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i really hate indie culture so much

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RisingThumb

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Guys selling out is when you compromise your creative vision in exchange for money. Literally selling your soul. Signing to a publisher and making it an exclusive is not selling out if the vision stays in tact. Lots of general braindead resentiment in this thread.
Nah, that's called being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur has to straddle a balance between creative vision, and financial viability. Selling out is when you become creatively bankrupt and do everything, even unethical things(or at least what's commonly considered unethical) to get money.

You sell your shadow for an infinite coin purse like poor old Peter Schlemihl...
 
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containercore

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Nah, that's called being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur has to straddle a balance between creative vision, and financial viability. Selling out is when you become creatively bankrupt and do everything, even unethical things(or at least what's commonly considered unethical) to get money.

You sell your shadow for an infinite coin purse like poor old Peter Schlemihl...
Naturally releasing a product that has to compete in the market place involves compromising with the realm of commerce, but the artist's own principles determine on which grounds this will take place. A famous example of selling out is when Modest Mouse licensed a song for a minivan commercial in the 2000s.

It wasn't *unethical*, in the sense that anyone came to harm from it, BUT from a fan's perspective it can be argued that something was in fact damaged. A song which once existed as communication, or more personally, intimate conversation, between artist and listener ceased being a personal exchange of experience and emotion, and revealed itself to be about how minivans are cool actually and you should go out and buy one. From the fan perspective "our" thing, what "we" had, the unspoken deal in which I provide you my money and you provide me the creative expression by which our souls may vibrate in sympathy, was compromised in order that Nissan might sell more minivans that year.

From the band perspective, they maintain it allowed them to stay operational and keep releasing music. Entrepreneurship one might say. I can think of another band who signed to a major label but never licensed their music to sell you a product (as their lyrics will remind you), but of course the circumstances around their success allowed them to readily take that principled stance and not everyone will have that opportunity.

It's going to be very individual where one draws the line regarding selling out, but it doesn't happen only at the most extreme end of the ethical sliding scale. The argument to be made is whether the purpose, intent and essence of the thing itself was violated in the process of selling it. How much were you willing to compromise?
 
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Naturally releasing a product that has to compete in the market place involves compromising with the realm of commerce, but the artist's own principles determine on which grounds this will take place. A famous example of selling out is when Modest Mouse licensed a song for a minivan commercial in the 2000s.

It wasn't *unethical*, in the sense that anyone came to harm from it, BUT from a fan's perspective it can be argued that something was in fact damaged. A song which once existed as communication, or more personally, intimate conversation, between artist and listener ceased being a personal exchange of experience and emotion, and revealed itself to be about how minivans are cool actually and
detect-transient = false
detect-client-leader = false
you should go out and buy one. From the fan perspective "our" thing, what "we" had, the unspoken deal in which I provide you my money and you provide me the creative expression by which our souls may vibrate in sympathy, was compromised in order that Nissan might sell more minivans that year.

From the band perspective, they maintain it allowed them to stay operational and keep releasing music. Entrepreneurship one might say. I can think of another band who signed to a major label but never licensed their music to sell you a product (as their lyrics will remind you), but of course the circumstances around their success allowed them to readily take that principled stance and not everyone will have that opportunity.

It's going to be very individual where one draws the line regarding selling out, but it doesn't happen only at the most extreme end of the ethical sliding scale. The argument to be made is whether the purpose, intent and essence of the thing itself was violated in the process of selling it. How much were you willing to compromise?
A gamedev selling a product they made to make profit isn't a compromise at all.
 
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InsufferableCynic

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Signing to a publisher and making it an exclusive is not selling out if the vision stays in tact.

Wrong.

By signing an exclusivity deal, developers are essentially forcing their consumers to use their product on their terms, jumping through hoops they have deliberately set up in exchange for money, which is to the benefit of the platform owner and to the detriment of the consumer. I will not give money to anyone who does that, because they have clearly sold me out for profit. I will now have a worse experience playing their game because they wanted a payout. To me, that's textbook selling out and the overall vision has absolutely been compromised.

Signing to a publisher isn't a problem, depending on the publisher. Many publishers want a cut of the profits but don't want to compromise the integrity of the game. Others do. Signing an exclusivity deal for a platform (like Xbox or the Epic Store) is VERY different to signing a deal with a publisher, please don't conflate the two.
 
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Wrong.

