Reyiell's avatar

Indies usually put more passion and feelings into their games.

They are not perfect, they are limited with their skills, funds, size of the team, but they compensate with how much love their pour into the games.

They dare making games about hard stories, traumas, themes that bigger devs cannot take a risk touching.

You can really feel that their games were a choice of passion and love, they are eager to share them with the players and get so excited when they see us experiencing them.

This is why I love indie games.

Boomer's avatar

Those imperfections can make indie games feel very human 🙂It can be easy to forget games are made by actual people when they're so polished and heavily marketed. That's one of the reasons I enjoy developer diaries and podcasts like the Game Maker's Notebook, as they pull back the curtain a little so we can meet the team.


The indie game scene is special because the limits are endless with the games, you have an idea & it won't get shut down for not being a triple aaa game & 9 times out of 10 they do so much better, im glad the indie scene is kinda slept on, it's also a toxic free environment which is rare these days, i found myself loving indie games i haven't even seen advertised, also the devolopers of the indie games are always much more willing to listen

Boomer's avatar

There really are some wild indie games out there! What would you say is your favourite indie title? Mine is Outer Wilds, and if you haven't played it then it's best to know as little as possible before playing it.



At this moment it has to be lil guardsman that game is hilarious slightly dark humour but a great game & has different endings, i saw myself in one of the characters too 😂😂 hidden gem for real,

EveOnlineTutorials's avatar

Indie games for me are about a few things

  1. Emotiona

  2. Progression

  3. Fun

  4. Classic looks

  5. Fun gameplay

But also they are a bunch of games that cover areas that mainstream games do not and as Reyiell said, they dare to cover topics, mainstream games will not.

Boomer's avatar

Do you have a game in mind that epitomises the elements in your list? Do you think they're true across most/all indies, or are there a special few that have left you with this feeling?

EveOnlineTutorials's avatar

Stardew valley would be my answer to that question.

Farming, and character development whilst holding what it is to it's core gameplay, might sound sappy but yeh, it's one of my favs.

Sturmer's avatar

It's a complex question, but I believe I can detect traces of passion in their products.

It's not that employees in large video game studios don't invest their souls into their work; rather, indie developers often go above and beyond.

We gamers can sense this, much like how we intuitively recognize genuine versus fake smiles. It's all in the subtle details and nuances that game designers, sound engineers, artists, and others infuse into their projects.

Boomer's avatar

It's a bit like Reyiell's comment about indies not being perfect and that being okay. I feel that the decision making being carried out by a smaller team means the contribution by each team member can be seen more clearly, making the games feel more authentic.


The joy of playing something so unique in comparison to AAA games is a blessing. So many games pumped out by big companies lack the innovation and creativity that you see from Indie developers.

They may work as just a few people in a team, sometimes with shoe string budgets or needing crowd funding to be able to even create the games but there is so much more love and care gone into these games.

You may not be getting 40+ hour campaigns with numerous different add ons, but what you do get is often an entirely new experience, something the big guns would never touch due to the risk and fear of critical mediocrity.

With Indie games you really feel the passion and commitment in the project, and with their lower price point they are much less of a risk for gamers who maybe will be stepping out of their normal preferences to experience the title.

Dave the Diver, Killer Frequency and Viewfinder have all been games I've played through in the last 6 months or so and they are the epitome of everything you would want from an Indie game - variety, uniqueness and enjoyment!

Boomer's avatar

Sometimes those shorter experiences leave a longer lasting impression 😊

MargotCandy's avatar

We often see that we can define an indie game based on how it "feels". I do agree that there is often a feeling involved. It is like you can feel the enjoyment and passion of the team behind it. Maybe we imagine this though.

The indie scene or gaming scene in general is very competitive so indie developers need to / want to do things to stand out. As consumers this means we can expect experimental gaming mechanics, interesting story telling and new or different graphics and artwork. This makes it exciting for me.

If I look at the general triple A games, it is often RPG and shooters. This can get boring, so I look to indie games to have something different to keep gaming fresh and interesting. Be it playing as a cat or potato, or just seeing beautiful artwork.

