5 Minutes Worth of Observations about AAA Indie Games


One great thing about doing a 4 minute and 44 second talk is that it takes very little time to sync to audio and upload!

This is my 2011 Independent Games Summit Rapid Fire Indies lecture from this afternoon, titled 5 Minutes Worth of Observations about AAA Indie Games. I talk about some observations I have about what I call AAA Indie Games, which I define as indie games that have three important characteristics:

  • Polished to Perfection
  • Clearly Contains Lots of Love
  • Highly Anticipated Before Launch

I list some examples, like Braid, Castle Crashers, World of Goo, Limbo, and Flower, among others.

I focus the talk on the last characteristic, Highly Anticipated Before Launch, because I think it's often thought of as external to making the game, and is not well understood.

I studied these games, and came away with one common denominator. Every AAA Indie Game has:

A Long-term Slow-burn Grass-roots Awareness-building Campaign

I say that building awareness takes a lot of time, and so you have to talk about your game early and often. Furthermore, when doing this, you have to play to your strengths. I go into how three of these games did this.

Then I give an example from SpyParty of how hard it is to build awareness, and how long it takes. This is what scares me so much about the iPhone as a game platform for indies, because the development cycles are shorter than the awareness cycles.

Finally, I talk a bit about the press, and make two observations:

  • They are very indie friendly.
  • They want interesting stories.

Here is the synced audio and slideshow. This is from a rehearsal right before the session; I didn't tape the session since it was on somebody else's laptop.

Welp, the web service I was using for the slide syncing died, so I'll have to redo it on youtube I guess.

I gave a sequel to this talk in 2013, called No One Knows About Your Game.

Here are the ppt and mp3.

This page was last edited on 27 March 2013, at 00:46.