Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Game Tunnel

I really like Game Tunnel.
Game Tunnel.

If you've never heard of Game Tunnel before, it's a website devoted to games from independent developers. They do an excellent job of covering the indie scene, and they also review a ton of smaller games that don't get much attention otherwise.

I'm very confident that as development budgets increase, more and more of the best games each year will come from small, independent developers. Why? Because those huge games will never get finished--they'll be released with huge numbers of bugs, and there will be attempts made to "fix" them with patches, but the games are so big that truly finishing them requires an expense beyond what most companies are willing to commit.

A huge, sprawling game like Oblivion is the exception to this rule, and it's also why a game like this should be treasured. 95% of games this size are either never really finished or just aren't fun. Sports games are the same way--in fact, they're the poster child for this problem. Tons of new features every year, most of which don't work very well, and there's no commitment to fix everything because--hey!--we have to start working on next year's game.

So in an environment like this, the small, independent developer has a huge advantage. He is far less likely to define a game with a vision that can never be completed. He doesn't need to sell a ton of copies for it to be worthwhile for him to continue working on the game. And he doesn't have the corporate mentality that is stifling the biggest game companies today.

One of Game Tunnel's best features is the "Monthly Indie Game Round-Up." Each month, they'll review 10-15 indie games (three reviewers per game), and the reviews are straightforward and useful. They also make it easy to get to each game's website if you're interested. Last night, I reviewed the last several months of columns and downloaded five or six demos that I'll be looking at over the next few days.

I already know that one of them is pretty amazing, and I'll be telling you about it tomorrow or Wednesday.

Here's the link to the Monthly Round-up page:
Monthly Round-up.

Site Meter