Indie Games

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Indie Games and the Shift Back to 8-Bit

Why the trend in independent games of 8-bit graphics and music? What started it, and why has it continued for so long? Why would game makers and game players want to regress to a time when video games were stripped down and basic? Is it just pure nostalgia? It is a reflection on the decline of clever game design in AAA video games over time? Look at games such as Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami, Gunpoint.

  • It's a good topic but it would be better to also put focus on some the indie games that popularized the shift back to 8-bit to the mainstream such as Braid. It would also be interesting to consider the financial reasons for using 8-bit and how that limit can force them to be more creative when developing the game mechanics. – Matt Hatjoulis 1 year ago
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  • Though 8-bit games are often easier for low-budget indie projects to animate, narratologically, traditionally 8-bit genres like platformers offer an interesting challenge for game developers. The trick is to make a game that is fun to play (like "Crawl") and/or has an interesting story (like "Gods Will be Watching") without relying on cheesy effects and graphics to wow players. In any case, I expect the nostalgia for 80s graphics will cease once the 30-year cycle shifts to a fascination with the 90s. As far as 80s games go, they tend to be a bit more reliant on gameplay than narrative, at least among American releases. So, I hope we'll see more of a 90s ideological optimism in storytelling as in titles like Final Fantasy VII or Chrono Trigger. – Samir M Soni 1 year ago
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Indie Games and the Shift Back to 8-Bit

Why the trend in independent games of 8-bit graphics and music? What started it, and why has it continued for so long? Why would game makers and game players want to regress to a time when video games were stripped down and basic? Is it just pure nostalgia? It is a reflection on the decline of clever game design in AAA video games over time?

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    Do we put too much faith in indie games?

    In light of the underwhelming flop that was No Man’s Sky, we have to start asking ourselves; "Are we putting too much faith in indie games?". For half a decade we’ve seen indie games skyrocket in popularity. However many gamers tend to forget that simplicity is always a recipe for a successful game.

    • I think No Man's Sky was a game with a lot of confusion around not just the game itself, how it was marketed, and how it was presented to consumers.This being said, I don't necessarily think that No Man's Sky's controversy and issues represents a lot of the indie game industry.Also, I'm not sure how your comment about "simplicity" related to indie games. I think many indie games use very smart formulas to succeed, for example, Shovel Knight was designed as a love letter to retro games. So I think your topic needs a little more tweaking or clarifying prior someone writing about it. – SeanGadus 4 years ago
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    • You have a good point Sean I think I'm having a little difficulty putting my point into words. What I mean to say is that just because indie games are made with more love doesn't mean they're always good. – JacksonAP 4 years ago
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    • That is a great point, look at mighty number 9 that game was supposed to be the next mega man and instead was a huge disaster according to most critics and fans. – SeanGadus 4 years ago
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    • On the one hand you have NMS which did use false marketing. On the other, you have Rimworld which has seen massive praise. Just an idea you could make it about how games in general have been plagued by false promises with crowdfunding failing to deliver on developers promises on gamer's expectations. You could analyze how much of the problem is consumer expectation versus failure to deliver by devs. – NickC 4 years ago
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