The 360 seems to be streamlining out XBLIG, but does anyone care?

#1 Edited by I_smell (3924 posts) -

The new dashboard update just hit, and it turns out Xbox Live Indie Games can't use cloud-saving, can't use Beacons, your "Recent Activity" doesn't show Indie Games, they can't be sort alphabetically, by genre, by release date or anything- they just show up about 10 layers deep as a 2000-long list of titles.

You might think that's awful, because independant teams struggle to get exposure as it is, right?

No, it's not that bad. XBLIG was always terrible. The top 10 games on there last I checked were ALL lazy Minecraft rip-offs, except for that one that was a teledildonics app, and the creepy anime scrolling shooter. Independant developers are doing okay- Super Meat Boy was made by TWO DUDES! and Bastion was made on a budget of those guys' savings. The spot for games like this is on XBLA, or even better: Steam. If your game's even smaller than that, don't sweat it, I made a living on sites like Newgrounds, Kongregate and Facebook since I left High School. There's an intermediary platform every step of the way, but XBLIG doesn't sensibly fit into that.

People ON THIS SITE are making better games than the typical XBLIG game. If they phased this out, or if the Xbox 720 came out without it, as someone who makes games for a living I wouldn't care.

That's my opinion on this anyway.

#2 Edited by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

Yeah, I noticed that, too. XBLIG is still there, but buried under layers. It's a damn shame. Even though most of the games are shit, there's still potential for great things.

But you're right. There are plenty of better places to release your indie game.

#3 Posted by I_smell (3924 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU said:

Even though most of the games are shit, there's still potential for great things.

People who are gonna make great things will release those things on Steam. It's easier to get on Steam, so it's no loss.

#4 Posted by CandleJakk (766 posts) -

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't delved too far into the realm of XBLIG, but I look at it the same way I look at Newgrounds, Steam, Kongregate, The app store (&similar, inlcuding WiiWare). It's mostly shite. MOSTLY. XBLIG has more than it's fair share of "Your 360 controller is now a vibrator personal body massage kit" type things (I won't call them games, because they aren't). Newgrounds seems to be a lot of Hentai & dating sims, as well as content stolen from other designers/programmers from Kongregate. Kongregate is mostly Tower Defence games and sub-par RPGs made by people who can't write in any language well enough to form a comprehensive story. WiiWare is mostly a shitstorm of shovelware (as we learned from the Nintendownload Xpress podcast).

Point being, an awful lot of this stuff seems to be (especially so for XBLIG, since you're specifically calling it out), people's first attempt at making a game as a solo effort, with an opportunity for real feedback & a learning curve. The problem lies with Microsoft not making a big deal out of it, despite promising to when it was announced. If you made a bigger deal about marketing the channel, more people would try it, you'd see a wider variety of titles, and quality improve as a result of more honest ratings going into the marketplace. Like most platforms of this nature, there's a lot of guff to sift through, but there are some gems in there, they just go unnoticed, and if we want them to be noticed we need to make a bigger fuss about it.

N.B. I'm aware by my lack of looking at XBLIG, I'm part of the problem. Consider it my New Year's Resolution to check the channel a lot more frequently and play the game on there.

#5 Posted by NorthSarge (247 posts) -

I think the whole portion of the marketplace needs to be rebranded or changed. I believe that there are people that would like to get their name out there on consoles. My childhood friend actually founded a company that created an indie game (TIC Part 1) that was actually pretty decent. The indie marketplace just gets a bad rep. it is because of this that i applaud the kotaku slide that tries to highlight some of the better games.

Just because the marketplace is flooded and maybe a bit neglected does not mean that those that are actually created some great content should be punished. While i may not have a solution for the channel it shouldn't really be washed out completely. i just wish microsoft gave a shit about that stuff.

#6 Posted by phish09 (1109 posts) -

I just think that gaming websites need to do a better job of letting us know about these games. I don't find out about the big AAA upcoming releases from Microsoft either, I find out about them because they are covered to death by the all the big sites and magazines...why don't these publications and websites care about indie developers?

