Tag «Indie»

Indie Buskers Post Mortem

Indie Buskers - Yet another game jam?

Indie Buskers


Rock, Paper, Shotgun titled “2012 will be the year of the gamejam” and it absolutely is! Ludum Dare has more entries than ever before, the Global Game Jam is in the Guiness Book of Records for being the biggest jam ever and Anna Anthropy argues in her book “Rise of the Video game Zinesters” about everybody can make art or communicate issues with games. And at this point we drop in: five game devs who regularly prove their passion at Ludum Dare happenings are doing their own jam.

But why another gamejam right between the tenth anniversary of Ludum Dare and the Molyjam? Why do we want your moneys for things nearly every game dev does? And who the hell are we?

The Buskers are all one of those notorious indies. Full of crazy ideas, but with empty pockets. All of us sold at least one game until now. Most of them came into existence through participation in game jams. We are all more or less known and successful and we all love to produce games to beat the band.
So Ludum Dare is were everything started. The three game devs Pekuja, Sos and Ratking whined about their thin purses. No money. No games. Poor things. So they planned to do it the old way: Taking out their instruments to the streets and play songs to cheer up their audience and get some pennies back in order to fill their fridge.
But wait. They live in Finland, Poland and Germany. They don't know how to use guitars - all they are able to do is making games! So why not a game jam!? In open (web) space, with one or two more friends (soon they invited Tametick from Austria and Sophie Houlden from England) and a bit more interaction than just “Please put some money in the hat”.

The beginning

Since things were settled from this very moment (March 13th) everything happened very fast. We discussed everything via chat and mail, whereby most decisions happened immediately coupled with an overflow of motivation. If there wouldn't be this annoying marketing, the necessity to do an announcement to reach the audience and certain organisational issues, we would have started right off that moment. The date was chosen a bit further from that very present up to March 31st - April 1st, which some days later was selected also for another jam that will go down in history as the MolyJam. Since Peter Molyneux AND Peter Molydeux are an great inspiration for many game devs and both have a bigger audience than us together, we changed the date.
Which is absolutely lucky, because as you will see there was organisation needed to be done for all of us.

first message

In the beginning there was the website (www.indiebuskers.net, programmed by Sos) and the website was with Twitter (March 26th). We asked hyper-influencial nice people to do us a favour and tweet about the Buskers. The wonderful Chris Priestman helped us with an article on Indie Games Magazine about the mysterious Buskers that others picked up very fast. At this time the website was grey, nothing on it but counters and question marks. It was a little bit crazy, but through this we really got people interested in this thing very fast. We were purely asking for game ideas at this time. No more or less! And then the first 400 followers popped up. Some felt twitted, some were suspicious, but most of them just were attracted by the chance to give away their game ideas!

We need ideas!

At this time we rotational took over the Twitter channel (@IndieBuskers), which really became a day job! Just retweeting, filtering and answering ... and keep in mind that twitter is limiting the tweets per day! When I was trying to make some things clearer they just told me that I reached this limit (250 tweets a day). You can make the final apologizing tweet to your audience by deleting old messages, by the way.
And although we would have needed a proper public relation strategy or just a way to communicate our idea, we decided against straight forward polished marketing blabla. Chaos was more fun and fit to the bunch of us.

With Twitter and our quest for ideas a little discussion arose, about how much worth and important ideas are. As jam veterans we have plenty of ideas, but we asked people to give us their ideas nonetheless; to get challenged by them and involve the audience. And this was enormous fun! The best thing right in the beginning of the jam! Although nobody knew who we are and what purpose their ideas will serve, they tweeted and posted so many awesome things, all of us totally freaked out.
Because we were not communicating too much about the issue of copyrights, of course people also wrote that we can't have their ideas or if we use them we should give them money, etc. We tried to explain that we don't steal ideas, but with our tweets three hundred other ones came and go. But luckily many people picked up the discussion and most seem to recognize that ideas are important to inspire and get started BUT they also need to be made and mostly just force a setting or beginning of the game's real gameplay. Most ideas didn't even have any description of details like gameplay, how to play it, winning/losing situations or even the type of perspective.
Although this is not completely the truth. There were a bunch of people who loved to see their favourite games to be made. Some just wished for the good old games remade they love, while others came up with three-page concepts of how exactly the game could look or work like! Most of the ideas were too much for 48 hours, which was not exactly clear to everybody due to our lack of description, but well, this was our problem throughout the jam.
Very much favoured, by the way, were games like “Minecraft but with X”, kittens and monkeys or “games like Y but deeper”, “like Z but with RPG elements” and tons of platformers and games where you start in a prison.

