Top 5 reasons to play Indie games

2022-04-18 by Callum Andrews

Do you ever need a reason to play a game ?

The indie game scene has exploded in the last decade. With hundreds of games coming out daily on platforms such as itch, Steam, and gamesjolt as well as on the Xbox and Playstation platforms. It's pretty hard keeping up with them all especially given the sheer amount of them coming out. That isn't to say that all of them are good since that is far from the truth. Still, though we at Same Old Gaming do believe that the majority of them at least deserve to be tried out. Therefore, here are five reasons to consider playing more indie games.

They're creative and inventive

Given that most triple-A games today are either sequels, remakes, or some other form of reiteration of another game there isn't much to find in regards to innovation and new thinking in the triple-A scene. The innovation most of the time comes in the form of better graphics or better framerates or some other form of technical achievement that pushes the gaming platform further in the technical aspects. Rarely do we see that innovation in the form of gameplay design, story, or art design. This is not a truth that is as much solidified in the indie scene as it is in the triple-A scene. The reason is of course pretty clear. Companies that invest millions upon millions in creating games need for them to be successful and on such occasions, they rarely dare try anything new. This is something that is not a factor for many indie developers. The stakes aren't as high which leads to them making the game they want and implementing the ideas they have for their game. This sometimes leads to games that are out there, but that are also interesting and that shows that not all games need to be the same. That gaming can be something very different from how it otherwise can be portrayed in mainstream media. Games are not always about shooting things and getting high scores but they can also be a commentary on our daily lives and the world around us. That they can be an interactive artform where one is not just an observer but an active participant. Basically showing that games can be anything we want them to.

They're humane

Even though it has recently come to light that not all indie game studios operate fairly and respectfully, the prevalence of abuse and misconduct isn't nearly at the level as it has been shown at some triple-A studios. This isn't surprising of course since many indie teams either consist of a couple of developers or just one developer which makes it hard to abuse anyone. Possibly because when the group is pretty small it gets more tight-knit but also there is no disconnect with management since usually the management are the developers. This is of course up for debate since it's easier to report on the goings-on of the bigger companies and air their dirty laundry to the public than it is for the smaller indie companies. But as stated earlier the indie scene is sadly not immune to this type of occurrence as we have recently seen. Still though considering that indie teams are smaller and become more tight-knit friendship bonds are more easily tied as well, which helps mitigate toxicity in the working environment. Another aspect that might not be as prevalent in the indie scene is the crunch culture that has been brought to light these last few years. So far it hasn't been reported about in the same sense as it has for some of the bigger companies. That is not to say though that it doesn't occur. Still one would be hard-pressed to convince oneself that indie developers are pushing themselves to such lengths that they are risking their mental and physical health as some reports claim that people at the bigger companies have.

Developed by passionate people

For many indie developers, developing games is not a job. It's a hobby. They do it because they enjoy it, they do it because the development itself is a reward. Not to say that there aren't many passionate developers in the bigger companies out there. But once your hobby becomes your job, it stops being as fun. In the case of developers working for the bigger companies, they aren't developing what they want to. They are developing what they are told too. Every developer faces some sort of obstacle during their journey. While for an employed developer the drive to overcome this obstacle might come from the paycheck they get or the fear of losing their job. For an indie developer, it might be their inner passion for the craft of developing games. Even though they may not be concerned about losing their jobs or receiving remuneration, many indie developers are motivated by the desire to see their game through to completion.

Mostly free

This one ties in with the above point somewhat. Many indie games out there are free. Especially if they are self-published by a solo developer. The people behind many indie games just want people to play them and hope that they will like them. As stated above many of the games developed are done so just for the love of the craft. Hence in that sense, the reward of putting a game out there is in the development journey. There aren't that many considerations for compensation for their games. Just the hope that someone will play it and enjoy it is enough of a reward for many indie developers out there.

They're fair

We have for the past few years been experiencing a gaming environment that is set up to squeeze every penny possible out of the player base. This is especially true for popular multiplayer game franchises but is not an absent practice in single-player games as well. With such things as micro-transactions and live service games selling in-game stuff, it's no wonder why there have been so many free-to-play games only to adopt these types of practices in the game. The worst offenders of all though are the full prices games that run these sorts of practices. Thankfully though this is something that isn't as prevalent in the indie scene as it is on the bigger stage. Rarely will you come across an indie game that gets released and after release gets 10 new paid DLC addons. Indie games are more of a finished product at initial release than many triple-A games are. When the games do get updated though, they are updated for free and new content is added in for free. I will however touch upon the point that I don't think that it's the developers in the bigger companies who decide how they want to release their game, but the company business people that are looking to make as much money possible out of the game they release. Sadly to the detriment of players and their wallets.

These are just some of the points that I could come up with why more people need to play indie games. There are surely many more reasons than this. I consider these however to be some of the major ones. Hopefully, this will make more people consider taking a look at what the indie scene has to offer and in that way broaden their gaming scope.