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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What's In An Indie?

On the footsteps of Brinstar's discussion of whether Darwinia justifies it's GDC accolades comes this article at Tom's Hardware about what makes an indie ... an indie?

"Firstly in order to say that a game is or is not "Indie" you need a definition of the term, and the IGF rules offer no such definition that we can use. Indeed Half-Life 2 would have been eligible [sic] - funded internally by a privately-owned dev company who owned all the IP, and then distributed digitally online direct to consumers. We don't pretend to know what the definition of "Indie" is, but we believe any definition that rules out Darwinia is worthy of immediate dismissal - four guys working from their bedrooms for three years including 18 months of open experimentation, funded by real-world jobs and bank loans, releasing a game that is entirely their own creation and property - Darwinia's development IS the definition of an Indie Game. To suggest that signing a deal with the Steam system six months after launch somehow strips Darwinia of its Indie status is bordering on ridiculous."
-- GDC 2006: The True Indy Developer

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1 comment:

Troy Goodfellow said...

This is a constant bone of contention at the IGF. In 2004 when Savage won some prizes with its millions in VC behind it, some people rolled their eyes.

But setting a budget limit for IGF eligibility is a problem because the accounting will be erratic. Some people count the time they spend, others just count the software they buy.

Indie for the IGF meana something outside the ESA umbrella, but what if General Electric funds my Power Line Man Action Game? According to the rules, that would qualify.

The judges could (and maybe should) have more discretion in which titles they consider and which they don't. But you want to encourage applications with as open a process as possible.

There are no easy answers.