indie buskers ideas

And although stealing ideas was an issue, we were never accused of stealing the Payed-jam idea from ... let's say Mojam. We felt a little bad about this. They started the bundle and they were the first to do a jam with fellow indies to earn money - for charity! The only difference was, that we were less organised and the money went straight to our purse. Not to children in hospitals!
I think this was just possible by our audience. Most of them are indie devs as ourselves and understood that we needed the money, but were no greedy suckers dare to become rich with stolen ideas.

indie buskers logo

Counters here, Revealing there

From the first tweet on our jam was planned for two weeks later. We didn't have anything to entertain the audience with meanwhile, so we decided to put counters on the website and reveal one Busker after the other within days. Plural! We never expected such a run for the website, for ideas, for us and the Buskers thing! Some folks really got annoyed by our revealing. The website was full of question marks, that were replaced with counters, that were replaced with description not everybody fully understood.
Thus we needed to finally tell them who we are and what we want. We rethought fast and unmasked one Busker after the other within an hour. We used a little revealing quiz were people could guess who is the next one by Youtube clips. Interesting that some thought one of the guys is Notch or Terry Cavanagh.
After revealing us there was the next counter of course, followed up by our intentions and an approximate date.
Since then all of our jokers were already played and even bigger magazines like indiegames.com, PC Gamer or RockPaperShotgun had articles about us, we feared to lose attention. Although the flow was less overwhelming, many people stayed active and kept posting. Even the Angry Game Nerd did...something.

One week before everything happened (April 4th) every dev chose five ideas out of nearly 1,500 postings. We really read all of them! And it was not easy, since few of them were ideas we would have come up with by ourselves (I just speak for team Rat King here).
Again we had to do the big revealing thing to let people vote, which of the 25 ideas they liked enough to see them to be done. In the end about 800 people voted for their favourites.
The idea with the most votes was the vampire idea followed by the office roguelike (about 300 votes). Interesting that Tametick's picked idea had the fewest votes (216), but the resulting game was the most as fun rated game (as far as I noticed, we didn't have chosen/voted “winner” game of our jam).
I'm also very happy that we got all the owners of the chose ideas were named on the website. This really brought things together. (Only one of them was angry about not having implemented the idea himself in hindsight.)

mockup complete

And then the jam finally happened

All of us were extremely excited. I couldn't think of anything but the jam. We designed a new overwhelming website (overwhelmed by icons, but I think again it fitted us more than a stylish fancy web design).
Since the week before start we also had an IRC channel (#indiebuskers on QuakeNet) we opened for all the interested people. The run was cool, we had to answer so many questions and could catch up some of the missing issues. There should also be livestreaming, WIP screenshots, pre-versions in a bundle and of course the hat money counter. Everyone of us did (or let do) sketches / mockups of the five chosen game concepts, so people could imagine where the journey should go.
Since the website was up, folks started to donate for us. There were no bundles yet - nevertheless we broke the $1,000 right before the jam begun. The Buskers' Twitter account was nearly neglected from this point, but we all met in chat, tweeted via our own channels and you even could watch all the Busker streams at once on one page (you can still re-watch them).
From this point everything was about progress: we tried to raise our progress bars displayed on the site, implement as much us possible and do new screenshots from time to time.

