The main characteristics of indie games

March 27, 2023

If you ask several people what an indie game is, then everyone will have their own answer. There are those who think that all indie games are weird, or that they are retro, or that they have poor graphics, or that they are pixelated in 2D. There are those who think that they tell beautiful stories or that they are original and creative. There are many opinions, so we will find out what indie games really are in this article.

In fact, "indie game" is not a genre, nor does it define a particular aesthetic or style. It's just a product that drags along dozens of views and opinions, some positive, others negative, which are only getting closer to reality.

What are indie games?

Let's start with the most important thing, namely the indie game definition. These are projects that are created by independent authors. That is, these are products that are not created by large companies, but rather by very small companies. As a rule, indie studios consist of only a few people. In addition, they have dozens of times less budget than large companies.

The prefix "indie" does not only apply to video games. There is indie cinema, indie music, indie comics. It has even given rise to a subculture that is accompanied by a way of dressing, playing, or combing your hair, and which should include you in a group with common motives and ideals.

Indie video games have only one thing in common: they are independent. That is, they are not run by large companies that set the rules for following (these are mostly commercial rules). In the case of indie games, the creators do what they want. And perhaps they wanted to create a surreal desert journey, a racing game, a 2D platformer, an arcade shooter, or a graphical adventure in outer space. It could be something more revolutionary or more conservative.

The statement that all indie games are created with minimal resources is not always true. It is also impossible to say that they are made by teams of two or three people. To say that all indie games are bad, short, superficial or "little games" is also wrong. Each project is unique in its own way. Some people have more budget for development, others have less. Some specialists invest more time in work, and some less. Therefore, each indie game is exclusive and special in its own way.

How are indie video games made?

There are many professionals who come together to make a video game: producers, creatives, designers, programmers, 3D artists. However, the basis of the design of a good video game is its programming. In order to create the new and unique experiences that we expect in indie video games, all elements and interactions must function smoothly.

Graphics engines in indie video game development

Unreal Engine is a powerful graphics engine that offers high performance for video game developers. That is why it is one of the most widely used game design tools along with Unity.

When it comes to independent video game development, both Unreal and Unity offer designers an advantage, as in both cases you only have to pay for the engine license according to the income you get from selling the game you are going to develop. This is one of the reasons why both engines are very attractive to small studios or small designers and developers.

In addition, Unreal provides you with a wealth of assets and resources so you can start building your first games and get results very soon.

Even though indie games make less money than AAA games, indie video games are the benchmark in the industry for some of the reasons we mentioned earlier. Indie games have a great future and are making a serious contribution to the industry. Most large companies started their journey with such small products, which later grew into something bigger.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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