Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Vita is Turning Into an Indie Haven

If you've been paying attention to game and port announcements lately, you'll have noticed something of a trend, and an encouraging one at that.  While the bulk of it was at GDC, a lot of Indie devs have pledged their upcoming games to the Vita, likely encouraged by the success of Brian Provinciano with Retro City Rampage and the other few Indie games that have hit already.  It helps, of course, that Sony has actively been courting devs and seem to be treating them right, given that at a GDC panel, a handful of them said "Absolutely" to the question "Is your next game going to be on the Vita?"  (Well, one did, the others just said "Yes", don't be a pedant)  Interest is spreading as well, since many of the attendees also seemed keen to work on the delightful little handheld.

In fact, the folks at the Playstation Blog were so kind to put together a list (albeit not a complete one) of indie games currently announced to hit the PS4, PS3, Vita and Playstation Mobile platforms.  I'll just keep it confined to the games that will be playable on the Vita:

  • Divekick – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Spelunky – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Velocity Ultra – PS Vita
  • Limbo – PS Vita
  • Metrico – PS Vita
  • Guacamelee! – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Hotline Miami – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Dragon Fantasy Book II – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Thomas Was Alone – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Luftrausers – PS3 and PS Vita
  • Friend Network App – PS Vita
  • Zombie Tycoon II – PS3 and PS Vita
  • A Virus Named Tom – PlayStation Mobile
  • Treachery in Beatdown City – PlayStation Mobile
  • Crumble – PlayStation Mobile
  • Crystallon – PlayStation Mobile
  • Don’t Wake the Bear – PlayStation Mobile
  • Hermit Crab in Space! – PlayStation Mobile
  • Oh, Deer! – PlayStation Mobile
  • Rymndkapsel – PlayStation Mobile
  • Ten By Eight – PlayStation Mobile

(I've left the links that were there intact so you can peruse some of the Playstation Blog posts related to the games if you're so inclined)

That is no small thing by any means and, as stated, it doesn't cover the full host of games that have already been committed.  Absent, likely because of the little bit of time between the announcements and this one, are (off the top of my head) The Binding of Isaac:  Rebirth and Lone Survivor, both of which have already made their own splashes on PC, and not in a little way.  That is also not even counting the announcement of Terraria's left-right movement towards the Vita as a platform.  I am likely missing others as well, but that's fine since, I mean, this is a pretty big list, both in length and content.  Wouldn't want to, you know, overwhelm people with this stuff.

Size is, admittedly something I've been focusing on since it's the theme of an interesting new development on the game complainer's front, also known as the comment section of every mainstream game news site anywhere ever.  The whingings of "no gaaaaaames" can be heard throughout every corner of the internet, as is usually the case when something is new and developers haven't had a lot of time to actually work on it.  Despite the truth of the matter being that there clearly -are- games for the Vita, it was a bit hard to argue, given that the schedule looked a bit clear a few weeks ago with Soul Sacrifice, Tearaway and Killzone:  Mercenary being the biggest things on the horizon.  However, as it is in most cases, these folks aren't -actually- criticizing from a place where they actually want to see things get better, but rather complaining to complain.  You can tell this because the whingings have shifted from "no gaaaaames" to "No biiiiiiig gaaaaames".

While true that the scope of Indie games is usually inherently smaller than most because of the nature -of- Indie developers (usually a small group of people, if not just one or two), these are not, by any means, games that you're going to sit down and fully complete in an afternoon.  Which, by the by, you -can- do with some of the 'big' games that are out there now that people just absolutely clamor for.  At the very least, the above Dragon Fantasy Book II seems to fancy itself after RPGs of the 'old school' which, as we know, were not incredibly short affairs and we loved them for it.  I just can't help but laugh at how quickly the goalposts get moved and by laugh, I mean want to shake someone by the shoulders for about five minutes straight.  Not like I would shake any sense out of them, of course.

The whole point that I'm harping on, I think, is that one of the complaints about the Vita has been "Where are the games?" and now, bam.  There they are.  These are the confirmed ones and this level of support means that it's not a one-off thing - these developers are in because they -want- in and they're going to keep going, clearly.  Robert Boyd of Zeboyd games has been fairly coy about developing for the Vita, but has stated that there's a "good chance" that CSH (Short for Cosmic Star Heroine, code-name for the next Zeboyd Games RPG after PAA4) will be PC/Vita at launch (if not for the major consoles as well) which is a big boon, certainly.  If the 'game-starved' handheld could manage to have CSH, Hotline Miami, Terraria and The Binding of Isaac on it at the same time, well...

I think we'll manage.

No comments:

Post a Comment