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Posted by ryanwho

PATRICK MADE THIS STORY PERSONAL WITH JOURNALISM

Posted by MrBrian

Whoa, XBLIG coverage on GiantBomb!  Hurray for Mr. Klepek!

Posted by Delusibeta
@Fobwashed: Eh, not going to argue with that. Although rates of piracy tends to be proportional to the popularity of the game, and DRM's basically a waste of time and money for everyone involved (exception: Steamworks. Largely because it's free for developers to use if Valve gives you the go ahead. Still doesn't prevent piracy, however. Another exception: online CD key registration. But then again, you're screwed if someone comes up with a key-generator).

I would question your fears of PC piracy canibalising XBLIG sales, however (360 gamers tend to game on their 360, PC gamers tend to game on their PC, and genuinely multiformat gamers are comparatively thin on the ground).
Posted by JJOR64

I'm glad people are still making games for this service.  I really need to check out more of the games on the service.

Posted by Fobwashed
@Delusibeta:  The way XNA works, you basically will always have a PC version of the game. If only because it's easier to test on PC rather than pushing every single change to the 360. There are only a few minor changes needed to have it on PC.

In regards to releasing a PC version, well. . . I plan on it, but only after I release on the Indie Channel first. Reason being, PC shit gets pirated. Period. There's no way around it. I'd rather release it on the Indie Channel, and hope I make some money there first followed by a PC release further down the line. If I were to release on both at the same time, people would just download the pirated version off the internets and not even bother with the 360 version. What with there being no achievements, and me not doing anything awesome like 5.1 sound, it'd just make more sense to get it on PC. I suppose if somehow I got it to get distributed via Steam, if it's cheap enough, maybe it'd be easier for people to just drop a few bucks and grab it. . . but like, seriously. Pirates.

I for the most part consider PC to just be the last option. I'm trying to think of ways to work around piracy that fight it since I have no idea how to make DRM nor do I care to learn since I'm doin this on my own. The best thing I came up with so far is to maybe put a note in the game asking to please pay for it so that I can make more games with a paypal link or something. . . Iono. I'll think about it more when/if I ever get there.

Steve
Posted by vinull

I'm glad to see this article on GB - good job Patrick!
I'm an editor over at GameMarx.com (we cover just XBLIG) and it's good to see these guys get some love from the mainstream gaming sites.  One reason game journalists site for *not* covering indies is they don't know about them.  Asking someone to cover a game already out isn't the norm either, GB sites like to have a review ready the release day, and being able to know when that day is... well, that's kinda key.
I'll make a plea to see more XBLIG covered here on GB with the others.  There are many good games, but Micsosoft has a epic failure in making that clear on the dashboard.  They recently had a major security flaw in the ratings system and games were getting up voted and down voted on hacker whims.  The closed the flaw, but sadly did not restore the ratings.
This is why getting more mainstream visibility into the service is key.  There is no pressure fans and developers of XBLIGs can put on Microsoft to do the right thing, or even push them to stop blocking indies from achievements, leaderboards, or stupid rules like not letting you play XBLIG offline (you must be connected to Live to play).
Once again, really glad to see more XBLIG coverage on GB!

Posted by Delusibeta
@phish09 said:
" @Delusibeta said:
" @Fobwashed: Honestly? Do a PC version. Even if you don't wind up getting on Steam, there's still quite a few digital distribution services (notably Gamersgate and Desura, and to a lesser extent Impulse) that will be happy to take your game on. And if you do wind up on Steam, then happy days. You'll probably wind up with enough money to get into XBLA. "
See...to me that's the problem with releasing it as PC only, is that it's such a fragmented market.  Some people only use Steam to download PC games, so if you're not on Steam you're screwed, but I know that's not everyone, however I know most people don't check Impulse, Desura, Gamersgate, etc on a daily or even weekly basis.  You have all these different services competing with each other, and usually unless you're in the top 10 most downloaded games on that service at a given point in time you're game isn't going to get much screen space if any at all.  I'm not saying "don't release a PC version", but merely that releasing it on XBLIG is a way of hedging your risk since there is only one service on XBOX Live to download real indie games from. "
It's interesting that your complaint is that "if you don't get on Steam, you won't get much screen time" which is the biggest complaint I've seen about XBLIG. Honestly? Spread the word. Contact RockPaperShotgun (once you've made a PC version, obviously), try to get on the various indie blogs (e.g. Indie Games, DIY Gamer, TIG Source [although again, this last one's specialises in PC games]), make a demo, etc.etc.etc.
Posted by AlexW00d

I still don't know why people develop indie games for the 360, they will always get fucked over by Microsoft, just like Team Meat :(


Steam on the other hand will give you a handy for every sale you make.
Posted by Kerbii

" In the past they say they keep us in the dark so they don't disappoint us."


