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Indie developers respond to Google Stadia



Is Stadia really there for everyone?

It was no surprise that Google announced Stadia, its game streaming platform. There were rumors that the Internet giant had come into the console war. These rumors were enough to bring the biggest names in the gambling industry to Google's early event at GDC.

The entire presentation room was a vision in white. A sophisticated, atmospherically lit room with cheerful pop music to give the audience energy. On the big screen dark smoke figures were faded in and out. Some were abstract, images that looked like they were treads or ladders. but others were strikingly clear. Like the smoky ball of a figure leading an arrow to the knee, and many in the crowd asking if Skyrim was trying to get to another console. The display was beautiful, but I could not help but notice that the whole congregation was staring at a literal smoke screen, an idea that became clear when you looked at the presentation.

Google's representatives talked about all of Stadia's amazing features and presented numerous details to partners on stage from Ubisoft to Tequila Works, creator of the adventure game Rime . Each of the speakers had a different theme, but regardless of whether it was technology, creator tools, or the audience's commitment, there was one crucial point for each speaker: this should be a gaming platform for everyone!

But is it really true?

I've asked some indie developers what this announcement and a possible future for their small studios might mean, and they talked about what Google did not do in their presentation.

At What [?]

Founded by Tyler Sigman and Chris Bourassa, Red Hook Studios has recently grown to a staggering 13 employees. It's a fact that many indie developers are doing the daunting task of creating games with extremely small employees, and any financial changes are affecting their teams.

"I do not understand the economy," explains Sigman, "if it's you you pay $ 10 a month to get the games you want, and whoever executes the service wins the contract at the end of the day Then spend a few dollars a month to distribute them to the developers. "

Remember, the $ 10 he's talking about is actually just a stand-in number, no one but Google and their high-ranking confidants Knowing how Stadia is being monetized It was one of the most obvious omissions of the announcement presentation, and that omission made the Indie developers I talked about about their future uncertain.

"I see a dystopian scenario," added Bourassa, where the focus is on the subscription model The ability of games is limited by being able to break through.Why should I buy this cool little $ 10 indie game because I already have $ 10 a month a

Does the technology work?

I was made by the finalists of the IGF Awards on the Expo floor and spoke to Ingvi Snædel, Associate Producer of ThroughLine Games, the studio that made Forgotten Anne . My first ten minutes with Snædel was that he was patiently trying to help me say his name correctly, and I'm afraid I never really understood. Nevertheless, he graciously refused to watch people enjoying his work long enough to share his opinion of the stadia.

Snædel explained that he had some concerns, but his concern was with players and not with developers like him. He said he came from a rural area, and if all-streaming was the future, he feared that people like him would be left behind or short-cut when it came to things like multiplayer. Bertil Hörberg, known for Gunman Clive and the upcoming Mechstermination Force stated, "I'm not sure what the entry delay is. My games have been calling for an immediate reaction so that it would be difficult [if there is lag].

Unlimited Limit

Everyone I spoke to had mixed feelings and knew that they had little to do except their own speculations. "Interestingly, things like Netflix have produced great new content," says Sigman. "Who knows?" But he and Bourassa were worried about how the subscription model could kill some innovative titles.

"If [payment is based on] time were spent in the game, it would be great for a game like ours where you could play 100 hours," Sigman reflected before Bourassa said, "But then games like Firewatch A Four-Hour Campaign That's Not Fair To Them I'm worried about the business models that homogenize the types of games that are being made, because it's just this wonderful thing right now. Wandering song here and you Stardew Valley . "

Speaking of Wandering Song I talked to the developer of the game, Greg Lobanov, who was one of the IGF's finalists over that, what Stadia could mean for his gameplay: As he rose to his level, it was easy to see that Wandersong and its creator are unique, even among the already singular IGF nominated Mensc henmenge. He had placed a piece of rainbow fabric under his screen, which was clearly surrounded by the yellow sea.

When he talked about Stadia and what an all-encompassing future would mean for him, Lobanov told me he was "frankly" concerned. "He agreed with the Darkest Dungeon developers that wandering song probably would not exist in a world monetized by stream views.Lobanov noted that it seemed like Google sold stadia to streamer and video Content creators Similar to developers and, if compensated for stream capability, Walking Song is not a game that is funded – even the most passionate fans of the game only play about ten hours to complete it Length of a game becomes a selling point, said Lobanov, that he would have to turn to reach that market.Next next door, the IGF-nominated Indie (19459013) Niota was Arvi Teikari, co-founder of Nolla Games, also worried that Streaming less commercial indies would disadvantage.

[19659003 Waiting Game

The most common answer I v on the indie developers was that we do not know enough right now. Lobanov confided to me that care and concern marked his personal conversations with other indie developers about streaming and the future. And while these feelings arose in my discussions, this was also a cautious optimism. Teikari simply said, "If [streaming] is the way forward, then this is the way forward," a view shared by Snædel. He argued that as the creator of single-player experiences, overall, he would not fear much and fight back to find his place in a streaming world.

Perhaps the duo Darkest Dungeon most impressively stated the range of emotions: "We see all these machinations and it's quite scary to try to say what it's like Sigman said," Maybe to get some positive things out. " When the world turns half way through the development of Darkest Dungeon we will try to swing with it. At the end of the day, no matter what happens on the market, it depends on whether your game is good or not. "

Bourassa noted very pragmatically:" Not really being able to influence what Google is doing, they have not asked me for advice in a long time, I think we need to focus on making a great game. If we do not even have that, and we spend all our time worrying about what's going to change in five years, we stop making a good game and trying to make the right game. I do not want to play the right game, I want to make a good game. "

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