What is an "indie gamer"? What groups label themselves as "independent"? Here is a short list.
- "People who make games regardless of money instead of for money"
The brave, the few, the insane. These heroic individuals have the game idea, design it, program it, and possibly even make the art and music, all on their lonesome. Games by solo developers are usually free or donationware, although a few examples of fully commercial software exist.
Small Developer Houses Edit
A small dev house that is not affiliated or sponsored by one of the big cats may call itself independent. These companies have anywhere from three to a dozen employees, a budget slightly above pocket change but slightly below a new car, and some email addresses for the guys at Steam or XBLA.
Proto-Developers (The Digipen Method)Edit
The first shot at gamedev of many students is their graduation work. Digipen encourages all students to develop complete games, which are lurved by the GDC and Valve circles.
These developers are the loosest definition of indie. They make big-name games with large studios, but they are not beholden to any single publisher. In short, they are independent, but not necessarily indie. They must not publish other people's games, but they can (and do) publish their own.
Zynga is not indie.