...what? If you're in the indie gaming business I think you have to be pretty geared for disappointment anyways...
Posted by PeasantAbuse

They should just ditch the indie games thing, 99% of the games are horrible.
Posted by Burns098356GX


So these guys bitch and moan over a system that lets them sell their games that otherwise wouldn't see the light of day?

 

Posted by JonnyNWR

Sequence is incredible. I got at least 10 hours of great playtime for only $3. If you're reading this article, you already know it exists, so there's no excuse not to try it out. Note that you can play the trial multiple times to get through the long (but necessary) tutorial -- it will even resume for you.

Posted by phish09
@Delusibeta said:
" @Fobwashed: Honestly? Do a PC version. Even if you don't wind up getting on Steam, there's still quite a few digital distribution services (notably Gamersgate and Desura, and to a lesser extent Impulse) that will be happy to take your game on. And if you do wind up on Steam, then happy days. You'll probably wind up with enough money to get into XBLA. "
See...to me that's the problem with releasing it as PC only, is that it's such a fragmented market.  Some people only use Steam to download PC games, so if you're not on Steam you're screwed, but I know that's not everyone, however I know most people don't check Impulse, Desura, Gamersgate, etc on a daily or even weekly basis.  You have all these different services competing with each other, and usually unless you're in the top 10 most downloaded games on that service at a given point in time you're game isn't going to get much screen space if any at all.  I'm not saying "don't release a PC version", but merely that releasing it on XBLIG is a way of hedging your risk since there is only one service on XBOX Live to download real indie games from.
Posted by Vexxan

Indie Games...mjeh. I haven't really seen great indie games that made me go "Holy shit I gotta buy this game".

Posted by redwing42

A couple of good ones I've found on Indie Games are Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World, both by Zeboyd games.  I also have Epic Dungeon, but haven't gotten around to playing it yet.  If nothing else, this article will make me find out more about Sequence.  Love the improved news reports on here now.
Edited by Delusibeta
@Fobwashed: Honestly? Do a PC version. Even if you don't wind up getting on Steam, there's still quite a few digital distribution services (notably Gamersgate and Desura, and to a lesser extent Impulse) that will be happy to take your game on. And if you do wind up on Steam, then happy days. You'll probably wind up with enough money to get into XBLA.
Posted by cultofweaver

Indie Games continues to be a great service and really should be covered more in the press. While a big chunk of the games are rubbish there are good games released on there virtually every week, and for most of last year I found myself enjoying Indie Games way more than the stuff that was on XBLA. I mean Apple Jack was one of the best games released last year for anything (download or retail) and cost me 69p to buy. It was almost criminal how much I paid for that game.

Posted by Terjay

I don't care at all, because I STILL CAN'T DOWNLOAD ANY OF THESE WHERE I LIVE.

Posted by Wibblewozzer

To the person that suggested that it should have just been published on Steam: It's not like you can just decide for yourself if your game is going to be put onto Steam. You have to submit it and pray that the Steam Gods favor you. It's tough for indies to get in there, especially if you're from a new studio and don't have some publisher behind you that's already on Steam. The developer of an indie PC title, The Oil Blue, has been vocal about his game's reception during the past year and despite good reviews from the few sites (and gamers' impressions) that were willing to check it out it got denied Steam while some truly shit games still make it on the service.


And for those asking about good reviews: I'm aware of a couple big sites that featured it. Eurogamer gave it Game of the Week ( http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-05-06-game-of-the-week-sequence-article)  and a 9/10 in their review while Edge gave it an 8/10, ( http://www.next-gen.biz/features/sequence-review). Fairly certain it saw coverage on Joystiq, as well. And I'm sure there's numerous smaller sites.

