31 comments posted · 41 followers · following 0
Actually, I can get behind this propaganda idea:
As for EJ's games, I did a quick Google + archive.org; are these it? http://web.archive.org/web/20030423011518/http://... (I haven't actually downloaded any of them yet.)
Luckily we have the dependies to save us now. :D
The main flaws the game has are the low difficulty level and the horrible graphics (though that's played for humor a bit, but it still doesn't excuse it). It also has a few long text cutscenes at points (though the writing was generally fresh and funny enough to keep me entertained through them); I think the beginning cutscene's the longest one.
For what it's worth, I'd at least recommend it over Earthbound (another popular "parody JRPG").
Out of curiosity, why did you dislike Barkley? I thought it was a pretty good JRPG, and I hate most of the games in that genre.
EDIT: while I'm asking you about "indie" games: have you played any of Konjak's stuff? ( http://www.konjak.org/ ) Noitu Love 2 in particular seems like a game you might like, even though it's a bit too easy.
"The idea, then, is that the only way to be truly independent (i.e. to not have to compromise with anyone on anything) is to make the game entirely by yourself — but REALLY yourself, starting with 1s and 0s. If you employ the aid of even a language like, say, C++ you are still compromising with the people who wrote the language (— since, as every real programmer will tell you, any higher-level language than Assembly automatically restricts your code's possibility space; and the higher the language the greater the restrictions — at the level of Game Maker you barely have any choices left, which is why all games developed with it play so extremely alike)."
Taking this a bit further, even from a strictly programming perspective assembly language doesn't give you "true independence;" different processors have different instruction sets, different execution times for each instruction, etc. If I'm using machine language I'm still making compromises with the engineers who designed the processor I'm programming for, since I have to optimize my code so that this particular processor can handle it without slowing down, as well as accommodate for things I want to do that the processor might not natively support (e.g. the NES/SMS processors lacking an inbuilt multiply instruction). This applies all the way up to current 64-bit processors, especially if you want to use cutting edge graphics technology (which requires shit tons of optimization and compromise; just look at John Carmack's Twitter feed), and will continue to apply until either the end of time or the end of computers. In a way I'm even glad the need for optimization is there, because figuring out how to do so is a huge part of what makes programming fun.
For the record, Game Maker's language isn't *extremely* limited for making 2D games (it has basic 3D support but it's so dumbed down and useless it's not really worth talking about). It's just that platformers are easy to make (there are a bunch of tutorials for them) and every amateur developer has Cave Story on their "inspiration" list; you could easily make a shooting or tactics or JRPG or puzzle game as well. The real problem with GM is that it's a huge RAM whore (and also has some speed/screen tearing issues, which is why with a current game I'm working on I'm learning C++ and using SFML for rendering).
Either way, good article.
I've found that mentally replacing "indie" with "amateur" or "hobbyist" is usually the best way to go. I know the real definition of indie is supposed to be "self-published," but then people call Flow and Flower indie games (not to mention games sold on XBLA). The real advantage of an "indie" community, I've found, isn't in the quality of the games themselves but in having a place where amateur developers can talk and show off what they've made to each other to get feedback. (Of course, sometimes some of those developers fall under the illusion that the games coming out of their community have soul and heart or something while the professionally developed games don't, which is a disadvantage that seems to have arisen from the "indie" label.)
(also why did you create a whole new comment thread just to reply to my comment =P)