By signing an exclusivity deal, developers are essentially forcing their consumers to use their product on their terms, jumping through hoops they have deliberately set up in exchange for money, which is to the benefit of the platform owner and to the detriment of the consumer. I will not give money to anyone who does that, because they have clearly sold me out for profit. I will now have a worse experience playing their game because they wanted a payout. To me, that's textbook selling out and the overall vision has absolutely been compromised.

Signing to a publisher isn't a problem, depending on the publisher. Many publishers want a cut of the profits but don't want to compromise the integrity of the game. Others do. Signing an exclusivity deal for a platform (like Xbox or the Epic Store) is VERY different to signing a deal with a publisher, please don't conflate the two.
Soo you believe small developers should not make money? How are they gonna, you know, pay for their food and electricity? Because they aren't gonna get paid for shit if they don't have a market to sell and advertise.
Do you want gamedev to be a elite sector where only people that have millions already stacked somewhere can get into?
 
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InsufferableCynic

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Soo you believe small developers should not make money? How are they gonna, you know, pay for their food and electricity? Because they aren't gonna get paid for shit if they don't have a market to sell and advertise.

It's easy to win an argument when your opponent is made of straw!

At no point have I said developers shouldn't make money. I literally said it was okay for developers to take publisher deals; I suggest you actually read my post before replying next time. I only said they shouldn't take deals that enforce platform exclusivity, because it's bad for everyone except the platform holder. They are free to sell on as many storefronts as they want but it's in their best interests and the best interests of their players that their game is available on as many storefronts as possible, and having a company swoop in and subvert that on the promise of money upfront is an extremely dishonest and consumer unfriendly deal, and I don't believe developers who take it deserve to make money, the same way sleazy used car salesmen don't deserve to make money. Why should I give money to a developer that cares more about making money upfront than they do about making a game that is appealing to their players?

Even if your straw man was a response to my actual argument, it's still wrong. To this day Epic has refused to release statistics on Epic Store sales, but multiple indie devs have complained that going exclusive on Epic, while it gave them an upfront benefit, basically killed their game. The reality is, nobody actually cares about the Epic store. It's a meme. Tying your game to it is awful for developers. They are being sold a false promise of success and given some table scraps to convince them to sacrifice themselves to promote a dead storefront.

This is why people hate Epic Store shills as much as Musk shills and NFT bros. They offer nothing but misinformation and bad argumentation.

Do you want gamedev to be a elite sector where only people that have millions already stacked somewhere can get into?

Let me answer your question with another question. Do you want gamedev to be a sector where indie developers will sell out their own players completely for the sake of making some quick upfront cash? Because EA already does this, and everyone hates them for it. Indies are all we have left, stop trying to ruin the scene.

When a game like Factorio makes their game available on many storefronts (including their own website), constantly provide communication and updates, and generally respect their playerbase, why should I give money to a developer who is willing to go out of their way to inconvenience me? It's simple economics - bad products shouldn't make money. If your game is an Epic Exclusive, it's a bad product by definition, and I won't be buying it. The same is true if it's an Xbox or PlayStation exclusive, as I own neither of those platforms and never want to own either of them because of how locked down and consumer unfriendly they are (and how underperformant for the money, but that's a different discussion). If I have to buy a console to play your game, your game isn't worth playing. Both of the standard engines used for Indie development (Unity and Unreal) have built-in cross-platform support out of the box. In Unity's case it's literally as simple as checking an option in the build settings and bam, your game works on multiple platforms. There is therefore virtually no genuine reasons for platform exclusivity, whether it's a console or a storefront, and I won't support developers who do it on purpose to serve some corporate interest.

People with standards as low as yours are the reason why gaming is in such a mess in the first place. I see no difference between someone willing to shill for consumer-unfriendly practices because "devs need to make MONEY!" and someone who pre-orders broken games based on false promises of "upcoming fixes". This is how we end up with a bunch of people defending Fallout 76 and the industry gets just that little bit worse each year. I hope that you can learn to respect yourself enough to develop standards to protect yourself, because nobody deserves to be manipulated into supporting bad deals that go against their own best interests.

I find it hilarious that you're accusing a professional game developer of not wanting game developers to make money. Making money from games is literally my day job. It would be extremely hypocritical for me to argue that way.
 
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someone who pre-orders broken games based on false promises of "upcoming fixes". This is how we end up with a bunch of people defending Fallout 76 and the industry gets just that little bit worse each year.
I won't ever defend a AAA gamedev corporation,
I only said they shouldn't take deals that enforce platform exclusivity, because it's bad for everyone except the platform holder.
Here is the thing, some games MUST be bad if you want there to be innovation in the industry. For those games, a exclusivity deal is great because after they get a large amount of money upfront(from Epic for example), they can work on another project with more experience and resource.

