It's more important for a film to be interesting than to be good . (Source : Chez Lindsay's video on Michael Bay)

    This little trivia blew my mind, and made me realize how much true it is for the games I play (AAA, AA or indie). While I need to have some "mainstream", or "cookie-cutter" games to fill me with my usual "entertainment" needs (Racing games, open world collectathons, most shooters), I'm mostly out for experiences that are… interesting.

    2017 is a very good year for "interesting games", from all spheres of the industry.
    For AAA games, we have Resident Evil 7, Nioh, Yakuza 0, Zelda BOTW, Nier Automata, Horizon, For Honor (gameplay side of things, not the online and community), Persona 5.
    For indie, we have Detention, Night in the Woods, Rain World, Hollow Knight, Sexy Brutal, Beat Cop, Thimbleweed Park and it's a shame they aren't being talked about more, since AAA games coming out are actually interesting and generating a lot of buzz/talk.

    And if are releasing a merely good game, or a "safe" game, you are going to get crushed or forgotten this year. Anyone remembers Ghost Recon? Or Halo Wars 2?

  2. Variety has been sorely lacking in AAA games for the past two console generations. Rigid standards have been put into place, the market has become more predictable and as a result, the corporate side has swallowed artistic expression whole. There are few producers/directors left in the industry with the power to really shake things up and deviate from the norms. I too felt my passion slipping away as gaming started becoming nothing more than a product; nothing more than something people go to when they're bored.

    The indie scene is a breath of fresh air. Lots of passionate people trying different things. The smaller project sizes means more creative freedom for developers without the looming fear of meeting ridiculous sales goals. A lot of these games may be small and sometimes rough around the edges but I'd trade volume and polish for novelty and passion any day. The same goes for AAA games.

    I'm glad that you were able to rekindle that hope for the industry that you had lost and I hope you continue to talk about the side of gaming you care most about.

  3. I rarely ever play triple A games nowadays. Most of them are too bland for me. Roguelikes and roguelites are what I play now when I have the time. I've been trying to get into shmups as well.

  4. I can definitely agree with you, and have felt pretty similar my self. I was starting to think that the heart of video games was starting to fade, until I discovered that there was an industry of small, passionate developers that offered something the AAA industry couldn't seem to get right. But, thankfully, we've seen the Indie game scene grow exponentially, and I hope maybe more AAA developers will make effort to learn a thing or two from the good indies out there.

  5. All hail our lord and saviour SuperGiantGames. 🙂 Anyway I myself have leaned towards indie games last few years, ever since I had the major dissapointment that is Shadow Of Mordor (and discovering FTL). To me that game shows the exact problem with AAA, it has the looks and the size, but the mechanics are so shallow it shouldn't be called a game honestly. Yet many liked it and support it for they will not scratch under the surface. Anyway, can't wait for SuperGiant to release their 3rd game.

  6. I like that you put a heavy focus on indie games because this gives me a gateway to games I would never have heard about. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have known about Heartbound, and now I'm really excited for it.

  7. I hope everyone enjoyed my first personal video about why I cover Indie Games, I hope you'll stay tuned because I have some great content heading your way in the upcoming weeks!

  8. You really ought to talk more about those games that were so severely formative to you as a person, I didn't expect you'd bring Bastion into the picture. I'd love to hear more about these various "firsts".

  9. I've been playing games my entire life and still play triple A titles but I agree. If it wasn't for indie games I wouldn't be very excited about gamin. They're able to push gameplay concepts and take risks instead of focusing on graphics, which I stopped being majorly impressed by around the PlayStation 2 era. At least, realistic-looking graphics. Games that take a more artistic approach are more likely to catch my attention as well as immediately becoming more timeless. I don't think Braid or Transistor will ever look bad for example, even 20 years from now.

  10. There are only a handful of games I actually play. Most AAA games I don't like. Many games are too frustrating for me (Souls sigh). I don't like competative games. I always ruin RPGs for myself. The list goes on.
    I like though provoking short games (Off, Dear Esther), but at the moment (since 3-4 years) I don't play anything anymore, yet I still love the medium and I still watch videos like yours. Heck I'm writing an essay about leveldesign in Metro 2033 and I'm thinking way too much about the world of Edna the Breakout.
    I hope I will get into gaming again, maybe Nier Automata will bring me back. And I should finally play Superhot, Firewatch and the Beginners Guide, all those may rekindle my fading passion.
    Thanks for you video.

  11. Yea I completely understand where you are coming from with this. There are a lot of issues with the AAA industry of video games when it comes to certain games either delayed after several years of work on it or they rush it, and it becomes crap. A lot of indie games have a lot of creativity.. more open to what they can do, and they take their time creating their games not trying to rush it so they can make their deadline. Subbed to you and Hope to see more of your videos and help support the indie industry! 😀

  12. such a great youtube that really makes me think about what I'm playing alot, and I already do a lot! Thanks again for your videos helps motivate me and my channel

  13. I agree, I've been finding most AAA games quite boring for years now ever since I discovered the amount of great small indie games on Steam. The good ones tend to either be focused and familiar, or unique. Sure, there's a lot of bullshit in indie games too, but it has done a much better job at keeping my interest overall. They kept what I feel like was mostly lost in big games ever since the ps3 era. So yeah, I'm all for covering more indie games.

  14. Yeah. I like unique games. I tend to lean towards indie or companies like Valve or Nintendo who pump out games like Portal or Splatoon.

  15. I kind of started out as a retro gamer myself, mostly due to growing up with games like Super Mario World on the Game Boy Advance, and I kind of feel like indie games kind of one of the few things aside for Nintendo's stuff and Overwatch keeping into games this generation, just because they more often capture the love and simplicity I like about the SNES and Genesis era while still having fresh takes on certain genres. Undertale, Night in the Woods, and Freedom Planet particularly are among my favorite games of all time, and Terraria's a game that I played the everlasting shit out of at one point.

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