Indie games are already thriving quite well on the PC but, like Nintendo’s ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’, there is always room for expanding your audience and hopefully filling your pockets in the meantime. Since indie games are typically a direct to PC release they rarely need the use of a publishing company to assist them with the financial burden of distribution. Without the use of a publisher means that developers don’t have a third party dangling a carrot (money) in front of their noses. These publishers usually lead them in the direction that the publisher thinks will be most profitable, thus creating a platform where creativity is starved.
We continue our homage to the Indie scene with a look at a game company who began on the PC and very quickly branched out to the Playstation 3.
A game studio founded by the collaborative effort of students from University of Southern California Interactive Media Division. These students took simple ideas of the everyday world and portrayed the elegant beauty found throughout nature in their games. The first title developed by these students what it would be like to fly like a Cloud. Cloud takes a hospitalized child and enters into their imagination. Daydreams of where you fly with clouds, shape them and even make them rain.
The second offering from ThatGameCompany is Flow. Initially built as a browser based game, this masterful mix of form and function create a surreal game that is unmatched. Originally designed to show off the developer’s concept of dynamic difficulty adjustment, it was later given HD graphics and a re-release on the PSN network. Flow lets you manipulate a simple organism while you attempt to survive in a hostile world full of ‘eat or be eaten’ philosophy. Your organism will eventually evolve as you progress in the game.
The latest effort from ThatGameCompany is Flower. The designer, Jenova Chen, says, “When we started, we didn’t know what we were making. We just had this concept that every PlayStation is like a portal in your living room, it leads you to somewhere else. I thought; “wouldn’t it be nice if it was a portal that would allow you to be embraced by nature”. So the designer’s idea turned into the dream of a lonely flower sitting on an apartment windowsill. This is just another simple concept that was never delivered in a game prior to this.
The first two games are available for PC and second two are available on your PSN network. Check them out at the official website http://thatgamecompany.com/