It's simple economics - bad products shouldn't make money.
Starsector was literally several spacecraft PNG's interacting with a excel sheet, thank god you were wrong and it made some money.
 
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InsufferableCynic

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Bad games resulting in future good games doesn't invalidate their status as bad games.

And no Epic grant has ever been used to work on a future game that then released and was good.
 

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an indie creator will go big
It's pretty simple, but I had a thought about this recently about blowing up out of nowhere. The audience of anything is an aggregation of its community (obviously) so the more fans something has, the average quality of the community drops in turn as children and media consuming mongrels infest a fanbase. It's easy to then dehumanize your audience and fleece them by merchandising and tailoring your content to whichever group is most reactionary and likely to purchase whatever you're selling. Then the only people left to criticize you in your audience are those same children and people who idolize what you make anyways making you unaccountable. The best way to handle that fact is to not allow it to occupy your thoughts and leave those who bother interacting with something you consider reprehensible to their own devices. You're interacting with a dopamine junkie and your criticisms will only be considered from that viewpoint.
 

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Wrong.

By signing an exclusivity deal, developers are essentially forcing their consumers to use their product on their terms, jumping through hoops they have deliberately set up in exchange for money, which is to the benefit of the platform owner and to the detriment of the consumer.
This is a "consumer advocacy" argument that has nothing to do with aesthetic intent. Has anyone ever framed Breath of the Wild as an aesthetic failure because it's a Switch exclusive?
 
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Sidewinder91

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people love comparing it to the soulless big corps who have 1 trillion dollars and have 500000 wagies but i think this is making people blind to how awful indies tend to be.
Indie devs might actually be worse on average.

With a big corporation you've got an HR department that can (theoretically, at least) keep people in check. Indies don't really answer to anyone and some of them get pretty raging egos.

 

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I have no problem with indie culture as long as something is really indie. I don't know anything about indie vs. triple A video games- I argue that video games can never actually be indie because all video games require money and technical knowledge to make, and therefore require third-party investors, which is an intrinsic attribute of the medium dating back to the days of the Atari/Nintendo corporate stranglehold of the early 1980s. As far as indie music, literature, or filmmaking goes, though. I'd say there are a lot of good indie releases these days. Certainly not as many as during the late 20th century, when you saw people really go at it with all sorts of imaginative concepts- but it's certainly there.

This interesting video by Punk Revolution Now explains how the term "indie" was gradually hijacked into the clean, sterilized, Urban Outfitters brand we think of it as today. The term "indie" actually dates back to at least the 20s, and originally it meant something closer to what we now call "DIY," which is more closely associated with punk.



I do find it strange how certain groups like the Tramp Stamps get most of the flack about being "industry plants" when 80% of all popular bands around today are artificial, disingenuous trendhoppers planted by the record labels to keep themselves relevant in a market of waning interest. A good way to tell if someone is an industry plant or not is where they're from. If they're from California or New York, they're an industry plant because their connections helped them get big from the moment they were born. If they're from Denver, Detroit, Ohio, somewhere like that- they're not an industry plant, because they had to work hard to get where they are.

So using this method, someone like Ariel Pink is absolutely an industry plant who brands himself as "indie" to get recognition from a bunch of gullible suckers who keep buying his noisy crap, whereas someone like 80s scream queen Linnea Quigley, who hails from Davenport, Iowa, is absolutely not an industry plant, and clearly had to struggle to get any recognition at all as an actress amid the competitive, cutthroat sleaze of Hollywood (and even then I would argue she never got as much credit as she truly deserved).
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Ross_Я

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all video games require money and technical knowledge to make, and therefore require third-party investors,
Welcome to 2024, where you can actually make a video game alone, with minimal knowledge and with zero money investment.
 
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nsequeira119

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Welcome to 2024, where you can actually make a video game alone, with minimal knowledge and with zero money investment.
Not really. Unlike with writing a novel, where all you need is paper and a pen, or a movie, where all you need is a camera and a memory card, to make a video game you have to filter your artistic output through something like Unreal Engine. That needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through an algorithm, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality.
 
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Ross_Я

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Not really. Unlike with writing a novel, where all you need is paper and a pen, or a movie, where all you need is a camera and a memory card, to make a video game you have to filter your artistic output through something like Unreal Engine. That needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through an algorithm, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality.
How does "that needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through an algorithm, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality" has anything to do with any of the three facts that "you can actually make a video game alone, with minimal knowledge and with zero money investment"?
 
