Game developers come in all shapes and sizes, from massive multi-million dollar companies to small start-ups with financial support at all. Game Development has become so accessible that all you need is a laptop or a pc and of course, some creativity and technical know-how to land a good game in this era.
However, there are basically two types of game developers out there, the ones with good financial backing from their publishers, names like EA, Amazon, and whatnot. And then there are indie game developers, who are mostly small teams or just a single person working on an entire game from scratch.
Hence the game that these developers create is called indie games, or independent games. And with each passing year, the number of indie game developers just keeps crawling up and so does the quality and game design of these indie titles.
And while they might not be photo-realistic AAA titles, some of the indie games still manage to outgrow some of the massive names of the gaming industry because of their game design. So, let’s talk about why Game Design is so important and some examples of “good” indie game designs as well.
Why is Game Design so Important?
Game Development is a pretty complicated process and so simple at the same time, it just depends on how the developers go about developing their games. The most important thing is obviously the idea of the game, it has to be creative and it has to be unique in order to survive in this massive sea of games.
And then we move on to the game design, how the developers plan to turn their unique idea into a reality. This is a crucial stage because no matter how creative or fun your game idea is if you don’t have a good game design to turn it into a reality, your idea just wouldn’t matter.
We have seen many game developers who actually take inspiration from other small indie devs for their game ideas but go about making the game in a completely different and more fun way and they often get more people to play their games. The only difference between their game and the game devs who developed it previously is the game design.
This is exactly why game design is so important in the development of a game. It doesn’t have to be a massive AAA game with photo-realistic graphics, it just has to be fun and appealing to the players and there are quite a ton of games like that out there.
Indie Games with Good Game Design
There are a lot of indie games out there right now and many of them are truly deserving. However, the increasing number of indie games in the market definitely makes it very hard for players to discover some of the indie gems that often get pushed under the rug.
Games like Minecraft are one of the best examples of indie game design, the graphics are literally squares, even the characters are made out of blocks but the game has managed to amass millions of players because of the elements of fun, freedom, and sociability.
And speaking of socializing, we have games like Stardew Valley, a superhit title that was developed by a single game developer Eric Barone and despite that, his game managed to stay at the top of every list for the best farming sims out there.
And if we talk about kill-box games, where the player has to find insane ways to torture and kill the game character, these games have been out and around for ages. But the way developers designed Happy Wheels and gave ultimate freedom to the players, made it insanely popular and an instant hit for streamers around the world. Another thing that I love about Indie games is that you can buy cheap games and still enjoy as much as a AAA title.
Indie Game Designs People Thought Were Failures, Turned Out Successful
The history of indie games is full of innovative and creative ideas that the majority of people thought were a failure but turned out quite a hit later on. We have already talked about Minecraft, whose blocky look made a lot of people think that it was destined to be a failure but surprisingly, it became THE MOST successful sandbox game out there in the world.
Then we have Downwell, a game that had quite a simple idea behind it, the player was falling down a well and he had to fight through a slew of enemies while also avoiding the obstacles, at first many thought the game was not worth playing as it looked quite dull. But when players started playing the game, the whole narrative turned upside down. The game became quite a hit in the indie game market.
One of my favorite games, Geometry Dash, also started out as a pretty simple idea of a block jumping to survive through the obstacles with a rhythmic flow. But the intense challenge that it created, made players fall in love with the game, especially with the music. The developer continued working on his popular game design to make it even more addictive, which he totally did and if you haven’t played it yet, you can buy Geometry Dash for a cheap price now.
That is the reason why game design is so important in game development and these are some of the successful examples from many of the incredibly popular indie games released.
Image credit: freepik.com
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