A number of indie game developers are unhappy about the new Xbox Live dashboard, saying it makes indie releases unnecessarily difficult to access.
Guess how many button presses it takes to get from the home screen to the Indie Game Top Downloads on the new Xbox Live dashboard. Go on, guess. Four? Five? Nine? Try 17, according to a post on a Microsoft developer forum, which also pointed out that it only takes eight button presses to get to the Arcade and Games on Demand sections.
That’s not the only complaint. The Indie Games section is now “one big fat list” that pages instead of scrolls and apparently there are very few filtering options and no way to break them down by genre. As you might imagine, this isn’t going over very well with some indie devs.
“This is just a giant F-U to all of us. There is simply no other way to put it,” wrote Pouncing Kitten Games. “Put 2000+ games in a single list and give less than a half dozen filtering options, not including genre? Good call. Whoever made that decision should be fired immediately.”
Naturally, comparisons are also being made to to last year’s dashboard update, which also left indie devs feeling angry and abused. “We have seen exactly what happens when indie games were made more difficult to find/get to in the last dashboard update,” wrote Neil Jones, the creator of Monster Talk. “Everyone knows the top downloads list is where the good money was made, if you landed high enough you could have sales for a few weeks if not months. If people cant get to this list easily then things don’t look good.”
But some posters are counseling patience until post-update sales numbers can be collected for comparison and Microsoft’s Nick Gravelyn said he’s keeping an eye on the thread and “gathering up feedback,” presumably to help determine whether the system is as much of a mess as some people are saying and, if so, how to correct it.
Any XBL Indie fans here who’ve done much with the update? Do you see much of a functional difference or greater difficulty in access games, or is it more a matter of people complaining not because it’s necessarily worse, but just because it’s different?