Rampant Games - Indie games: Be More Indie Please
Jay Barnsen from Rampant Games discusses the state of indie gaming. It's an interesting read into some of the problems with indie games:
Don’t Give Me Something I’ve Played Before
I’m enough of both a gaming geek and programming geek to be intimately familiar with the thrill of getting stuff up on the screen that works the way you envision it in your head, or more particularly from another game. Remember: Your job isn’t done there. It’s not enough to emulate your inspiration. If you are trying to appeal to me, as a fan of the original, remember that I’ve already played that game. I don’t want a reskinned, low-budget rehash of a game I loved. I want something familiar but different.
Provide a new twist on the mechanics. Play with concepts that were not taken far enough. Hey, you are an indie on a budget, why don’t you try scaling down the mechanics and distilling the experience into an even tighter core. Maybe your idea is a counter-terrorism version of X-Com. Seize upon that theme and think about what else could be done with that concept to make the gameplay more authentic to the theme and more interesting. IEDs? Hostages? Political twists?
Don’t just clone an older game. Use it for a jumping-off point, not a destination.