And for full disclosure, I'm merely a fan of the game. Followed it since I first heard about it while lurking on NeoGAF and now that I'm a member there I've had a great time in chatting over factors of the game.

In general I wish the XBLIGs got more coverage across the board and do my part in trying to get people to buy more and sharing the good titles. One of the few posts I have on the forums on this site was entirely about the Indie Games service. Perhaps one day I'll have the courage (and time/effort?) to get something on the service but for now all I can do is try to share my interest in it with others that are interested.

Good article Patrick. Sounds like you're a bit of a fan of the service so I'd suggest bringing up doing another Quick Look like before but if you have some favorite titles, either well known or hidden gems, you should be a part of the Quick Look and introduce the crew to a few titles while also entertaining us with more Quick Looks.
Posted by barkertron
@I_smell said:
Oh you should get people to play it. Just don't risk any real money on an XBLIG project.The Xbox Indie Games are effort-wise between a web game and an XBLA game, and you'd have a WAY BETTER TIME if you went up or down a peg.As a project just for the sake of makin a game though, hey, go for it. "
Going up a peg to a full XBLA game just isn't feasible for most indie developers - the licence fees and hoops that you have to jump through are prohibitive. You're basically talking 5 figure sums just to have a chance of getting in. On the other hand, marketing a game effectively can be done very cheaply if you know what you're doing, so doesn't present a huge amount of risk or expenditure.

In the vast majority of cases, web games won't make anyone any money (and won't be playable on a console either), so the indie games channel makes perfect sense for a lot of people in the same way that iOS/Android development does - it's a low-cost way to get a game onto a popular platform and possibly make a decent amount of cash at the same time (or at least have a better chance of a foothold into something bigger).
Posted by IridiumStudios

Let me be clear: I did not seek out press coverage for this, nor am I complaining about the feature's introduction. Giant Bomb asked for my comment and I gave it. While I expressed a slight regret that Microsoft doesn't keep an open channel of communication with developers, so that I might have prepared for and utilized this excellent feature, I am in no way angry or unappreciative of the opportunities afforded to me by the XBLIG channel...even if sales aren't exactly stellar.

So don't freak out, folks.

Posted by Fobwashed
@LunarAura:  Microsoft gets a considerable cut of any sales from the indie games section. They don't really have to do anything aside from run a forum and a system for indie developers to keep each other in check and they get free funds. It's a hot deal for them.

Steve
Posted by Fobwashed

I'm currently workin on an indie game, and I'm pretty worried about the scene. I have a full time day job, and I'm doing it partly for fun and partly to make money. . . but as I read more and more on the XNA forums, it seems like it'll end up not being for much money at all. Then again, since I started, I've been trying out a ton of Indie titles, and in most cases, the quality isn't there to warrant large sales figures but still. . . it's disparaging.


Maybe once I make a few titles, I can just use them as a portfolio of sorts to see if I can get work elsewhere in the gaming industry. . . though, I've got a ton of ideas for games I wanna make and I doubt they'd ever be made unless I did em myself. Meh.

Steve
Posted by tourgen
@transience said:
" I just want to say how awesome Shoot 1up is and how people should definitely pay a dollar for it. "
seconded.

also there are some other pretty cool indie games out there if you feel like looking around.  much better than some XBLA games even.  crazy I know, but true.
Edited by Brackynews
@patrickklepek said:

" @xsheps said:

" Where can I find a good list of the best indie games on the 360? "

That's a good question. I'll work on one. "
Go for it Patrick. Also I check StarFoxA's blog any time I want a second opinion on what's in the indie section.
P.S. Great article! Exactly the kind of real talk I hope to read on GB news.
Posted by CrescentFresh
@Norusdog: I agree completely. The title of this article should have ended at the first comma.
Posted by NorthSarge
@ptc said:
" @patrickklepek said:
" @xsheps said:
" Where can I find a good list of the best indie games on the 360? "
That's a good question. I'll work on one. "
Let me know if you need help.  I'd love to see some GB coverage of XBLIG gems (there is only one quick look I know of, and they pretty much slammed every game they looked at). "
I agree. a friend of mine is making/made an XLIG that is coming out soonish i think. but when i found out that it was indie i immediately thought it was going to be terrible... because thats all i heard about the indie games other than i made a game with zombies in it. 