game jam complete

Vampire: The Shadow Project Masquerade aka THE SUN IS DEADLY

To go a bit more in detail about our project, the theme we absolutely hoped for did it:
"It might be cool to have a game where you control objects to block sunlight to create a path of darkness - so that a vampire can get to their intended victim." (by @EgoAnt)

How much we love Thief! It's one of the games that deeply influenced us in setting, gamedesign and storytelling. We never dared to do a full-length stealth game, but this jam was the chance to do it! Plus there was this new element of building your own dynamic shadows with crates and other objects! Yeah!
Our planning for this game was a bit quirky. We were very self-confident, because we are two experienced designers, especially in game jams.
So why not do three characters - a guard, female and male citizens (with exchangeable heads)? Plus a whole awesome city built from a construction set with exchangeable windows, doors and levels. Of course a game like this needs sounds, to give a proper feedback. And music. And feedback, particle effects, etc.

How super-optimistic and stupid we were! In the end we got a game where you had to find the one and only holy virgin to trick her to the cemetery with a jewel case. You need to walk in the shadows, because it is bright daytime and, you know, "The Sun Is Deadly". On your way there are more victims to satisfy your hunger with. But they will also alarm the guards who protect the city of women (due to the fact that I hadn't have enough time to prepare the male character with the exchangeable heads).
When the imaginary clock was ringing (i.e. the jam ended), the game was super-hard, had no sounds, the tutorial was full of punishment instead of one reward after the other.
The shadow thing - we did a Plan B if it won't work at all - performed very well from the beginning. The tricky thing about Thief though weren't the shadows (who could have guessed!?), but the enemies in combination with physics.

BUT! We did it! This jam was an emotional roller coaster. Although this is the first jam rule we tell everyone, we planned too much for the game. The idea was extremely complicated from the beginning. Sometimes I wished for the pigeon RPG idea, where you just fly and shit around!
Sometimes I wonder if fast and fun games only are appropriate for game jams. But we are always very ambitious, so don't bend yourself too much, a jam should be particularly fun for you! This was something we needed to tell ourselves sometimes, because “The Sun Is Deadly” was so damn hard. And fun if you just accept certain rules! Game jams, tricky but hilarious fun things!

sun is deadly


We did the first livestream while working under time pressure. And also the fact that there are people watching us struggling for their enjoyment or to learn something was very amusing and motivating (and a little bit frightening). The possibility to get instant feedback is priceless, too.
We are very thankful for all the people around that were so interested in the Indie Buskers! Until today we raised about $4500, which is especially amazing to the fact that many people gave more than just $1. The highest donation is by Michael Todd with $250 bucks. The average donation was about $10, although now decreasing to $8, because the buskers effect is just amazing while they do a live performance. Nonetheless, I think we also gained many fans (notably other game developers), that just wanted to support fellow indies. Thanks, you wonderful people! The Rat King and the other Buskers had an awesome time – our gratitude to you!


Until the end of the month (April 2012) you can still support the Buskers and get the games! Just visit indiebuskers.net !!!

Indie Distribution Platforms that are not Steam

(The original posting is in German, on Indie-Inside.)

Foreword - Sale Week

Last week (March 10th to 18th) the annual 7-Day-Roguelike Challenge took place – the event for which Pitman was developed last year. That's why our yellow dwarf celebrated his birthday that week, and because the 7DRL Challenge always gets some attention, we decided to link it together to a sale.

Our roguelike is available at four PC distribution platforms: Indievania, IndieCity, LittleIndie and Desura (+ the AppStore). So we reduced the price to $0.95 / €0.79 every day at one or two sites for three days each. We also offered a few goodies or articles on our website daily.

In retrospect this sale was not only a good marketing campaign, but also very helpful to find out about the strengths and weaknesses of our four platforms.

Of course it would have been great to have self-distribution on our own website additionally (as it was indeed the place we referenced most times in our sale), but unfortunately this is planned for our web relaunch in the near future and wasn't available yet.

