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In response to "Infinite Caves, Infinite Stories" from The Escapist Forum: Loved this game, glad it's getting the acclaim it deserves.
The only real gripe I have with the ludic camp trying to ditch all linear moments in a game in favor of a purely emergent system is that in order for a deep, personal experience to occur you have to make the game complex to the point of unplayable.
The average personal player story from Spelunky usually sounds roughly the same to any other one. There are a dozen or so procedural scenarios that constantly change combined with a tight platforming design to make the combination of choices possible manageable. The only emergent game I've ever seen actually produce a surprisingly deep personal story was Dwarf Fortress. The thing is...who the f*** understands how to play that game? I don't mean any offense to the proud gamers who can, but I struggled with it for hours and hear the same from most people.
Linearity may be a shortcut, but the implications of having it or abandoning it go way beyond just giving the player options.
I must say... that I don't really know what to make of this article.
I've always considered 'indie' games to be games developed without reliance on a financial backer who distorts and controls the creative process in order to maximise profit. Companies that I think of when I think 'indie' are guys like Introversion (Darwinia, Defcon), and Bit-Blot (Aquaria), and ThatGameCompany (fl0w, Flower). There are also plenty of individuals out there who make indie games, of course, but none spring immediately to mind except the maker of Dwarf Fortress, Tarn Adams, and the maker of Battleships Forever, Sean 'th15' Chan.
This is, at least, what I associate with the label 'indie'. But I've not really seen any pushes from bigger companies to try and mass-market the 'indie' genre. To try and make big studios make 'indie' style games. So... while I kinda enjoyed the read, I'm not really sure what the point Chris was trying to make was. Am I supposed to have a raised awareness of indie game companies? Feel wariness towards the (apparently looming) commercialisation of 'indie'?
I suppose at the very least, I've reflected on what 'indie' means to me. So I guess the article's done its job? *shrug*