Indie developers offer advice to AAA studios

What can the big wigs learn from the little guys?

December 30, 2012
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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Tags: aaa games, bethesda, casual games, Edmund McMillen, headline, indie games, nathan vella, randy smith, Skyrim, Super Meat Boy, super time force, The Binding of Isaac, waking mars

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