ByJordan Shannon, writer at
Writer, Musician, Student, and Gamer. I currently attend Oklahoma State University -- Go Pokes! Twitter: @pianomanjordan
Jordan Shannon

A while back, I wrote an article on the future of RPG games, which gained a decent amount of attention, both from the Creators staff and the readers of the website itself.

One of my fellow Newbies to Watch, bboyroach (check out his awesome motivational articles), asked me how I felt about the future of games, and what the outlook is on them, which is naturally a compelling topic. Thanks for the inspiration, bboyroach!

[Credit: Papers Please by Lucas Pope]
[Credit: Papers Please by Lucas Pope]

When I think of indie games, the first characteristics that come to mind are games that are developed by a small team in tandem with a lack of commercialization.

That's not to say that all indie games are restricted to being unpopular gems, however. For instance, Minecraft started off as an indie game developed by a small team, but quickly grew into a mega-hit due to the nigh-limitless creative medium it provides its players.

Indie games require an extreme level of both tenacity and creativity from their founders, as well as funds and massive time dedication. The future of indie games is important to the future of gaming in general, as many of the unique and creative ideas from indie games often inspire creators from more standard genres.

What exactly is considered an indie game?


If you've been on Steam for at least a year, you've probably seen tons of indie games. By definition, indie games are games that are developed without a major publisher.

If you were to go to Steam's Greenlight page, you'd see a bunch of indie games trying to find traction in the slippery slope of game development.

There are tons of indie games that are constantly being developed and nearly slaved over, and yet very few of them are actually successful due to their financial and commercial restrictions. Here are some popular indie titles that you're bound to know:

  • Super Meat Boy
  • Spelunky
  • Undertale
  • Limbo
  • Stardew Valley

What does the future of indie games look like?

[Credit: Children of Morta]
[Credit: Children of Morta]

The world of gaming is become more popular as time has gone on, due to the integration of technology in everyday life. By rationalization, indie games should also be developed more frequently as more game developing technology is available and as the gaming world expands rapidly.

However, we won't see a large increase in successful indie titles, mainly due to the fact that funds still won't become more available for indie developers, and fresh ideas are the cornerstone of the industry. That being said, if more common resources like Steam Greenlight are available to the public, there's a good chance that it'll be easier to find breathtaking indie games in a sea of standard games.

Indie Games to keep an eye out for

[Credit: AER by Forgotten Key]
[Credit: AER by Forgotten Key]

Here's a list of indie games coming out in the foreseeable future that might be worth looking into:

  • Expeditions: Viking: If you enjoy historical turn-based strategy games like Civilization, you might want to keep an eye on the development of this game. It's currently set to release on April 27th, and its gameplay so far seems to be more RPG-oriented than that of Civilization.
  • Children of Morta: When Binding of Isaac initially was released, it reminded gamers of the value of roguelikes. Children of Morta shows great promise within that genre, and it has some tasteful pixel-based graphics to boot.
  • AER: This game's protagonist is a shapeshifter that can turn into a bird. Your task is to fly around and discover the puzzles, temples and mysteries of the world's islands. Indie games based on exploration are often hit or miss due to the fact that most exploration-based games are repetitive and have little replay value. However, AER looks like anything but repetitive — the game showcases beautiful vibrant graphics, a fresh idea and strong replay value.

What are some indie games you're excited for? Comment below and let me know what you think!


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