I spoke again at TWU for a game development project class. This is an info dump update of links to sites and games I mentioned.
Step one: my link-dump from last year’s presentation. Clicky here for a big long list.
Things that I learned about more recently that aren’t in that older post:
Dwarf Fortress is an extreme example of how indie games have the freedom to completely abandon the expectations of mainstream industry games. Text-based, cryptic controls, micromanagement sim & roguelike insanity. (Of course, he also isn’t asking anyone to pay for the game.)
Cactus! This guy is nuts, often in a good way. Check out “Clean Asia!”, the IGF award nominee, to make your eyes bleed, or Psychonomium for a weird exercise in experimental and/or insane game-based storytelling.
Bit Blot are the makers of Aquaria, a game which despite being done in true indie fashion is also very polished and professionally made. Pick up the demo for a good taste of the more polished, commercial end of the indie spectrum.
Novel Concept’s new tower defense game, Flash Element Tower Defense 2, is a prime example of the Tower Defense genre that has sprung up in the Flash games scene. You may also want to check out Desktop Tower Defense, created by one of Novel Concept’s partners (and probably the most popular Flash game of 2007 – in fact one mainstream games blogger listed it as one of his Top 10 games of 2007 overall.) Also, hey, I just realized there’s now a Multiplayer DTD on Novel Concept’s Flash portal, The Casual Collective!
Something else I didn’t give much mention but which the class should probably look into: the IGF’s Student Showcase. I just gave the entrance rules a quick skim, and I think you should be eligible even though you’re selling the game afterwards. Take a look yourself at the submission site here. Your game needs to be at least at beta status (ie. feature-complete) before submission, but once it is this is a potential way to gain extra visibility above and beyond normal indie publishing / marketing routes.
And to close things off with a bang, the game which was described as possibly the most indie ever for being a game no publisher would ever touch: Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden. Be sure to click the links to see the DX9 / DX10 comparison. (Made using RPGMaker, which I really ought to have mentioned alongside AGS and GameMaker.)