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nsequeira119

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How does "the needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through an algorithm, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality" has anything to do with any of the facts that "you can actually make a video game alone, with minimal knowledge and with zero money investment"?
You really can't make one with minimal knowledge. Not a good one, anyway. Maybe with RPG Maker or something cheap like that, but if you don't have millions of dollars to blow, you're never going to create a video game as graphically polished and expansive as Grand Theft Auto if you're going in with zero budget, because the amount of content in your game is directly tied to server space and other physical constraints. The length and depth of a novel, on the other hand, can be theoretically infinite. You can be completely broke and type out a 1,000,000 word novel on a word processor if you really want. Heck, word processors don't require an Internet connection, so you could write a novel even if you're too poor to afford the Internet. Or you can use a typewriter. Or pens.

Point being, if you play GTA, and you really like it, and you're inspired to make something like it, you can't, because you're limited in your creative expression by monetary constraints or technical expertise- but if you read War and Peace and are inspired to make something like it, you absolutely can, because the only limit to what you can write is your imagination.

This is entirely by design- as I said, it goes back to the days of Atari. Video Games are not a medium of the people, they're a medium created specifically by sheltered trust fund types in Silicon Valley and Californian colleges during the late 1960s who were unrealistically optimistic about the potential of computers in entertainment and wanted to make a shitload of money and patent all their technology so nobody else could use it or reasonably compete in the market. Video Games are probably the most elitist and prohibitive medium of all time, except maybe Windows Operating System Code.

I made a video about gaming's unhealthy trend towards monopolization, using the supposedly "indie" title Disco Elysium as an example:
 
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Ross_Я

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You really can't make one with minimal knowledge. Not a good one, anyway.
I was waiting for you to say that. Papers, Please. Hotline Miami. Not Tonight. And many, many more. All of them are very simple from a technical point of view. Are you going to call every single of those games "not a good one"? Go on, please.

but if you don't have millions of dollars to blow, you're never going to create a video game as graphically polished and expansive as Grand Theft Auto
If you have millions of dollars to blow, you are not talking about indie. Simple as.
There's a reason indie scene loves pixels and retro visuals. And even then there are games as Omno on ocassion. Unreal Engine is free to use after all, just requires more time and technical knowledge since you have to deal with models and animations, rather than pixels and sprites.

This is entirely by design- as I said, it goes back to the days of Atari. Video Games are not a medium of the people, they're a medium created specifically by sheltered trust fund types in Silicon Valley and Californian colleges during the late 1960s
Just because Pong was made by Atari, it doesn't mean the whole industry has been corporative from day one. They've only made one game - rather massive, but only one. A lot of other devs have been in the game-making in the 70's - and solo, indie devs as well. It just required way more technical prowess to make games back then, therefore indie video gaming scene wasn't that big. But then, the whole skill of using a computer required way more technical prowess back then, and the userbase wasn't that big as well - for multiple reasons. As those things progressed - well, so we have a very different scene nowadays, where indie games take quite a big portion of gaming.

Really, you've said yourself that you do not care about video games. Why do you feel the need to invade the scene you know nothing about?

Not really. Unlike with writing a novel, where all you need is paper and a pen, or a movie, where all you need is a camera and a memory card, to make a video game you have to filter your artistic output through something like Unreal Engine. That needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through an algorithm, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality.
Thinking about it, the whole point is laughable. To make music you have to filter your artistic output through something like a guitar! I bet that needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through notes, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality.

I made a video
Have a cookie.
 
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nsequeira119

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I was waiting for you to say that. Papers, Please. Hotline Miami. Not Tonight. And many, many more. All of them are very simple from a technical point of view. Are you going to call every single of those games "not a good one"? Go on, please.


If you have millions of dollars to blow, you are not talking about indie. Simple as.
There's a reason indie scene loves pixels and retro visuals. And even then there are games as Omno on ocassion. Unreal Engine is free to use after all, just requires more time and technical knowledge since you have to deal with models and animations, rather than pixels and sprites.


Just because Pong was made by Atari, it doesn't mean the whole industry has been corporative from day one. They've only made one game - rather massive, but only one. A lot of other devs have been in the game-making in the 70's - and solo, indie devs as well. It just required way more technical prowess to make games back then, therefore indie video gaming scene wasn't that big. But then, the whole skill of using a computer required way more technical prowess back then, and the userbase wasn't that big as well - for multiple reasons. As those things progressed - well, so we have a very different scene nowadays, where indie games take quite a big portion of gaming.

Really, you've said yourself that you do not care about video games. Why do you feel the need to invade the scene you know nothing about?


