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Published on May 12th, 2014 | by Nidde


Chronicle of the project

At midnight on the last day of 2012, when the date turned into January 1, 2013, the project started and the next 500 days would mean that no game that did not qualify for an arbitrary “indie” stamp would be off the table. What constituted an indie game would have to be more and more defined throughout the experiment.

But the research had begun earlier than that. As the site launched on December 1, 2012, and it already had some articles posted. Though only thoughts and speculations about the coming almost year-and-a-half they were explanations about what we were hoping to achieve and how we would go about it.

The first two weeks were spent just playing games in general and tinkering with some systems on how to generate content for the site. What we decided to do was record the first time we touched a game and make a video series about it. While an easy way to create some simple content, that effectively served no purpose as the videos functioned as nothing more than a Let’s Play and didn’t review the games in any meaningful way. Although, it did weed out games that didn’t engage immediately and entice us within about 20 minutes of play. On the downside it kept us from playing a bunch of games because we wanted to record our first interactions with every new title that we played, which is something we couldn’t be bothered to set up every time we sat down to play.

I guess I should stop referring to The Indie 500 Project as “we”, as one of the worst kept secrets of the whole thing is that it’s just me, and one of the premises of the entire experiment is that I do it all by myself. Generate content, administrate the site, maintain the servers. What this means is that the entire thing was very much affected by what was going on in my life and what my situation was, both in the matter of time and economically. What this affected mostly was the give-aways I did. I wanted to just have a little promotion and thought that a good way to do it would be to give away games that I wouldn’t be able to play. I randomly picked a winner among the ones that qualified for the give-away and noticed early that people are greedy whiners that will cheat if given the opportunity. A guy qualified with about 30 accounts and when he didn’t win he accused me of selecting a winner among my friends and most of the followers that had signed up disappeared, even though more give-aways were promised (and delivered). That person was just a bad human being, but something I just can’t handle without getting enraged is when I’m trying to do something good and get grief for it, so the contests almost went away.

That is until I got laid off, then some things shifted. The contents had to go, because now my own income became uncertain. But the time I could spend on the project went up and I eventually managed to post content six days per week. Once or twice I even had videos for every day of the week.

But when video 100 came along I felt pretty content with what the Experiments series had given me and I lost some of the motivation to continue the series. I had also started a new job and changed my lifestyle to focus more on my physical fitness. So the project suffered and aside from the ongoing series nothing new got posted. But what was I supposed to post, I hadn’t played much at all. Aside from playing through a solo-run of Path of Exile – which is one of the best dungeon crawlers there is, btw – I’d gone from fitting in at least 30 minutes of games on the busiest day to not playing at all for almost three weeks.

And there’s a reason why my motivation wasn’t running at peak performance. Let’s talk about that next.

Happy Gaming.

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About the Author

For 500 days, from January 1st, 2013, until May 16th, 2014, Nidde will set aside all AAA-titles and only play indie games to find out if the indie scene can replace the big budget landscape.

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