Why did 2011 also feel like such a success? (or the year of the small game)
You didn’t really think I was going to leave it on such a sour note did you? Yes, 2011 was full of disappointments, even disasters, yet there were also many, many successes. I mentioned how sequels and threequels were the only amazing games of 2011, but that wasn’t entirely true. The year was just bereft of good, original AAA titles, the kind of games that in the past I’ve looked to for innovation. To say 2011 was possibly the best year in gaming would be foolhardy (um, hello, 2007 would like to have a word with you), but anyone would be correct in saying that 2011 was a major success for small games, especially for the indie game world.
Smaller studios such as Double Fine and Twisted Pixel put out games that were both original and innovative – Stacking, Trenched (now know as Iron Brigade) and The Gunstringer, as well as a follow-up to one of my favorites – Ms. Splosion’ Man. Eric Chahi also made a triumphant return to innovative gaming with From Dust, a mash-up of new physics engines, otherworldly landscapes and classic god-games that have since been forgotten.
But the biggest success of all must have been the rise of the indie game world. One that has been slowly building itself for the last few years, its undeniable now that this is the French New Wave of the gaming world. Sure there were many hits that I’ve shared – Terraria, Dungeons of Dredmor, Atom Zombie Smasher, but I think one only really needs to point to Minecraft to show what the indie world can do. Minecraft even had its own Las Vegas convention, so its hard to deny just how large this has become. If one man in a funny hat can do it, then so can anyone else.
All in all, 2011 was a mixed year at best, but the triumphs and downfalls are what make the gaming industry so interesting for me to follow (its why I started this whole blog thing after all!). I hope 2012 turns out to be just as fun to watch. Happy New Year everybody!