Thinking about it, the whole point is laughable. To make a video game you have to filter your artistic output through something like guitar! That needless layer of technological involvement, where every idea is needlessly filtered through notes, results in a less authentic expression of human thought, and a fundamental distortion of reality.


Have a cookie.
I couldn't make Papers Please because I don't know how to program anything like Papers, Please. I could, however, write a spy thriller set in a Soviet block-type country which kick's Paper's, Please's lame ass. There's a reason there are thousands upon millions of paperback books out there, and only a few well-known indie games- it's because writing is a more accessible, competitive field with more participants.

I don't like video games mainly because they're prohibitive and have a high barrier to entry, and that's not a problem with books or music. Film is admittedly a little more prohibitive, there's some technique you have to learn to make shots look good and you have to buy a camera- but even then it's nowhere near what video games have going on. Video games were absolutely designed to make money when they started out- and that's a systemic problem which is completely hard-wired into the format. I dunk on video games because the concept of telling your story through a video game when you could tell it via a novel is laughable. The only people who need to make their story a video game instead of a book are people who want to use the flashy graphics as a crutch because they don't have the power to create imagery as vivid as William Gibson or Ray Bradbury or whoever. Video games are a joke which I cannot take seriously.

And don't even get me started on the fact that video games are also a medium visually restricted by whatever year they happen to come out in, progressively becoming less pixelated with every decade and console generation, whereas every other medium is not constrained by the visual capabilities of software and therefore we have novels from 1950 which are as good as novels from 2010 which are as good as novels from 1890 and so on. Any medium that looked like Pong in the 1970s and couldn't already look like GTA from the get-go isn't one I can appreciate.

I don't even particularly mind if video games want to bask in their inherently gaudy, excessive nature. I just don't like when they call themselves "indie" because that's not a thing. "Indie video game" is an oxymoron, like "Healthy McDonalds".
 
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I couldn't make Papers Please because I don't know how to program anything like Papers, Please. I could, however, write a spy thriller set in a Soviet block-type country which kick's Paper's, Please's lame ass. There's a reason there are thousands upon millions of paperback books out there, and only a few well-known indie games- it's because writing is a more accessible, competitive field with more participants.
It still means you have to know how to write, don't you think? You are only winning this one because writing is a skill that is considered absolutely necessary for everyone nowdays.
Even then, it is rather arguable. OK, you can write a spy thriller set in a Soviet block-type country which kick's Paper's, Please's lame ass. Can everyone thought? Doubtful. You do not only have to know how to write, you gotta know what to write. There are techniques in writing too, you know, and some people do actually learn them, just like they could've learn some basic programming and try to make their own game.
Otherwise all you can write is probably trash.

but even then it's nowhere near what video games have going on.
It's near. Once again, it is year 2024 for all that's holy. It is probably harder to learn to use guitar - and definitely harder to learn any instrument that has keys - rather than to learn some basic programming skills. A lot of people on this forum have websites - well, guess what, every single one of them can make a video game. In fact, I know some of them did.

I dunk on video games because the concept of telling your story through a video game when you could tell it via a novel is laughable. The only people who need to make their story a video game instead of a book are people who want to use the flashy graphics as a crutch because they don't have the power to create imagery as vivid as William Gibson or Ray Bradbury or whoever. Video games are a joke which I cannot take seriously.
Entirely subjective take. Thank you very much for your opinion.

And don't even get me started on the fact that video games are also a medium visually restricted by whatever year they happen to come out in, progressively becoming less pixelated with every decade and console generation, whereas every other medium is not constrained by the visual capabilities of software
Hardware, you, insufferable... And movies you've praised are restricted by visual capabilities of hardware. You can especially notice it somewhere in the 70's, where movies started to move from tapes to digital mediums - and that resulted in a huge drop of video quality. There's also a reason a lot of old movies are restored and otherwise "upgraded" for modern re-releases. I also feel the need to remind that there were black and white movies and silent movies at some point, because it seems to me you are not quite from this planet.
Wait, why the fuck should I care about visual restrictions either way? I'm what they call a retro-gamer, I play old games, I do not even want "less pixelated" games, I'm fine with pixels. This goes hand in hand with the same ability to visualise things that you use when you read books.

I just don't like when they call themselves "indie" because that's not a thing. "Indie video game" is an oxymoron, like "Healthy McDonalds".
Did we make a full circle or what? See
Welcome to 2024, where you can actually make a video game alone, with minimal knowledge and with zero money investment.

Once again: why do you feel the need to invade the scene you know nothing about?
 
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