Indie Distribution

The four platforms are characterized mainly by low barriers for an entry; i.e. you send in a game, it gets checked and reviewed, and often it goes straight to the market with no major problems (except for Desura, where we had minor troubles with the file upload).

So if the splendid Steam Store is denied to you or you like to put smaller titles (e.g. jam games) outside of your own website or offer your product indie-compatible – you hit the right spot here.

Of course, Steam is the largest provider and has the advantage of a high number of users. However, most indie platforms – like many indie developers as well – often only have other developers or the not-so-big indie scene as players and multiplicators. Platform owners often expect that the developers bring the players (aka buyers) already with them and thereby keep the cash flowing. Thus, the scene just fertilizes itself and the few larger indie platforms remain hidden from the "normal" players.

Desura might be known by linking up with the Indie Royale bundles, since you can load their games with Desura keys. But for most games Steam keys are also available ...

In the future it would be nice other platforms having a chance next to Steam, as in my eyes monopolies are never positive. While Steam guarantees a high quality, the reviewing process is too opaque for many developers. Desura or IndieCity for example also allow the presentation of a different kind of games that would get (even) less attention.

Okay, enough about my plea to not only promote Steam, but to aim for at least another platform. However, you have to be aware that the effort you put into marketing for a platform does not always bring about the expected profit.

I was wondering what is used by other developers and what platforms do not work (anymore)?

E.g. Play Greenhouse by Penny Arcade has folded, unfortunately: "Apologies for the inconvenience, but Greenhouse is temporarily offline for some ... upgrades. We'll be back soon! " – the last Twitter entry is from 2010.

Indie distribution compared

Little Indie

little indie screen

- since August 2011
- 13 games + 3 new releases soon
- wide price range and very different genres
- DRM or DRM-free / client
- Little Indie highly values achievements
- Cloud-functions, matchmaking, multiplayer, lobbying (direct server selection) are planned
- regular news on Facebook and Twitter about new features on the client and current titles and sales
- bank transfer, Paypal

- from the review of the game until the start: a few days
- contract
- upload via SVN / SSH
- demo on the platform
- sales and updates are set by operator
- revenue share is negotiable
- payout: quarterly from € 20


- close contact with the operator, responds quickly
- you don't go down in the masses of games yet
- individual compilation, bundles, Alpha Funding, Keys
- Forums, blogs are available
- Support Center (client-> developers) for bugs / problems


- very low popularity
- the project, images, demos, page texts can not be adjusted by oneself via an interface
- Windows-only
- only rudimentary backend for developers (sales / hits)

little indie backend

Indie City

indie city screen

- in planning since 2010, started publicly since 2011
- >140 Games
- most expensive game: Cardinal Quest € 10.00
- very different, small, cheap games
- DRM / client
- regular news on Facebook and Twitter about new features on the client and current titles and sales (a Twitter account for players and developers each)

- there is no payout yet (tax law issues are being resolved)
- revenue share: 25% to platform (currently); with integration of achievements / leaderboard system only 15%


- adaptive recommendation system in the client
- very good support, chat (IRC) and forums
- edit everything through the backend: project settings, updates, pricing, etc.
- do occasional promotions for developers (marketing week, pimp-up-your-media week)
- Tweeting and blogging very often
- relatively simple upload system: upload one EXE file together with game data in a ZIP, gets automatically wrapped into an installer
- Demo upload possible


- many features are still in beta or not available at all (but marked with some yellow post-its)
- low popularity
- Windows-only
- payment via Credit Card only
- Annoying limitation of size (and number) of the images when setting up the project
- very simple statistics, no breakdown

indie city backend


indievania screen

- since 2011
- >250 Games
- extremely diverse genres, quality and prices
- DRM-free / direct download
- regular news on Facebook and Twitter about current titles and sales
- payment via PayPal

- authorization of the game: only a few days
- upload through Amazon S3, no restriction on upload format
- money is transferred immediately after purchasing to the developer (no platform costs)
- responded late to the announcement of the sales, but then we were listed in“featured” and “specials”


