(The machinery of gaming has run amok… An industry that was once the most innovative and exciting artistic field on the planet has become a morass of drudgery and imitation)… It is time for a revolution!
That is from an article called the Death to the Games Industry – An early indictment of the game industry by GREG COSTIKYAN.
In 1992 the typical development budget for a PC game was as little as $200,000.
Compare that to today's report where games like Grand theft auto 5 cost a mind-boggling $265 million.
GTA 5 has since crossed the 1 billion dollars mark in revenue
Industry professionals point to art assets (not programming) as the main cost driver. I believe we have a long way to go before we reach a plateau in realism, till then the war for better graphics will continue. While Sales are growing, production costs are growing faster. The average game loses more and more money which has made publishers make up the losses on the few games that hit. In this ever-growing industry, Big budgets breed conservatism.
A study by Electronic Entertainment Design and Research discovered
Only 20% of games that start production will end up with a finished product.
And of that percentage of finished games, 20% will make a profit.
This means that only 4% of all games which start production will eventually make a profit.
Before digital distribution the issue of shelf space was crucial. Most of the sales were concentrated in the first 2 weeks after the release. Marketing was (and still is) a big part of the AAA budget.
The result was a Hit-based market where big budgets bred conservatism and there was little room for niche products or risk-taking. Enter the Indie boom. Indie gaming saw a rise in mainstream popularity in the latter half of the 2000s, primarily due to new online distribution methods and development tools. Some indie games have been very successful financially, such as Undertale, Braid, World of Goo, Super Meatboy, Fez, and Minecraft.
It seems in recent years the word indie has come with people taking it with a grain of salt. Large companies often use it to appeal to a wider market. With the instability of the AAA game studios and the rise of free to use game engines, the indie life is looking more and more palatable. Companies like Epic Games who create the Unreal Engine, making developing virtually free. It looks like Indie games are here to stay and are more viable than ever Amid this controversy of who is indie and who is not. Here in Dallas, there is a bubbling indie project that has gained quite a bit of excitement. It won a development grant from Epic games and launched a successful Kick starter campaign. Nelo is the brainchild of Kevin Bryant and Michelle Morger, 2 Game designers residing in Dallas. As far as indie goes, this is as indie as it gets.
After pursuing an undergraduate degree, his first job in the game industry which would ultimately be the catalyst that sparked this one mans rebellion. The sheer scope of what they have accomplished with 2 people is reaffirming to a community that is constantly inundated by big names and gigantic marketing campaigns. This game oozes passion, these people embody the strength and will of the independent movement. They are underground on an elevator to freedom.
A game set in a faraway galaxy, you play as Nelo an officer in a race of aliens called the Tonogians. A mix of acrobatic moves and high-speed parkour, you make your way through alien worlds eradicating a plague known as the night scythe. did I mention you wield 4 weapons simultaneously? One of the many cool features of the game is the ability to go seamlessly from top-down gameplay to third person view, a game mechanic I have rarely seen done well. The game is currently available on the steam marketplace.