I have also been thinking about this topic in an unrelated way, because I got a steam deck about a month ago and mostly played Stardew Valley on it and got obsessed with all the stories and modding community. Maybe that magical feeling is actually a community feel. A group of people enjoying and chatting about an indie game. It is often more niche and brings together more like minded people than a triple A game might, as the reach of those is so big it is harder to really connect with a smaller group of people. I have also never tried to bond over a triple A game rather than a smaller indie game, so my perception might be wrong.

But yeah the magicalness of indie games for me is a mix of innovation, passion and community.

Boomer's avatar

I've not thought of it as a community feel before, but I like the idea! 🤔


Indie games in themselves are and experience the different art styles and the different mechanics make them unique to play. They don't follow a similar patterns big game companies do and make the same game over and over again yet they make their own version and make it unique to themselves they demonstrate their creativeness and their ability to improvise to produce a product which becomes their own and not just a cheap rip off or a failed sequel like the recent Assassins Creed games

Boomer's avatar

I do like the diverse mechanics that indie games bring together. It helps to blur the boundaries between the major genres 😊


I think what makes the indie scene so magical and special comes down to people being passionate about their projects

A lot of people who create indie games aren't in it for the money, they are in it for telling stories, sharing idea's and wanting people to experience the magic that is in their minds. If they didn't want people to share the experience they would create a video game and only play it to themselves

This sounds so simple but it is magical, developers go out of their way and we can experience the magic of their own world, imaginations and stories through video games. I usually find indie games are shorter too which really helps a gamer like myself who doesn't have as much free time to play video games!

We live in a world where indie games are more accessible with digital downloads and we can become more attached to the character development in these games because people have put their hearts into it and ultimately value you having a good experience gaming more than your cash

Boomer's avatar

we can experience the magic of their own world, imaginations and stories

My partner and I talk about this fairly often! We've both played games since we were kids, we have different views on films and books. She prefers reading and says it makes your interpretation of the world feel very personal, but I prefer films and TV as it lets me more fully experience what the creator intended.

One isn't any better than the other, but video games are a little bit of both worlds!

Martin's avatar

Thinking back to when I started gaming…

I remember going to the local video shop – the only place that had games – back in the late 80’s (if I remember correctly). They would have a small shelf of cassettes for ZX Spectrum games. When I say small probably no more than a half a meter. Back then most of these games were made by a single (or maybe two/three) people, it wasn’t until much later that these developers started the first larger game companies but for me these where the initial roots of Indie Games.

Everything was new back then, everything was a risk, everything was innovative. It didn’t matter what you did it would sell, and people would play – you just never knew as there was no internet.

Now, AAA’s don’t really take risks or do anything innovative, if they do then that game is more likely to fail because of the fan base being against change. Look at the past few huge AAA’s and the way the fan base reacted – Cyberpunk 2077, Starfield, Mass Effect - Andromeda, Dragon’s Dogma 2, all of these have taken risks in some way and had huge backlash.

Indie developers and fans embrace change and are always looking for new ways to change the gaming landscape – Vampire Survivors comes to mind. A simple game that made a huge impact and sparked a whole genre. Others that come to mind – Bib Goes Home, Dave the Diver, Supermarket Simulator (who would think a game about managing a supermarket would have had such an impact on Twitch).

For me – What makes the indie scene so magical? – its that ability for developers to take risks, be innovative and put out something completely new/different and to have it go viral (with bugs and issues included).

Boomer's avatar

In a weird way it's that same uncertainty that I miss about gaming magazines. There are so many gaming news sites / game releases that it's either hard to find what you like or you're flooded with it.

Buying something that's OK 80% of the time is great, because the other 20% would be amazing! For me this is why Humble Bundle is so appealing (on top of the charity fundraising!).

Martin's avatar

That reminds me of the old magazines I used to get. Random cassettes/disks with the latest demos - games or tech (who remembers tech demos). The funniest was the 10 page code listing for spectrums - you'd get to the end after 3 hours of typing and hit run, if luck was with you it'll work, if it wasn't - hours of re-reading and checking...

