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5 Indie Developers You Should Know About (May 2022)

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The Indie industry has produced a good number of incredible, diverse, and creative releases over the years. More good news is that there are still more exciting Indie games on the way, with everything from diverse artwork, to contesting puzzles and more. Indie fans will become spoiled for choice at this rate, and they only have different Indie developers worldwide to thank. 

Moreover, Indie developers provide fans with gaming experiences like no other. This is primarily because not every gamer thrives with regular AAA games; therefore, the industry offers a vast collection of unique games for all types of gamers. Similarly, the industry continues to grow, not just because of the unique artwork often in use but also the niches and twists the games possess. Since Indie game inventors often have a deep sense of community with their fans, it wouldn’t hurt to shine a bit of spotlight their way. With that said, we have put together a list of some of the best developers today and their contributions to the industry. Here are five Indie developers you should know about. 

 

5. Supergiant Games

Supergiant Games, LLC is a San Francisco-based video game developer and publisher popular for various critically acclaimed games. Some of these include Hades, Bastion, Pyre, and Transistor. The creators of the 2009 company are Amir Rao and Gavin Simon, who are both former employees of Electronic Arts. Subsequently, the duo quit their job and decided to work together on their first game, Bastion. They had help from various freelance programmers and developers. Similarly, they hired Darren Korb, a musician, to work on the music and audio of the game.

Supergiant Games is now one of the best Indie developers and often attracts prominent publishers who show interest in their games. After Bastion, their next title is Transistor, which features a female protagonist in a chaotic cyberpunk-like city. Like Bastion, the game is a commercial success and has received its fair share of positive reviews.

 

4. Eric Barone

Inspired by the Harvest Moon series, Eric Barone, also known as ConcernedApe, came up with Stardew Valley, a 2016 simulation game that is a favorite to most. The game’s creation story is almost as compelling as the game itself. For almost four and a half years, Eric toiled in creating this masterpiece entirely by himself. That means handling the programming, music, animation, and most other aspects that go into making a game. Barone has since received praise for his independent development of Stardew Valley.

The Seattle-based programmer grew up with immense love for video games; therefore, his venture into the industry does not come as a surprise. Similarly, he holds a computer science degree from the University of Washington Tacoma. Barone announced his involvement with several new upcoming projects, some of which will feature the Stardew Valley universe. His latest project, Haunted Chocolatier, is an RPG/simulation game that shares similar attributes to Stardew Valley.

 

3. Mobius Digital

Indie Developers You Should Know About

Mobius Digital was founded by Masi Oka, who is also an actor; who features in the Tv series “Heroes.” In 2019 the company got an additional team member known as Alex Beachum, a grad student from USC Games. Together, the two created the critically acclaimed action-adventure game, Outer Wilds. The game received an expansion in 2021 under the title, Echoes of the Eye.

Besides, the game has received quite a number of awards, including the British Academy Games Award for ‘Best Game.’ Outer Worlds features an astronaut character that players control as they explore a solar system. The expanse is stuck in a 22-minute time loop, which resets itself every time the sun goes supernova. Therefore, players have 22 minutes to figure out why the sun keeps blowing up. 

Here developers try to throw a sly clique to the climate change denial displayed by most today. Also, Mobius Digital released an expansion of Outer Worlds known as Outer Wilds: Archaeologist Edition and has other impending projects.

 

2. Night School Studio

Sean Krankel and Adam Hines founded Night School Studio in June 2014 and not long after released their first Indie masterpiece. This two-member studio specializes in games driven by dialogue and adventure. An example of this is Oxenfree, a supernatural adventure game that debuted in 2016. The game is inspired by classical teen films and features a story-driven theme without the occasional dreary cut-scenes, allowing players to roam the environment freely. The game received positive reviews and even got to win the ‘Best Narrative’ title at The Game Awards 2016.

After Oxenfree, Night School Studio released Afterparty, a game that also features a deep narrative and a fun student-centered theme. It involves college students who have to fight their way out of hell through drinking. Here, players have access to semi-customized replies, adding some realism to it. The duo has a number of projects under their name and a few more yet to come. The developers announced the coming of a series adaptation and an Oxenfree sequel, under the title Oxenfree II: Lost Signals.

 

1. Coffee Stain Studios AB

Indie Developers

Coffee Stain Studios AB is a Swedish studio founded by nine students from the University of Skövde in 2010. The team is popular for their 2014 humorous game Goat Simulator where players control a goat through an open-world map. The point is to cause as much damage as possible as the goat ravages its environment. Goat Simulator received mixed reactions from critics as it initially was meant as a joke that originated from an entirely different project.

In 2019, Coffee Stain Studios released another access game called Satisfactory. The parent company for Coffee Stain also handled their publishing before Embracer Group acquired the company in 2018. The most successful game produced by this company is Valheim, a survival and sandbox video game. It was developed by five team members and has achieved both great commercial and critical success. Valheim is one of the most played games on stream and sold over five million copies just a month after its release.

Which one of the Indie developers from the list above do you think has made a considerable mark in the Indie industry? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!

 

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.