When it comes to running their businesses, Indie game developers need all the help they can get. This year GDC was full of some great things that can help Indie devs along the path to success. Here’re 5 of the best things we saw that should excite indies.
1. Gamesparks launched a free tier for Indies
Chances are, that if your game has an online component, then you need to develop a lot of services. These can range from multiplayer functionality to leaderboards, payments, save game cloud-sync and more. This can add up to a tremendous amount of time (and money) spent on development and maintenance. Step forward Gamesparks, a BaaS (Back-end-as-service) provider for game developers. The new free tier for indies and students means that no payments kick in until you have 100,000 monthly active users. This now means you can add significant functionality to your mobile and console games for little outlay.
2. Twitch gets behind Stream First Games
This is a great one for those of you eager to jump on the streaming bandwagon. As streaming grows in popularity, what can be better than people broadcasting your game? Twitch’s new initiative aims to support games built with live-streaming in mind. Moreso, it’s for games designed around live streaming gameplay. The most famous example of this was when thousands of people played Pokemon at once on Twitch. Support comes in the form of promotion and technical help from Twitch.
3. Android ‘Try before you buy’ scheme
Google’s snappily named ‘search trial run ads’ initiative lets players try a game for 10 minutes before buying. It’s the modern equal of a demo disk on a 1980’s gaming magazine. All users have to do is search for a game, and it’ll appear. They will then see as ‘Try’ button which they can click on. They’ll then be able to try it out for 10 minutes without actually having to download it. Some call it ‘app streaming’ we call it voodoo and black magic.
4. Good Indies get sent to Google Play’s Indie Corner
It’s usually the bad kids that get sent to sit in the corner. This is quite the opposite with Google’s new initiative. In a bid to increase the quality of curation, Indie Corner will (here it comes…….) feature new Indie talent. Google has classed Indies as studios between 11-15 people. All you have to do is submit your game. Job done. If good Indies get sent to Indie Corner, we’re still not sure where bad Indies go….
5. Amazon Lumberyard now supports iOS
Unity and Unreal are great for mobile but Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine is completely free and now supports iOS. Oh, and it’s based on the much-loved CryEngine. The one catch is that that you have to use Amazon’s Cloud services, so it’s a no-no for Google services. Lumberyard also supports Twitch integration and multiplayer amongst other goodies.