Stella's avatar

Definitely this 'human' element to them! I guess because there are smaller teams that are less bureaucratic so there is more stylistic 'flair' involved :) Like little easter eggs that the devs put in just because etc

Makster's avatar

I've been reading Masters of Doom and Doom Guy: Life in First Person recently about how Doom was made, Id as a company, and how it transformed the videogame landscape. You may have heard the two Johns: Carmack and Romero and their amazing work on these games.

id in 1993In the past I've always thought Doom was made by a big production company, paid to have made these games which was why they were so well regarded. But as I've grown up, I've realised that the most prolific games are actually made by small 'Indie' Teams.

Keeping a small tight knit team allows for a more focussed game and 'truer' to the artistic vision the creatives in the team. And I believe this is why Indie games are special as the message and design of the game is clearer. Looking into the downfall of id and post-Romero leaving the company, Carmack remarks that id grew too big and became inefficient at what did. Carmack (post Meta) also disliked the bloated culture when he was working on Oculus.

I think when you have a publisher backing a game, they are looking at casting the widest net possible which means looking at market trends, and what is the popular game mode. For the teams I've used above id and Team Silent: they were making games for genres still in their infancy. A huge risk that did not have any evidence that it'll pay off but they were willing to trust their design and ideals to make it still.


It can take some time and investment to fiind good indie games but every so often you find some proper gems.

ill share some of my favourites and why they are great

On ps4 - Furi

Downloaded it on a whim. and was blown away by the artistic design and mainly the music. like the way the music synced up with the fighting was amazing and the challenges of the fights werent easy but you kept coming back to them. Which made you love the music even more.

On pc - Tremulous

this is hands down one of the greatest games ive played. Built off the back of quake 3 arena. the concept is its a multiplayer game. one team aliens and the other humans. you build bases and attack each other in first person. ive never had an experience like it again. you evolve your characters as you make successful kills and win by destroying bases

both games you could tell the love and attention that had gone into them, even though they wernt 100% polished. and the ongoing support from the developers and community for tremulous was insanse despite not even being that popluar.

i love to continue finding these things

FrostySomething's avatar

I first got into indies at EGX (sorry to mention the ex, JustAbout 😅). But there always seemed to be huge queues at the big releases, and we just went to have a fun time, not necessarily to play specific titles. We’d have a go on anything with a reasonably short queue. So naturally we ended up spending a lot of time in the indie section, chatting with developers, trying different things. That’s where the love for indie grew.

I love that indie games tend to be more experimental and close to the auteur’s vision due to the smaller teams. There’s seems to be such a drive to differentiate and stand out, to do things that haven’t been done before and bring their idea to life.

LegendaryJL's avatar

The indie game scene is so special in many forms as it gives creative opportunity to developers to showcase their true talents and skills they have which go unnoticed in the whole clutter of gaming. I feel indie games need to be given more awareness on as it is always the top 5 popular FPS games taking the crown.

The talents come in many shapes whether its from a story based game, real-life experience that might help other gamers in situations, a cool 2D slide-scroll format or even a big horror indie style game. The indie scene caters for all different kinds of ideas compiled together.

I feel that indie games give so much meaningfulness in the small or big teams that these developers spend countless hours trying to make their idea become a reality and thats why I adore it so much.

avrona's avatar

The answer seems fairly obvious given the direction that the AAA sector is currently taking. In recent years, they are the games that are actually fun to play, that you want to buy, and that actually offer something new and refreshing in the medium. All very impressive stuff most usually have a tiny fraction of the budget of a even medium-sized AAA project.

So while in practice indies should rarely be better in many ways, given the limited resources and scope, by exploring ideas left untouched by big studios, and simply not just not being some money-grubbing, they still manage to win us over and provide experiences you can't get anywhere else, putting genuine passion into ever detail that isn't driven by focus groups, trends, and committees.


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