but after posting on the forums about the subject a couple people had some pretty good knowledge on what was good and bad about the service. i think that it would be fun to hear about the gb crews thoughts on some of these games, especially the ones that are relatively well known, like miner dig deep. or even some of the crazy retarded ones... do some grab bag stuff, as if game room was still kickin'. could be fun! plus jeff is saving way too much money now that they aren't releasing any more game room stuff.... 
Posted by selbie

I don't understand why MS didn't do this from the very beginning. If indie devs can garner more customer numbers for their games through marketing, then isn't it a win-win for both parties?

Posted by ch13696

Well, just goes to show that you should have published on Steam.

Posted by Norusdog

I can understand this dudes beef with this announcement right after his games launch.  But honestly....get a grip on reality.  Their policy changed.  It doesn't magically make it so.  Again I get this guys frustration but his complaining about it being revealed not long after his game is like someone bitching at Giant because the beef they bought the week before was full price and they're having a sale now for half.

stfu man.  get over it.  World doesn't revolve around you and your game.

Posted by Gumby
@G3RHRT said:
" @kalmis
Lack of Epic Dungeon on this thread makes me sad
Anything with an "epic" in its name should make you sad. "
Does that also go for Epic Games?
Posted by phish09

Wow.  Way to focus on all the negatives of this service.  I think selling almost a thousand copies of a game in under a week is a pretty huge feat for an independent developer. 

In general this Indie Game service deserves more praise, or at least attention, from the gaming press.  You say that that this Sequence game was getting favorable reviews, but where?  I never read anything about it on any gaming site I frequent, and I can't really find anything to read about these games, period, outside of a few smaller dedicated blogs.

The one developer kind of rips on Microsoft for not promoting this service more,  but if I click on Game Marketplace on my dashboard, Indie Games are given just as much screen space as Arcade Games, 'Games on Demand' or Demos. 

I don't think the onus of marketing these games should be placed soley on Microsoft.  They are generally doing these indie developers a pretty great service by allowing them to release these games on this system, with a built in userbase, that they wouldn't otherwise have outside the PC marketplace.  I don't generally hear about any games because of Microsoft or Nintendo or Sony, but because I read about them on sites like GB or Kotaku or IGN or whatever.

I'm just saying I think the gaming press should talk about the games available thorugh this service more and give us some information on them so maybe the good games will end up being the popular games.  And games like Sequence might have a chance to sell more than 1000 copies (if it's any good that is). 

Posted by ptc
@patrickklepek said:
" @xsheps said:
" Where can I find a good list of the best indie games on the 360? "
That's a good question. I'll work on one. "
Let me know if you need help.  I'd love to see some GB coverage of XBLIG gems (there is only one quick look I know of, and they pretty much slammed every game they looked at).
Posted by HatKing
@patrickklepek said:
" @HatKing said:
" Why am I getting such a negative tone from this article?  Isn't a good thing that they've done this?  I don't get the epidemic of entitlement issues that surrounds the gaming community.  They've created a platform that allows for people with little to no budget make games and publish them on a console.  This is an opportunity that didn't exist three years ago.  Yet, because it wasn't fucking perfect on its first iteration that means Microsoft is trying to steal your money.  I don't get the greed facade that people have created for Microsoft.  Technically speaking, they're probably the least greedy of the big three.  You do realize they were hemorrhaging money for their first generation, right?   "
Of course, it's a good thing. The article points that out, while simultaneously making the case that Microsoft could have avoided frustration from developers by simply communicating more. "
You're right, I suppose I was focusing on some of the comments the indie developers made (as well as the user comments to the article).  It does seem odd that they wouldn't have made it clear this was going to happen this week, though--and maybe I'm playing devil's advocate here--I find it hard to believe they had no good reason for keeping the community in the dark.  
Posted by patrickklepek
@xsheps said:
" Where can I find a good list of the best indie games on the 360? "
That's a good question. I'll work on one.
Staff Online
Posted by Xsheps

Where can I find a good list of the best indie games on the 360?

