The Independent Games Movement

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For any fan of video games today, they may have realized a certain breed of game that has risen to prevalence over the years after a large period of time languishing in the “underground” of conventional games development. These games have become more prominent due to the fan bases which support them, and also due to the constant attention from mainstream gaming media and larger gaming companies. These are independent games - games that are created without the boon of a publisher’s funding. Usually crafted by smaller teams of designers, artists and programmers, the independent gaming movement is looked upon as the “punk era of gaming culture” (as explained by indie developer, Rami Ismail). These “indie” games aren’t conforming to certain trends in the big leagues of game development, and sometimes they’re made for either pure fun, the sake of delivering a message through the gaming medium, or whatever purpose the developer chooses to create their game for.

It’s exactly hard to pinpoint when the movement directly began, as there was no smoking gun which led to its creation. However, the assumption is that the origins can be traced back to the 1970s, even before there was an established video game industry. Early indie games were created by programmers, and were distributed among friends as shareware (during the very early days of the Internet) in the 1990s. However, in contrast to the many opportunities which lie in wait for prospective indie developers, the opportunity to publish a game became more difficult as the industry grew. Console manufacturers weren’t looking for garage developers to put their works on their systems, because they didn’t look like they meant business (no real company), and judging by their place as smaller...

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