Never forget the little people
FiringSquad have decided to shed some light on the recessed corners of gaming where many publishers and developers fear to tread. We're going to take a look at a few promising games that aren't being developed by the mainstream industry movers and shakers.
Innovation isn't easy to come by when you're a big corporate body. Publishers would rather get behind yet another game in a proven, moneymaking genre than take a risk on something revolutionary. That's where the independents step in.
The risktakers, the moneymakers
Independents are allowed to take risks, for they have already taken one by making a game alone, without industry support. This risk is what allows independents to prosper in making visionary products. If you are at risk of dying, and also at risk of losing your arm, the loss of your arm is going to seem much smaller when your life itself is at risk. This analogy, though a bit gruesome, describes the situation best. Independents face financial danger at their very beginning, and will throughout their product's existence, thus taking a smaller financial danger, making a different kind of game, seems much smaller.
Independents don't just have the ability to take risks, they almost have to or their products won't do well at all. If Microsoft publishes an RTS knockoff nearly identical to an independent's RTS knockoff, there is no doubt that the Microsoft product will squelch the independent, simply because it has the marketing, the servers, and the brand name to suppress all doubts in a buyer's mind.
While independents do produce bad games, the games that are good are highly influential, while generally lacking in polish. Given the lack of media coverage for independent products, we have produced this guide to four independent games that, in our humble opinion, deserve some attention.