1 year and counting

Posted: 2011/11/10 in Indie Games

A year ago, frustrated with what I saw as short-shrift being given to passionate independent developers, I began the Mass Deduction project to purchase and review a quality Xbox Live Indie Game every day. My idea was to prove that the indie games channel was so much more than just avatar massage games, and that doing reviews over a large number of consecutive days would help prove that. I also limited myself to games not well represented in the top-50 lists in the Xbox dashboard, in the hopes of finding the hidden gems beyond the few good ones that do get regular attention on message boards and websites.

Somehow I find myself doing the 365th review later today. I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d get that far, having either run out of good games by now (I won’t review games I think are of poor quality), or having life issues get in the way. But against all odds, here we are.

In an era of major publishers trying to only publish AAA games, indie games have an opportunity to step up to the plate and to fill that B-game role that the major publishers are ceding. It’s also an opportunity for racing games, rhythm games, and any other genre that is getting squeezed for retail shelf space. For those reasons an more, I now own hundreds of indie games and I’m loving them.

There are too many games to know where to even start in what to recommend, but one I bought early on that has remained a favourite is https://writingsofmassdeduction.com/2010/12/09/day-30-battle-beat/ (purchased way back on Day 30). This is a game that puts traditional Guitar Hero/Rock Band guitar controllers to great use, with a tremendous amount of personality and flair.

I’m not yet out of great indie games to review, but I don’t think there are 365 more waiting in the wings. I don’t plan to stop reviewing, but at some point in the near future the consecutive daily reviews will come to an end, replaced by a few new reviews each week, the other days featuring interviews, previews, and features that comb through the first year of reviews (best of features, top ten lists, etc.). As always, your comments on what you want to see out of the site are very much appreciated. Thank you for visiting WMD.

  1. Mike says:

    Congrats on hitting this milestone!

    If you ever want to come on the GameMarx podcast, consider this an open invitation.

  2. David Loves Sandy says:

    At the rate of 2 new indie games on average everyday being released (and I think the average is higher) I don’t believe you will ever run out of games that need reviewed. With that being said, I really do appreciate and applaud your efforts and visit your reviews frequently looking for some new (as you describe) B games to buy. I love these reviews and on the day that you do decide to forgo the game everyday effort I will understand your decision but I don’t believe it will ever be for the lack of games to write about.

    Cheers to your 1 year!

    • I hear what you’re saying, and I appreciate the comments. I don’t want to turn Mass Deduction into just another XBLIG review site. There are lots of good ones out there doing the hot new releases, and that’s what my site would become if I continued doing one a day. I want to keep the focus on the hidden gems, and if I keep doing one per day I’ll eventually run out. What makes Mass Deduction special to me is that I’m helping people find some really great, often obscure, games from passionate indie developers.

      And I should clarify that by “B” games I mean games that don’t have the AAA budgets or advertising power behind them. Once upon a time MX Vs. ATV Unleashed was just such a “B” release, a lower budget title from a major publisher that didn’t have a big advertising push behind it, and it became a sleeper hit. The big publishers seem to have abandoned anything that they don’t think is a sure-fire AAA hit, which means less experimentation, no sleeper hits, and cookie-cutter experiences. It’s up to indie game developers to fill in the inevitable blanks.

  3. Kobun says:

    Congratulations! Very impressive that you made it this far without burning out, both yourself and on games you believe are worth your time and money.

  4. Rainer says:

    Thanks for your great work!Found a lot of hidden gems,considering how much garbage there is,too.Keep on the good work!
    Kind Regards,Rainer

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