- download games without client
- Very good back-end, relatively detailed statistics
- customers may pay more; pledge, pay-what-you-want
- bundles, keys
- sale section for special sales in the backend + Twitter announcement (at least in the case of Pitman)
- Windows / Mac / Linux / Android / PSP / keys for Steam


- relatively low level of publicity (during our sales week we got some more buyers, though)
- Paypal costs way too much for cheap games, when the micropayment option isn't used / cannot be used
- no demo upload to the platform


desura screen

- since 2009
- from very cheap to expensive higher-quality games
- DRM / client
- regular news on Facebook and Twitter on current titles and sales
- Paypal, Visa, MasterCard

- transfer from €500 (minus fees)
- platform fee: 30%
- sales must be requested


- substantial increased sales opportunities by IndieDB connection
- biggest indie sales platform (after Steam)
- very good connection to the devlog system IndieDB and modding counterpart ModDB
- linked to Indie Royale
- Alpha funding possible, in own category
- Demo can be uploaded
- Windows / Mac (limited) / Linux
- very detailed backend, with very good statistics
- referrer bonus as soon as buyers come from your own website


- 30% share / payout with minimum of €500 is a hurdle for smaller games
- relatively complicated upload system for Mac and Windows: Windows / Mac / demo must be uploaded in two versions (I.e. 6 different files that need to be uploaded when doing an update of the game); purchase link in the demo must lead to Desura

desura backend

Little Indie – About being indie and distribution administrator

(The original interview is in German.)

Andreas Podgurski is not only indie developer, but also administrator of the distribution platform Little Indie. I discussed with him about his platform, the German indie scene and how indies are recognized.

Jana Reinhardt: In 2010 you presented Jade:DS on the German amateur game developer meeting - the Devmania. And 2011 you showed up Little Indie together with Andreas Heldt. Tell me how it came that you have launched the first German indie distribution platform.

Andreas Podgurski: Well, LI and Jade:DS are basically the same, with Jade:DS being the general technical foundation. Together with the distribution cloud services this includes a complete CMS. Due to this, in the middle of last year Z-Software approached me in order to build an indie portal based on Jade:DS. Unfortunately, Z-Software had to withdraw from the project, because they needed their resources for a larger assignment project. We agreed that I would continue Little Indie on my own responsibility. Of course, this went hand in hand with a few conceptual changes, so we were able to resume normal operation by Christmas and since then have brought nearly a dozen new games to the platform.

Jana: How exactly does it work to get new games to the platform? Do the developers approach you or are you looking for developers?

Andreas: Both. I continuously comb through the net in search of promising projects and pursue active acquisition this way. But Little Indie became well known enough so that requests drop in regularly. In the end both balance each other at the releases.
The process itself depends strongly on what functionality the developer wants to use. Simple, DRM-free games are just sent to me, together with some screenshots and additional information, and then converted into the required form by me.
However, if the developer wants to use the cloud and/or DRM capabilities, he would get access to our SDK and create a customized version. Here the developer usually creates the package themselves, where we support very closely and take over if necessary and – if needed – do parts of the work.

Jana: And what's next for you? What are your goals? What should the general orientation of the platform look like, and how should it set itself apart from the "competition"?

Andreas: Right now our catalogue of games is growing fairly well, so I'm very satisfied. Unfortunately, very few took advantage of the possibilities of the platform, which I hope to be able to change a bit. At the moment we support a few titles which for some parts are exclusively developed for Jade:DS and later will be marketed and sold on Little Indie.
Nevertheless Little Indie also offers some unique features, like a support system where developers can directly help their customers. Our voucher system combined with some marketing actions already served us well and we will gradually unlock more features. The focus for this year lies on the customer-to-customer communication, e.g. by providing a built-in chat functionality in the client, and more generally multi-player capabilities.
Products can also be presented much more individually than on most other platforms. We can unlock additional content not only on the purchase, but also couple it to the game progress. Ultimately, it is possible to analyse the content of entire cloud storage on the product pages.

