How Indie Games, and Fan Theories are Saving Gaming
I’m sick and have limited internet access after my router blew up last week. So let’s break up the monotony of the usual cliche reviews lets have a bit of fun this week. Looking into how Indie Games, and specifically fans theorising about Indie Games, is keeping the gaming marked diverse and interesting.
This is something I’ve thought on for a while but never finished the article. So I scrapped the haphazard mush of waffle, and have started a new, fresh, bit of waffle.
There is no denying Indie Games are quite popular right now. Although they have been around a fair bit I’d say 2012/13 is about when they started to grow. The 2 biggest names easily being Five Nights at Freddy’s and Undertale. With many others in the repair. Interestingly quite a few of these games don’t just throw a story out to you. They give out little nibbles and hints but the community of fans is left to put the pieces together and complete the whole story.
I’m not old enough to have seen the very beginning of video gaming, but I’ve seen it’s evolution from quite early on in its life. Game development started out as a hobby. Budding pc enthusiasts, testing out their coding skills. Later we had a wide range of small production houses, operating as proper businesses (This was the real golden age of gaming to me -Ed). Then the dark times when the more successful of these grew into large corporations and absorbed the leftover smaller houses into themselves. The problem this created is that although there are good budgets for producing top graphics and AI, the game is no longer art, but a product to market. While there have definitely been good AAA titles the lack of heart in the industry, now run by men in suits that don’t understand games, let to a rise of the hobbies programmers. Well not that they weren’t always there.
A sole developer or small team doing a passion project isn’t going to be the most polished. But a product made with love will definitely stand out amongst the large generic factory produce. Initially, Indie Games had their more niche markets but weren’t that dominating. But then came FNAF.
Five Nights at Freddy’s, probably the first game of this style to really get big, really opened the door to the indie scene. A real nothing little game that has exploded into one of the most convoluted lores of any franchise. At this point, Zelda has a more ordered timeline. Because Scott (the developer) only ever told the story by dropping little hints, people started theorising. As these communities of fans got together to discuss every little detail and overanalyse every little thing, the story grew, but so did the interest in the game.
I feel as these communities grew, so did the market for more indie productions. And in turn, more and more Indie Games gained traction, and in fact, more and more wannabe creators decided “hell lets give it a go.” I think this is great for the gaming world as a whole. Remember the indie team that developed Portal’s predecessor got jobs at Valve and we got 2 great Portal games out of it.