In alignment with Brad’s recent dive into broken games, it’s time to discuss why Indie games were king in 2014.
So we all know that 2014 was such a terrible year for AAA releases, no matter what console you were on it was evident that a lot of games were rushed, unfinished and riddled with glitches. There was one type of games development that managed to mostly avoid this, the Indie Game.
Besides OlliOlli (which launched with a glitch that only affected a small number of its player base) and MineCraft for PlayStation Vita (which suffers from some serious connection issues) most indie games had little to no problems at launch, so this doesn’t really hold the AAA development community in good stead.
The way it can be seen is, AAA development is the higher class, games with big budgets, more people working on them and in a lot of cases, more talented people working on them. Indie Games however can be seen in most cases as the lesser experienced, smaller teams with little to no budget in which they have to build a game. However, as of recent, it seems that it has been the indies who have been showing off the talent over AAA developers.
So when putting the two into comparison, you’d think that it’d be the Indie developers who would suffer with launch problems, of things being broken upon the games launch, I mean, for the most part Indie developers are the less experienced of the two, some of these developers have only made one or two games prior to release, or this could be their first game entirely.
Moving on to the main focus on this subject however, there were a tonne of amazingly crafted, well made Indie games in 2014, some that a lot of people will have ignored in favour of games like Assassin’s Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, The Crew and many more.
Looking at the list of 2014’s top rated games on the homepage of this very website, you’ll see names such as Velocity 2X which we gave a perfect score, FEZ which we also gave a perfect score and then there’s Don’t Starve, Rogue Legacy and The Swapper which all very nearly got perfect scores. Most of these games were created with very little funding, by small teams with very little experience in creating video games.
It’s safe to say that, in particular, Velocity 2X will go on to be one of the Vita’s best games, and stands up as a competitor for one of the best Indie games ever created, it was a game that. even with only a small amount of DLC, provided me with more play time than almost any other game released in 2014. But it was not Velocity 2X that truly stole my heart in 2014, it was Rogue Legacy.
Looking back, I easily put 30-40 hours into Rogue Legacy, I finished the game 3 times, nearly levelling up all of the characters stats and, yet, I keep going back to it! It has a certain charm that no AAA title on any platform could offer me in 2014 and because of this, it is one of my most memorable moments of 2014 without a doubt.
I recently finished the single player campaign for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on PlayStation 4, and while it was one of the better stories in recent Call of Duty games it took me only 6 hours to complete on the second off hardest difficulty, the same day I finished it I traded it in as I felt like I was done with the game and I’d likely not play it again.
The two main things that stood out for Velocity 2X and Rogue Legacy considering the state of gaming in 2014 is that they weren’t broken at launch, these two games worked perfectly fine, no bugs, no crashes. However, when I was playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare I encountered several bugs, glitches and crashes that forced me to restart levels from the beginning, which left me rather annoyed.
As for how this links to the Vita and it’s future, there is a heck of a lot of Indie games coming in 2015, including some of the best if 2014 that are yet to hit the platform including Shovel Knight, Super Time Force and Bastion. The thing that will hopefully make these games special is that they weren’t rushed in development, and that on day one, they’ll hopefully be playable without any problems, without any game breaking bugs or glitches.
The future of AAA development looks bleak for gamers at the moment, with many worrying which publisher will be the next to release a game that doesn’t work properly on day one, which game will have broken online servers on day one? But for those gamers, the younger generation of developers are the ones to watch, the ones who put time and love into their projects, and not the ones who are looking for a quick cash grab.
Did you have any problems with AAA games in 2014? Did you have any problems with Indie Games in 2014? Feel free to sound of in the comments or even correct me if I’m wrong, after all these are just purely my thoughts.