Jana: Okay, these are primarily technical details. Will the platform be aligned to a certain kind of games? Or should they have a specific price range, a limit?

Andreas: The focus is, at least in terms of our own productions, clearly on the multiplayer experience. With our platform we are able to link the players very closely together, and what would be more obvious than to use that in the games? Otherwise we are very open, because all features are strictly optional.
In the price range we are not set, with prices between 2 to 20 EUR we already have a wide spectrum. Basically I'd like to see something again in the scope of higher prices, because due to the decline of prices on mobile platforms the appreciation for games decreased significantly.

Jana: That's more often than not a problem indie games have. I frequently hear phrases like "Great game, but I would like it more if it were free." Or that indie games in general should always be available for cheap prices. You would not be a friend of bundles then, would you?

Andreas: At least I see this very critical. One can not deny that the Humble Indie Bundle for everyone involved is a success and due to the high sales quantity it provides high sales figures for the developers. That's usually the case when someone introduces an innovative market process to the world. The success has also brought many imitators on the scene and they unfortunately primarily only break prices. The sales numbers are so small in contrast that the involved developers can rarely be happy with them.
I think that a price range of 6.50 to 25 EUR for indie games actually would be appropriate. Especially because with the limited marketing resources of a indie team you can achieve a finite number of customers only. With the small price expected nowadays you'd have to generate a multiple amount of attention. Only few are able to do that.

Jana: At the moment you alone decide which games get on Little Indie. What criteria do you have and what is important to you regarding the games on LI, or what would you prefer if you had the full repertory at your hands?

Andreas: The primary criterion is some kind of originality. Of course, the perfection of the game's technical level is important but I think this is clear by itself. Even Jade:DS and Little Indie themselves are independent projects, which means we have no external financier or established media partners. Therefore, I am also happy when small and original titles, which may not necessarily appear lucrative, come to the platform.
I personally would like to have more games that are using the advanced features of Jade:DS, particular achievements, rankings, or the cloud storage. Also, I'd sometimes wish that the developers would be more responsive to the needs of the players.

Jana: What are these needs exactly? And why are achievements and rankings so important to you?

Andreas: Well, many developers, especially the lone fighters, first of all want to do their thing. This is something I respect very much, but on a regular basis you can see its negative impact on sales. This relates to playability and accessibility, but also the production value as such.

I consider achievements and rankings to be important for several reasons. First, they create an additional motivation level in addition to the core gameplay. This increases the positive gaming experience and the likelihood that people are talking about the game. Furthermore achievements make the game's possibilities more transparent. Finally both connect the players and thus contribute to the creation of a community.
Especially the indie scene praises itself – often rightly – for bringing original game themes to the test. I wish the essence of the issue, especially the gameplay, would get a little variation. In addition to direct play through I would like to see challenges and modified mechanisms. Especially on consoles you will find such things very often. I can get more familiar to the idea of the game and keep at it, especially when I'm stuck at the main campaign of the game.
Many developers react very negatively because they fear the extra effort. But to be honest, what can be produced cheaper than using existing assets and tools in order to build short, self-contained variations of the already existing content? This can be achieved with relatively little effort.

In the indie sector necessary polishing is missing very often unfortunately. Among developers and fans this might be tolerated, but in order to reach broader consumer groups polishing is a must!

Jana: Again, regarding achievements. It's true! For us, this is actually not about the effort, but about the fact that achievements are forced upon many games in my opinion, and present no additional value to the core game.
Is this the reason why you as a developer were eager to develop a platform that supports such features, as opposed to making a game?

Andreas: Achievements must be implemented carefully too; there is sometimes uninspired tinkering with them even in large projects. While you're at achievements, do it correct and appropriate.
I must confess that I've actually seen achievements as a matter of course when I planned Jade: DS in this direction. However, the project rather was done due the fact that we were keen to develop an adventure series in episodic format. Over time, the platform has spun off at some time and then pushed the game project aside. But we are now working on a new game again, but it will be a reference for many also new features in the system.

