Indie developers offer advice to AAA studios

super meat boy

Gamasutra recently posed an interesting question to some high-profile indie developers – what can the big AAA studios learn from indie developers? These were some of the more interesting responses.

Randy Smith, developer of Waking Mars, believes that it’s important to recognise that innovation is possible with a much smaller team.

“It’d be nice to say they realize you can do amazing and innovative things with fewer people, but the truth is the larger triple-A studios are staffing up to 500 people on a big project, which is mind-blowing.

“It just seems like the two worlds don’t overlap much yet — triple-A just keeps evolving toward bigger and fancier, whereas indies are discovering and remembering how games can be high quality without a mountain of polygons and shaders.”

The Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy designer Edmund McMillen believes that large studios can never really “be” indie – and they only hurt themselves by trying.

“A lot of large game publishers try to figure out what indies are doing right and come to all the wrong conclusions. It’s not something you can replicate in a very large studio because what indies have over large teams is just that, they aren’t large teams, they don’t have huge budgets that require great success to continue, they have the freedom to take big risks and speak honestly through their work, they have the freedom to experiment and improvise. “

Nathan Vella, creator of Super Time Force says that AAA studios should use indie success as a reason to be more experimental within their games.

“I think developers everywhere see the growth of the independent games movement as validation of experimentation. This is something that everyone can learn from, and some large developers have already started leveraging. Bethesda’s “Skyrim Jam” is a perfect example of large-scale devs applying this in a super positive way and seeing ridiculously positive results.”

What do you think indies have that AAA doesn’t? What lessons could the big studios learn? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Source: Gamasutra

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  • guest

    Little $hits should just keep their mouths shut, dumb asses come here with their little platformers from 1999 and think they own the place? Can’t stand these little turds

  • Neji

    I agree with the “little guys”… large studios over populate a project and in the end just set themselves up for failure.

    The “little guys” do not have large budgets to play with but instead have small teams who are dedicated to wanting to make things and who are not afraid to take risk. If they fail on a particular title well guess what… they’ll try again. Large studios on the other hand, if they fail with a title… oh there is bitching and crying and layoffs and investors who demand blood.

    I half suspect that its investors in studios who in the end of the day, are the studio’s own worse enemy. A small studio has many successes and that attracts the “money”. The money then comes in suddenly the small studio has the financial resources to expand. But then after one or two title failures the “money” gets prissy and makes demands. So then the “small studio” starts to focus only the successful titles.

    And that is where innovation dies.

  • Neji

    dafuq?!?!? And you are person who polishes his little Bobby Kotick statue late at night in bed?!?!?

  • Jaid Orfali

    The “Big” studios are money hungry and greedy (origin, etc) they no longer make games for enjoyment but to make the most money. It’s all about mind sets, the “little guys” do it for the people!!! :p