- Aha, a quick side note to point out a new Gamasutra article by David Marsh, who you may know as the creator of DevBump, but is also a former big-budget and current indie game developer - which is why he's in a good position to write the feature 'Nine Paths To Indie Game Greatness'.

As he postulated in his intro: "Many game studios are crippled by the amount of resources they require to keep operations going. I have seen plenty of companies that operate "contract to contract" with little hope of ever breaking out of the cycle. The studio growth required by the increasingly resource intensive modern crop of games is many times unsustainable. In fact, the problem seems to be getting worse.

According to a report by the BBC, "Back in 1982, the Japanese company Namco produced Pac-Man for $100,000. Now, the average PlayStation 3 title is estimated to cost $15m. Even after adjusting for inflation, that is still a significant rise. While production costs have tripled in recent years with the introduction of next-gen consoles, sales and revenue have hardly changed." [EDITOR'S NOTE: Well, game industry revenue has gone up a tad in aggregate, but we abstractly take the point, the BBC!]

Independent developers usually operate with very limited initial resources. By operating without a loan of resources, they create a development environment for themselves free from outside influences or restrictions. The only obligations they hold are to themselves as developers and the people who play and purchase their games."

In any case, the full feature on Gamasutra lists a number of specific ways indies can innovate and create with less, including 'Procedural Content', 'Avoiding Photorealistic Art Direction', and by "utilizing existing free, cheap, or open technology". All fine points (and sorry I had to use the Little Miss Sunshine graphic again!)