Comment on Indie Developers in Mainland

Author: zedc
13 0 3

Long time no see. 

It's been a while since my last passage. 

For it's hard to keep the motivation going on in one place. I have been busy in other place these days, but as of low click rate, I'm trying something back here. And this time, maybe like a diary, I will use English. 

Recently I removed many of my followings in Weibo, instead I added some indie game studios one after another. So when I open my Weibo again, I will have to face all of their working progresses. Oh, and I have followed some artists too, and seeing what they have achieved makes me admired. 

The whole market seems to get cartoonized. Unless the gameplay is very funny, many have to use some cute illustrations to demonstrate their stories. Despite of the characters, I see few have achieved new game experiences under the wrappings. 

But perhaps people nowadays are like this. One popular thing on the Internet is "Our days are so simple: Getting tired at work, Complaining to friends, and friends complaining back. " So helpless, but no cure. In moments like this, maybe looking at a cute illustration really helps.

But it seems like a dead circulation after all. We are still in our misery, but what we get is just temporary comfort, and no further meanings can be discovered. And more artist begin to paint more illustrations, and so we are drown into the cartoon swirl.

And yet many others things are ignored. Pixel art, innovation of gameplay, new understanding of the world, realistic stories, war and justice, blood and truth, that's what we games should deliver. But what I see now is just sensational experiences, copycats and careless workers. 

Talking about pixel art, now it's just some old-school gamers who will advocate it. It's not about the lack of drawing high definition illustrations, but the pixel means to put more effort into the gameplay, and have an attitude of abstraction towards life. 

Speaking of the gamers, I think the mainstream of games in mainland China, is about gamers and achievements. It's not so healthy as developers and feelings are ignored. It seems like people are all working in other professions, and leaving true indie developers struggling and worried for life. I see people arguing more than discussing, and when talking about game developers, they will always refer to those working in stable companies. It's like indie developer is never a promising profession, and they are all so rich or just so devoted to expressing themselves. 

Now it's a competition over visibility. On steam, many indie games with distinguishing names have to wait, and this may eventually lead to developers losing faith. Devil May Cry 6 won't come out on its own, you have to support the developers, be persuasive on forums and social networks, make side works for it. The developers can get exhausted. 

Look back to Finland and Poland. Promising lands for game developers. Someone says their games are always interesting, but in fact it's that these interesting ideas, can get realized. We Chinese also have so many ideas, but the ideas comes from words, and ends with words. No further realizations, not to mention more marketing and interactions. We are always sitting still. 

Yes. Marketing. But it's not about those advertising and briefing. It's about gamers to know about their work, their life, and to take the game as a part of what they have been following so far, not as a mere product of some hours. Some developers do keep in good touch with gamers, and it's good. Gamers are not just seeking for entertainment, they are also listeners who always have time. 

As a salary man, I am at the crossroads of career. I know I want to be in the devotion of creating something new, but I just can't see the audience. I read about the book Selfish Gene, and want to create a game about choices of evolution, which I think will reflect on the society's behavior patterns and principle variations. I think it can be helpful for a better society. 

Asia is a place of crowded competition. And more severe is in China. If everyone just takes his own interest into consideration, the society will become full of biases and troubles. By using game as an insight for people, it may actually help us to find a better solution. After all, game is merely simulation. 

So hereby, I'm writing this to draw some of your attention. If this won't work, I will just to have to write more here and there, as my mind asks me to. 


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  1. 2d os games 2022-10-31

    Good article.

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