Question: What do you get when you combine gameplay from old school titles such as Contra and Gunstar Heroes and the animation of 1930’s cartoons like Steamboat Willie and Popeye?
Answer: Cuphead; the latest game to dominate the market.
This run and gun action game focus heavily on boss battles with stunning hand-drawn features. Since its release on September 29th, 2017 it has received massive praise and has since dominated the gaming market. Surprisingly to some, this game wasn’t developed by a major game developer but instead by an independent team, making this an “indie game”.
Today, let’s take a deep dive into the gaming industry, the growth of indie games and the role you can play in the future of games.
Indie Games: Cuphead
The game Cuphead is among a string of indie games receiving both audience and critical acclaim. The term ‘indie’ or ‘independent’ game, refer to a video game not developed and/or funded by a publisher.
Born from the minds of brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. They began the project spurred on by the success of another indie game, ‘Super Meat Boy’ released in 2010.
Initially, Cuphead was teased to an audience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 to audience approval. At this time, the game was 40% complete. The brother’s ambitious vision of a mainly hand-drawn game meant they had to push back its release date several years despite the 2014 trailer debut.
The gameplay frame-rate of Cuphead runs at 60 frames per second, while the animation runs at 24 frames per second. It’s this unique design and the years of effort render it a stand out from current titles. Their effort has not gone unnoticed.
Indie Games: The Possibilities
So how do indie games bypass and become popular amongst the sea of titles released from highly published and popular publishers each year? Established game publishers from Sony, UbiSoft, Capcom and Activision Blizzard tend to stick to game design they know will sell, i.e., classic shooter and sports games. Thus, allowing a lot of wiggle room for indie game developers to come along with new ideas, new formats and new spins on the classic game fodder.
Independent game developers are reinventing the way we consume our media. They are literally and figuratively reinventing the “in-game” wheel and consumers are responding.
Each new technological advancement opens new and exciting possibilities for games to be more technologically advanced than ever before! As VR headsets become more cost-effective and accessible to the general public, there is no doubt the next indie game will take advantage of this technology. Studying game design is a fruitful way to initiate a lifelong love and career with games.
Indie Games: The Gaming Industry
The gaming industry is booming right across the globe. The number of new gamers increases every year and technology advancements assist with the creation of new platformers. Bound to a tv or arcade no longer.
The cost of games nowadays ranges dramatically from console games that can be in the hundreds of dollars to mobile games costing $0.99 before in-game purchases.
An app game can mount millions in profit and surge a relatively unknown game developer into a dominating force in the marketplace. A recent example is Australian video game developer, “Halfbrick Studios,” the creators of the hugely successful app game “Fruit Ninja”. Did you know, Halfbrick Studios is based in Brisbane and began in 2001 with six friends in a garage and a dream?
Fruit Ninja’s gaming system, released in 2010, took advantage of the rapidly expanding smartphone market and the touchscreen technology. By 2015, the game had been downloaded 1 billion times and been released across different platformers and even saw its own arcade game. Who could have guessed the rise of this game and the influences it had on the market, making way for the development, creation and release of more app games by indie developers.
Interactive Games and Entertainment Association released figures in 2017, which showcased the Australian Video Game industry generated a healthy $2.958 billion in revenue last year; a 4% increase from the year prior.
Indie Games: Build Your World
There is a lot of speculation about the concept of studying games at a higher education level. It’s not a mainstream course and few educational providers offer this diploma. At HETC, we follow the ebb and flow of the gaming industry; in other words, we continuously alter the course to deliver the best learning outcome to mirror the current gaming market. We look to the future of the gaming industry, the demands from consumers and the evolution of technology to structure our course.
Our trainers teach the latest techniques for creating games. Demonstrating the importance of planning, analysing and giving vision to your end picture in mind. These practical applications are included in the course criteria because they are the real requirements for working in the industry. This qualification reflects the roles of game developers, story writers, level designers involved in the concept, design and creation of games.
HETC supports you from the beginning of your journey until the end. Helping you develop the core components required to start building a career in the game development world. Starting you on your journey to creating the next big indie game. Turn your passion for gaming into a career; there has never been a better time to start.
Other indie titles to check out:
- The Stanley Parable
- Don’t Starve
- Shovel Knight
- Super Meat Boy
- This War of Mine
- The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth