The Xbox 360 started out with Xbox Live and Indie games as a core part of the experience, but will that come back as a core feature in the next-gen?
While our regular trawl of the Indie Games channel usually ends with us playing dross like Are You Smarter Than A Cheerleader?, we do stumble upon the odd gem.
Hardcore action-platformer Bleed is one such game, a slick 2D variant on the Devil May Cry template and a title so polished that it wouldn’t look out of place on XBLA.
We caught up with the one-man-team behind the game, Ian Campbell, to learn about Bleed’s journey from notepad doodles to finished article…
What is your experience of Xbox Live Indie Games as a platform? Do you think the amount of joke/gimmick/awful games on there prevent people from finding gems like Bleed?
I have mixed feelings about the XBLIG platform. On one hand, it’s incredible that Microsoft opened up console development to aspiring indies, especially since they made it so user-friendly.
On the other hand… there certainly is a glut of sub-par games on there, which hurts our credibility and makes it harder to be noticed. XBLIG devs are responsible for deciding what gets released on the platform, though, so it’s hard to know where to point the finger.
At 400 Points, Bleed sits towards the top end of the Indie Games price range. Did you feel this was risky when so many indie games come in at 80 Points?
It was definitely a gamble, because – as you say – there are so many other Indie Games at a much cheaper price point.
However, I feel Bleed is a fully-featured, legitimate game, and that it would be a disservice to myself and the product not to charge a legitimate price for it.
With Microsoft phasing out XNA, what do you think the future will hold for indie games on Xbox 360 and beyond?
I honestly have no idea what it means for Microsoft Indie Games, but I hope they’ll try something similar on their next console. XBLIG has its problems, but I think the idea behind it is great and hope it gets a second chance.
What’s next for Bootdisk Revolution?
More games… or getting a ‘real’ job, haha. I guess we’ll see how Bleed ends up selling! I really want to do a game with a time loop, like City Tuesday, but who knows how lucrative that would be.