Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some thoughts on Xbox Live Indie Games Channel

Jump! is a fun game I found on XBLA's indie games channel. This is a great little game that brings back fond memories of classic old platformers and reminded me of an old love, Manic Miner. Totally worth the 240 pts.

Did some digging and found its by a small french indie developer called Arkedo. Impressively, the game was developed in only a month. The 3 man team are promising to deliver a new game a month, in fact the next one is already out on XBLA called Swap!.

I'm surprised not to see Jump! on PC and they don't seem to be doing much to push it (its not even mentioned on their website). It's a shame as I get the sense that the Indie channel remains a bit of a dead zone for gamers content.

I would love to see the Indie channel on XBLA really take off and things seem to be trending in the right direction. User rating for games on XBLA is a good step to helping the quality games get noticed. Yet its still hard to see these games getting more traction without a more comprehensive user review and viral marketing system.

I'd love to be able to post real reviews of games and have them viewable from the Xbox dashboard. One way you could do this is in partnership with Amazon. Amazon sells product codes for XBLA games now and people have gone on there and posted user reviews. MS could propogate the dashboard with these reviews and this would drive consumers to be more active in discussing/sharing the games they like and dislike.

I think the XBLA platform is also crying out to bring over some of the aspects that have made social games on Facebook successful. Can you post messages from your XBLA game to facebook? You should be able to. Start to get your friends to notice your latest high score in Trials HD. I would prefer this to the constant barrage of farmville posts I currently get.

Perhaps now that Facebook has come to XBLA, we will start to see more crossover between these devices. Anything that can help give more tools to the independant developer. XBLA is a great platform still in its infancy I'd like to see it be a viable way to provide a financial way of life for developers like Arkedo to keep doing what they are doing!

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