Adam Ames heads this discussion as Northernlion, RockLeeSmile, The Pixel Pirate and Phil Cordaro give their thoughts on the indie gaming scene.  Topics include Steam Greenlight, piracy and indies, whether or not indies should be treated differently by the press and much more.

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  • Steven S

    I believe the classification of Indie does have a lot to do with money. Strictly speaking an independent developer is one who does not publish their game under a major label. So a developer who self publishes is considered indie until the point when they can be counted among the major developers. If you take money out of the equation, how else would you measure the success of a business? The number of employees? Or of fans? How about if they start publishing for other developers? Any of these could be used as an indicator, but it would still be situational. I feel that the amount of money a developer/publisher makes is a good acid test for determining if they are indie or not.

    To an extent I do feel that indie games deserve a bit of leeway in how they are reviewed. Again the issue of money factors heavily into that. Questions like “Is it a good game?” and “Is it fun to play?” should always be primary. However the issue of production value should also be a factor. If a studio announces that their game cost 2.4 gazillion dollars to develop it had better look more like Dead Space than Dead Pixels. On the other hand if a game was made by one or two people in their spare time over a course of 3-4 years then I’m willing to look past graphics that aren’t exactly cutting edge. This also comes through in the price of a game. If I’m paying top dollar for a game I feel I should get a high quality product, whereas at $3-$5 for a game I just want something fun to play. This is especially apparent here on TPG where every game review ends with “Is it worth your money?”