By Anni Simpson on March 18, 2014 at 8:37am
Existential horror indie titles sure are all the rage lately, aren’t they? They’re so popular, in fact, that developers with experience on big name projects are leaving their current (presumably safer) AAA positions to lend their experience in a smaller title, "Daedelus", in a new start-up studio of their own making, Tangentlemen.
“Daedelus” will have the player follow the protagonist through “an existential horror trip into a surreal, half-forgotten dream,” according to Cory Davis, lead designer for “Spec Ops: The Line.”
Richard Smith (“Titanfall”), Toby Gard (“Tomb Raider”), and five other developers (“Yaiba: Ninja Garden Z”) will be contributing to the title. Davis himself was a lead designer for “Spec Ops: The Line.” And according to Davis, the move from AAA to indie isn’t that uncommon:
From my perspective, many of the most experienced and motivated developers in the industry are jumping the AAA ship and swimming to indie life rafts.
Davis’ perspective comes at a time when players are getting frustrated by the formulaic games offered by big publishers, games that offer incremental new developments at best and simply extend the ability to play a certain game (by way of server support) at worst. Indie titles have the capacity to offer more freedom with art direction, vision, and even medium. “Titanfall” was the most recent title to be bound to one platform (Xbox One), but it certainly isn’t the only one. (“Halo 4” comes to mind..)
There seems to be a problem with chasing after photorealism--it makes everything else about the game very myopic. By moving into an illustrative space, the look of the game can become a voice in its overall intent, rather than a limitation to that intent. It's indie games that understand this, and because of that, it's indie games that are really progressing the art form of game making.
Tangentlemen looks to publish “Daedelus” for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One using crowdfunding as a tool.
Gamespot: Former Call of Duty, Tomb Raider devs jumping AAA ship to make their own next-gen title IGN: Spec Ops, Call of Duty Devs Form New Studio, Tangentlemen