Thursday, August 10, 2017

I am happy to have a guest post today from Katie Kennedy who is contributor to ReadWrite.com, BusinessInsider.com and Cvent.com. Thank you very much Katie!

The top indie developers to watch out for in 2017

First, a distinction must be made – when I say “indie developers”, I’m talking about the hardcore gaming enthusiasts slaving away at code, probably in a basement. These are success stories, or success stories in the making, of people with creative talent, and a vision.
Now some of these guys might have formerly worked at big game studios, but now they’re on their own and getting ready to wow the world. These aren’t small game studios under the umbrella of a larger corporation like EA or Sony. These are the guys microwaving hot-pockets while slaving over artwork and level design, compiling code into the wee hours of the night.

Fullbright
What happens when a team of creative individuals who worked on titles like F.E.A.R and Bioshock decide to live in a small house and work together on a project? Gone Home is what happens - an indie game that wins numerous Game of the Year awards. Now they’re hoping to capture that same success with Tacoma, their up and coming title slated for August 2017 release.
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Tacoma aims to present the same storyline-exploration gameplay that made Gone Home a critical success, but Tacoma takes place in a futuristic space environment. It’s been called “Gone Home meets Bioshock in space”, which certainly sounds appealing. If and probably when Tacoma is received with the same applause as Gone Home, expect even grander things in the future for Fullbright.
Brian Provinciano
In 2002, game programmer Brian Provinciano used to make Nintendo homebrew projects, which led to him creating a Nintendo Entertainment System development kit. His idea was to try and recreate Grand Theft Auto with 8-bit sprite graphics, and over the years he developed his own tools for making the magic happen. When his project, titled Retro City Rampage, was finally released in 2012, people’s jaws were floored – not by the graphics, certainly, but by the sheer effort undertaken.
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Now Brian is working on a 16-bit sequel titled Shakedown Hawaii. It’s like Grand Theft Auto in Hawaii with Super Nintendo graphics, and quite honestly it looks entertaining as heck. Its slated for release on PC and consoles, though the Nintendo Switch version will come first. But honestly, as a developer success story, going from tinkering with Nintendo homebrews to releasing a title on all major consoles is definitely up there.
Matheus Valadares
It’s really difficult to explain the seeming disappearing of Matheus Valadares, the young Brazilian developer of Agar.io, one of the most popular .IO games ever conceived. Since releasing Agar.io, Matheus has gone relatively mute, with no website or blog keeping the world updated on any projects he’s working on. Strange for a guy that has likely made millions of dollars from his creation. It’s like the man made an incredibly successful game and simply vanished into the mist – or did he?
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Evidence by Reddit detectives seems to confirm that Matheus has been operating under different online names, and was most likely the creator of Diep.io, another popular .IO game. The “evidence” suggests that Matheus wanted to distance himself from the controversy between Miniclip and the Agar.io community. So Matheus, Diepio, M28, Zeach, whatever online handle you’re going under these days, just know we look forward to your next creations.

Dan Adelman
Dan Adelman was the head of Nintendo’s indie program for 9 years, before his rebel personality led him to leave the company and branch out on his own. Citing a corporate environment that didn’t mesh with his indie-rockstar aspirations (I’m embellishing, but yeah), Adelman uses his corporate expertise to help other indie developers boost their sales.
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Think of Dan like the new band manager from the film Almost Famous – “do you know how to stop from getting charged for the ice beneath the floorboards at Chicago Stadium? Do you know how to get a record note not pressed, but played?”. Adelman’s involvement in titles like Mages of Mystralia, Chasm, and Axion Verge has certainly contributed to their success. All in all, he’s a guy worth watching.
Andrew Shouldice
Formerly working for Silverback Games, Andrew Shouldice says he was “peer-pressured” to go indie. Working on other people’s games can be a drag when you have your own creative ideas swirling around in your head, and with the urging of his friends, Andrew branched out on his own.
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His current focus is Tunic, formerly known as Secret Legend, an isometric Zelda-type game with a cute fox as the protagonist. Andrew is putting his creative abilities to the max on this project, as the art style and gameplay appear absolutely gorgeous, with a tint of nostalgia for Zelda and other isometric action-adventure titles. Andrew explained his concept in interviews, stating: “I have a special nostalgia for exploring vast, inscrutable worlds that offer precious few helping hands.”.
Tunic is slated for release in “early 2018” on Windows, Mac, and unannounced consoles.





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