Edited by I_smell
@Beb said:

" @I_smell said:

" I think I'm gonna sound like a jerk in saying this-- but if you're organising a marketting blitz around your XBLIG game then.... You've made a great deal of poor choices. "
I don't understand this post.If you make an XBLIG, then obviously you want people to try it out, and buy it. How will they know it even exists if you don't do any marketing? "
Oh you should get people to play it. Just don't risk any real money on an XBLIG project.
The Xbox Indie Games are effort-wise between a web game and an XBLA game, and you'd have a WAY BETTER TIME if you went up or down a peg.

As a project just for the sake of makin a game though, hey, go for it.
Posted by patrickklepek
@HatKing said:
" Why am I getting such a negative tone from this article?  Isn't a good thing that they've done this?  I don't get the epidemic of entitlement issues that surrounds the gaming community.  They've created a platform that allows for people with little to no budget make games and publish them on a console.  This is an opportunity that didn't exist three years ago.  Yet, because it wasn't fucking perfect on its first iteration that means Microsoft is trying to steal your money.  I don't get the greed facade that people have created for Microsoft.  Technically speaking, they're probably the least greedy of the big three.  You do realize they were hemorrhaging money for their first generation, right?   "
Of course, it's a good thing. The article points that out, while simultaneously making the case that Microsoft could have avoided frustration from developers by simply communicating more.
Staff Online
Posted by Gerhabio
@kalmis
Lack of Epic Dungeon on this thread makes me sad
Anything with an "epic" in its name should make you sad.
Posted by ptc

There are many true gems on the xbox indie channel.  Microsoft just needs to find out a better way to separate the great ones from the turds (at this point, I'm not sure they actually want to do this).  I've purchased over 40 indie games and there is some fantastically good shit available.  

Posted by kalmis
Posted by vinsanityv22

Xbox Live Indie games is handled about as badly as Nintendo handles wiiware. Tsk, tsk, Microsoft. Oh well - at least you're making baby steps to improving it. Unlike the Big N.

Posted by Xpgamer7

Thanks for the article Patrick.

Edited by HatKing

Why am I getting such a negative tone from this article?  Isn't a good thing that they've done this?  I don't get the epidemic of entitlement issues that surrounds the gaming community.  They've created a platform that allows for people with little to no budget make games and publish them on a console.  This is an opportunity that didn't exist three years ago.  Yet, because it wasn't fucking perfect on its first iteration that means Microsoft is trying to steal your money.  I don't get the greed facade that people have created for Microsoft.  Technically speaking, they're probably the least greedy of the big three.  You do realize they were hemorrhaging money for their first generation, right?  

Posted by Gaff
@mracoon: Judging by the details in young master Klepek's story, it seems the other way around: indie developers have final say of when their games come out of peer review and onto the market. Theoretically they could sit on a peer reviewed game, fire up their PR cycle and then release it. Of course, I'm going purely on the process as described in the story, since I have no first hand experience with it.

@LunarAura: Well, $1 games keep consumers invested in the platform. For every buck you spend on, say, the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace, you're less likely to make the jump to another platform. Of course, it all depends on the quality of the bite-sized games, but then again, that's what the peer review is for.
Online
Posted by slowbird

props for writing this article.  maybe it will bring attention to some of the games that missed out on the chance to do a proper marketing campaign.

Posted by Beb
@I_smell said:
" I think I'm gonna sound like a jerk in saying this-- but if you're organising a marketting blitz around your XBLIG game then.... You've made a great deal of poor choices. "
I don't understand this post.

If you make an XBLIG, then obviously you want people to try it out, and buy it. How will they know it even exists if you don't do any marketing?
Posted by CarpetRemnant
@Pie: Wit.
Posted by Lunar_Aura

Why would Microsoft cater to a market that would eat into its own published game sales? 

Dollar app games on phones sell tons and the same kind of bang for buck gaming would cannibalize MS's precious points. They want gamers to purchase overpriced outfits for soulless Avatars, not make indie devs successful.
Microsoft wants to do just enough to say "We support the indie scene" but not too much for said reasons.
Posted by Pie
@Leakster: So's your face
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