“Realizing this is important to developing good games that will sell.” I can’t really disagree. Competing directly against the big boys but without their production values is likely not a good idea. Instead, Psychochild suggests that fallow fields and new ground are the most fertile for indies.
Psychochild went on to pose a thought problem: “Looking at it from this angle, I think the most successful indie games are those without direct comparisons to the larger games. [...] would an indie FPS ever be hugely successful?”
There are oodles of FPS out there, many quite moddable. This ground has been planted continuously for 20 years: indy seedlings might have trouble growing in that dry soil.
Is there room for another indy FPS? “I don’t really think so,” writes Psychochild.
Good realistic advice, but what really got me excited was Darniaq’s response that cited Project Offset, a fantasy themed first person shooter. This could make for a very interesting game. A player skill based “shooter” in a fantasy setting is certainly a relatively untapped area.
Sounds fun! And wow, it is teh pretty!
There’s a basement tie in here too. From reading the Project Offset story it seems that three former co-workers (experienced game developers) started Project Offset on a shoe-string budget. The story doesn’t seem to say how this small group expanded to a team of 19 members, but they do mention both licensing their graphics engine and receiving some gamer donations.
It’s always amazing what a small group of talent can accomplish. I look forward to giving Project Offset a try.