Jana: When I wrote my thesis in 2010 about indie games and the German scene, my prevalent impression of the scene was: "We wanted to make a game, but an engine came out at the end." For a long time all I saw were many amazing engines and Gothic clones. What's your view on this?

Andreas: That's certainly a common effect, but I would not see that as the concept of the indie scene. It has always been like this, and usually the reason is that the developers are more technically oriented and underestimate the creative and organizational complexity of a game project. You have to decide whether you want to develop an engine or a game. Both are rarely possible. This also happened to us: At some point we had to decide whether we want to work on adventure games or an online distribution platform.
I also believe you must clearly distinguish between amateur teams and real indie developers in this case.

Jana: And what exactly is the difference to you? What makes an indie? What is typically "indie"?

Andreas: Independent in the first place means that projects do not require external financing and foreign regulation. The size of the team or the project is irrelevant, because George Lucas is an independent film maker, too.
Typical indie means to me that the issue is approached with a higher readiness to assume risk, because you do not need to answer to a third party content-wise. You carry the risk yourself and are therefore fully responsible for the result.
Unfortunately, it is often forgotten that the game is nevertheless still made for the player and not for the developer. You observe that about many indie titles and it astonishes that exactly these developers complain about the lack of sales at the end of the day.

Jana: Okay, that's probably the impression many folks have of "indie": Small, crappy games which sometimes are "artsy fartsy" in some ways. Therefore, several developers don't want to be called "indie" because they strive for a strong professionalism.
Why did you eventually decide for an indie platform, whose name even is "Little Indie"?

Andreas: Little Indie was launched by Z-Software, and originally they were a pure service costumer for me. I therefore had no influence on the naming choice. While I was involved in the discussion, there were other name suggestions I also liked. In the end it became Little Indie and I have gladly continued this brand after the departure of Z-Software.
Jade:DS as our core product goes far beyond Little Indie and was also designed to provide an independent home for individual titles. It would be possible to have other portal providers on the platform, e.g. publishers.
As I said before, I define "indie" as "independent teams" only, so that does not imply lack of quality by any means.
Indie is also a necessity for us, because negotiations with publishers are expensive and time consuming. We can negotiate on equal terms with indie developers and work together as partners.

Jana: What is special about the German scene, what do you think it excels in?

Andreas: Speaking of the pure indie scene, it mainly is pretty small and people are sometimes reluctant to identify themselves with it. Germans generally are more risk averse and therefore many see the existence of their indie team only as an entry into the job-based development for publishers.
But I believe many indies are not aware of what they would give up with this step. It also seems that the expectations of German teams are often very ambitious – foreign teams estimate the potential of their titles much more realistic.

Jana: Your platform actually is a good step forward for the scene. What should be done to make "indie" more attractive in Germany and to promote the scene?

Andreas: I think the teams should be more willing to cooperate. It's hard for one team alone to get on the players' radar.
The exchange of resources on a give-and-take basis would benefit much, too. You really have to get away from always having your sights set above – the relevant things usually happen on your left and right.
Of course targeting a public funding also can't hurt, but as long as projects are promoted regardless of their sales opportunities and as long it seems to be more important to sound good in a politicians laudation, this probably will remain illusionary.

Jana: That's the view of the platform administrator, but you're an indie, too. How is your work received? How seriously do people take you in the business? How easy or difficult is marketing for example?

Andreas: The platform is generally perceived with a mixture of scepticism and interest, but I'm used to this. In 2001, I held a lecture in front of the entire industry in Frankfurt, where I outlined a game service provider, i.e. online selling combined with value-added services. At that time I was belittled. Today most people know that online marketing is the future, but as a small supplier we naturally don't have it easy to generate the necessary attention.
However, the largest reservations generally are regarding the PC as a platform.

Pitman Sale

Jana: Thanks for your insights!