#7 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

There are some decent games among the ranks of XBLI; the only problem is that you have to dig through the crap to find them.

#8 Posted by SteamPunkJin (1286 posts) -

@phish09 said:

I just think that gaming websites need to do a better job of letting us know about these games. I don't find out about the big AAA upcoming releases from Microsoft either, I find out about them because they are covered to death by the all the big sites and magazines...why don't these publications and websites care about indie developers?

This. Kotaku has a monthly XBLIG feature showing their top picks, which is decent enough, they even had a sub section on the XBLIG menu. I never would have known about the fucking wonderful Blocks That Matter! if Destructoid hadn't run a review of it - something I will be eternally grateful for, that game is awesome.

#9 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

Those indie games are mostly terrible. The good ones made it over to XBLA or Steam anyway.

#10 Edited by xyzygy (9944 posts) -

They're not phasing anything out - it's getting the same level of treatment as it always has (which is still minimal). People just assume this because nothing positive was done in regards to it. The beauty of the new Metro UI is that MS can simply update the OS with a new "tile" or link to XBLIG, or anything, whenever they want. I think if there was enough uproar, they might consider it. 
 
 I personally use the "Game Type" page often so I actually do end up seeing the XBLIG tab often, but I can understand how others won't.  
 
And @phish09 pretty much nailed it in his post.

#11 Posted by I_smell (3924 posts) -

@CandleJakk:

Actually Flash games are designed to end up on every site possible, so any game "stolen from Kongregate" is usually the guy who made it just spreading it around. Seeing logos and splash screens for other sites is normal, and it doesn't mean anyone stole anything. ...just sayin

Anyway I think XBLIG did turn into the realm of "my first game". It's not a good place for that though, because nobody's first game should cost 3 dollars. When I was 15, my web games would get like 500+ reviews automatically, and they'd all be free: That's perfect. That's exactly what's good for people who are in it to get better.

Because it's their whole business, ArmorGames (or whoever) can put the best submissions right up front, they can do contests, they can make tutorials and feed all their resources into up-and-comers. Microsoft is too big to ever do that, they've got Skyrim and Battlefield to sell. I don't think the Xbox will ever be the best place for students, and that's not a bad thing.

I think XBLA and Steam is a perfect step between web app games and console games. That's why I think shutting down XBLIG is fine.

#12 Edited by SpaceRunaway (861 posts) -

I am among the few who always checks out the IG updates, if only because I want to experience the worst of the worst. Plus, if it's truly, astounding awful, I'll also end up buying it, provided it costs no more than a dollar (This has unfortunately prevented me from buying Beach Paddle, but the best part of that game is its rocking drum beat on the menu screen, so it's alright). I also consider it my sworn duty to automatically 1 star anything from Silver Dollar Games.

So, I hope XBLIG sticks around.

(If I'm super impressed by a good game I'll buy it too, I am not completely part of the problem)

#13 Posted by cotubbs (18 posts) -

I'm also hoping for more development in the XBLIG area. Some games have been a ton of fun. I MAED A GAME WITH ZOMBIES IN IT (or however its spelled) is hilarious, and there are a couple roguelikes that are decent. I wish they could find a way to better show off whats available. I like the way Netflix recommends movies (don't know if they've changed it, but it used to be awesome). I wish Microsoft could implement something like that where it would recommend games. Its in their best interest, they get a pretty decent cut of any game that is sold there.

#14 Posted by plaintomato (599 posts) -

@I_smell said:

The new dashboard update just hit, and it turns out Xbox Live Indie Games can't use cloud-saving, can't use Beacons, your "Recent Activity" doesn't show Indie Games, they can't be sort alphabetically, by genre, by release date or anything- they just show up about 10 layers deep as a 2000-long list of titles.

Sounds like everything on PSN.

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