Yearly Recap

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Yearly Recap

It’s been one hell of a year, hasn’t it. I’ve played a bunch of free games and reviewed a bunch of others. It’s funny, actually, because I never thought, before I entered college, that I would actually become somewhat of a game reviewer.

So, Indie Game Thing started because I looked through the Vector at a Miniversity (I’m a freshman at the moment) and noticed how there was an obvious lack of hipster indie game love. Yes, Jed and the previous video game writer did a great job, which originally interested me in writing about video games.

How did the title, Indie Game Thing, come up? Well, I asked a couple of friends, “Hey, what should I name my column?” They then proceeded to say anything that came to mind and I got so confused that I just tacked on “Thing” after “Indie Game”.

The original goal of the column has actually dramatically changed since I first started it. In the Fall 2012 semester, my aim was to spotlight really awesome games while using them as a platform to deliver my thoughts on games in general. I also wanted to give nods to a bunch of the free games I’ve played. I was basing my style off one of my favorite indie game coverage YouTube channels, Indiestatik. Josh Mattingly, the guy running Indiestatik, had a bunch of videos that focused on spotlighting not-so-well-known games and had a free games section every week. My aim wasn’t to exactly copy him but share the idea that indie games aren’t popular. For the longest time, I’d been wanting people to pick up on this niche sub-section of the video game world.

I also started another column that sometimes replaced Indie Game Thing, which was Indie Game Discussion. Now, it was here that I was hoping for feedback starting with my attack on the AAA gaming scene by saying that more money equals lesser game quality. Of course, no one emailed me back on that, although I’d hoped for someone to rant and call me stupid.

This academic year, I started off with a review of Symphony but hated how I wrote it. I ended by talking about a couple free games, Dys4ia and that other really long named game that I forgot.

My 2012-2013 AGOTY award is obviously Journey (seriously, I cried). Other shout-outs go to Proteus for confusing me despite me liking it because it’s a good game, though inaccessible to some, Dream Symphony for being my most pretentious game review, and Super Hexagon for being the hardest game I’ve ever reviewed, along with Journey. I’ve played a bunch of great games but these three were the most memorable in terms of how I wrote about them and because Journey is awesome (GO PLAY IT, ALREADY).

I’ve still yet to talk about the biggest games of 2012, including Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, Botanicula, They Bleed Pixels, and FTL. The Vector website’s coming back and when it does, expect a bunch of articles on it from me, while my big reviews are going to come up in the paper. What are these new columns? You’ll see next semester.
Video games are always so interesting to me. From the creation process to their image in society, I’ve never found anything more deep than video games. To quote Phil Fish, “It’s the culmination of every form of art put into one! It’s like, the most artistic medium.” Yeah, reading manga and watching anime is fun for me, but as a fellow game designer, I feel that video games have the power to change mindsets, to share ideas, to allow people to understand each other. Where movies and books fail, games thrive and revel. The purpose of Indie Game Thing was to show that video games can be more than your generic shooter. I mean, The Binding of Isaac? Look at that game. Who would come up with such a game besides Edmund McMillen? Super Hexagon wouldn’t have been so Super without having all the flashy lights and disorienting gameplay. I mean, who comes up with this stuff?

For my last article for the year, I, of course, have to thank the Vector staff for allowing me to write about indie games, and to you, the readers, for giving some of these games a chance. The 2013-2014 year is going to be one hell of a year.

About The Author

Matthew Maravilla

A game designer/developer who's only trying to make sense of all of the things he's doing through writing about those things or just plain doing them.

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