Here’s another one. Are Triple-A games everything inferred by such a reverent label, or are Indie games in fact the face of true gaming spirit?
To start at the beginning, the obvious primary difference between these development models is that triple-A games irrefutably get a lot more work put into them. At their best, they are the pinnacles of the game-making industry machine, sparing little expense to provide sizeable, thorough and deep gaming experiences. They are not, however, infallible.
Too many releases in 2014 alone demonstrate ably that a large team working within tight time parameters to churn out a box-checking blockbuster can still land flat on its face. The year’s poster-boy examples are perhaps Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity. Each massively hyped and under pressure to meet a release schedule to provide hungry new hardware with a satisfying game and to deny a successful franchise a release rate breather, respectively. More and more AAA games are delayed to allow time to correct and polish such enormous bodies of work. Do we ask too much of the industry’s behemoths? Do we make unreasonable demands, the like of which independent developers need not be concerned by?
Maybe you think that a small team of developers - sometimes even working solo - benefit from much easier communication in a development cycle that ultimately makes for a more cohesive and engrossing game? Are the latest and flashiest effects and engines the only way to continue to excite a spoilt and rabid gamer populace, or can the same be achieved more simply with lateral thinking?
Fiscally speaking, the cost of Triple-A games almost invariably reflects the greater amount of workmanship and workers involved and, as well as our pockets, ask ever more of our hardware. Indie games typically stretch both system requirements and purchase price significantly less.
Nevertheless, Indie games are also far from perfect. The fact that they often revel in their ‘humanising’ flaws and sometimes even capitalise on them (Goat Simulator, anybody?) doesn’t change the fact that the lack of a corporate overlord means a lot less pressure to produce a squeaky clean and seamless end-product.