Re: Are sequels killing creativity in independent games?

Regarding KillScreen’s Article

carmelzappa: This is an interesting article, but to me it seems that sequels are really damn rare in the indie space. It took me a while to even think of any, and most of the biggest indie names out there are single experiences. Journey, Super Meat Boy, Braid, Castle Crashers, etc. The article points out some indie game sequels, but a few examples aren’t enough to indicate a trend, and I just don’t see a trend happening here. At least not yet.

Just like they went to Fish and Blow for their soundbytes on the whole Microsoft Indie Dev thing, the media is extrapolating the temperature of the indie scene by profiling the bigger players. I remember seeing a snippet from Notch the other day.

fuzzyshorts: I see way too much “What if this had happened?“ which bothers me a bit. I feel like their speculation in regards to sequels to flOw is a bit silly and a little presumptuous. It names a handful of indie game sequels, but doesn’t really give any evidence to say that this really means anything, unless you count the whole Fez II issue, but there are certainly a lot of issues specific to Fez that I don’t think any pattern could be made from it.

It’s not a bad article, but I think the title should read “Will sequels kill creativity in independent games?” instead.

I think that what I was pointing out was that even if the premise is a bit over-exxagerated, it’s still some of the best writing on the internet.

100rings: There’s a lot of focus on auteur gamemaking and promotion in the indie scene, and we’re already seeing games do well on the basis of being “The New Game From [Team]“. I don’t think it’s too unlikely that teams could continue to go on making standalone games the way so many are, without a need for sequels. Look at the focus on The Witness. It seems to me like the sequels we’re seeing are the product of the desire to iterate. Or with the kind of crunch some teams have to go to in order to get the game out, sequels are being used to do the things they’d never have time to do with their first game, or couldn’t do without the experience gained from making the first game. I don’t see sequels in themselves as any kind of threat. Besides, one of greats of the New Hollywood era the article refers to as a golden age was The Godfather Part 2. There’s clearly some merit to them.

Making games is so dang hard. If Mutiny were to get a property out on the market and we had even a decent following for it, I can guarantee that we’d look to do at least a few in-version iterations to maximize our time and effort in a single product and get it in front of as many folks as possible. When you factor the time that it takes to get a foothold in a decent sized project (one or two years for most of the small indie teams) it absolutely makes sense that you’d want to maximize the cash value of the assets and code you put together. Sequels make sense for this sort of thing, and it’s so great that you bring up The Godfather. Puzo made several novels, all of which after the first would have to be considered sequels. Are we going to discount the whole of the value of the series because it couldn’t be done in a single book? Of course not, it took more than one book to get the job done (telling the whole story.) Would we discredit the production of several feature films based on this series because of their connection with a set of novels made into sequels? Duh.

Maybe what the article should have been titled is something like, "Will the creation of mindless copy/paste franchises kill the spirit of indie gaming?” I personally don’t think that the lack of sequels is endemic to indies because of any reason other than short attention spans and day jobs. We do it because we love games, and we really love a lot of different kinds of games.

I would totally play the shit out of Minecraft 2: The Subdivision Chronicles.

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