Even though it’s been growing for a few years now, it’s still amazing to think just how big the indie gaming scene has grown. Gone are the days when making a game and releasing it on a notable platform required interaction with some kind of publisher or big team. Instead, small groups, and even lone wolves, are delivering some of the best games each year has to offer.
Whether you’re an aspiring indie developer, or see yourself working at a large studio, it’s exciting to check out what other small teams are cooking up. Below are only a handful of the many passionate developers putting their heart and soul into creating some of the most anticipated games of 2015…
Made up mostly of devs who worked together on Minerva’s Den, a single-player expansion for Bioshock 2, Fullbright certainly has the talent to deliver games driven by a captivating story. They proved this with Gone Home, a critically acclaimed title that offered plenty of emotion and suspense as you explored a home set in the 1990s.
Fullbright is currently working on a new project titled Tacoma that will no doubt draw us in via unique perspectives and top-quality storytelling.
Thekla is comprised of several experienced developers, including the creator of Braid, a game responsible for helping to jumpstart the indie game renaissance we’ve been enjoying for the last few years. Along with Jonathan Blow, Thekla Inc is hard at work putting the finishing touches on The Witness, a highly anticipated puzzle game that serves as one of the many indie titles Sony has been promoting to showcase their downloadable lineup for the PlayStation 4.
Receiving several awards at last year’s E3, including a Joystiq E3 Selection sticker, Acid Nerve‘s Titan Souls is certainly on the radar of many indie game enthusiasts. Originally starting out as a game jam project, Titan Souls has been expanded since then but still holds the same premise: can you defeat several challenging bosses with only a single arrow at your disposal? Titan Souls will be released on PS4 and Vita, as well as Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux in 2015.
Castle Pixel are the creators of Rex Rocket, a tough-as-nails platformer that is beloved by almost all who have played it. Aside from porting Rex Rocket to iOS, this small team is hard at work on Blossom Tales, a top-down action-adventure game that draws heavy inspiration from classic Zelda titles. Thanks to funding by FDG Entertainment, Blossom Tales is set for an iOS release sometime in late 2015.
Hello Games will be releasing No Man’s Sky in 2015, a space-themed game with procedurally generated open areas that players can freely explore to upgrade their ship and character. The trailer during Sony’s press event at last year’s E3 blew us all away with the promise of exploring strange planets full of unique environments, strange creatures, and more. No Man’s Sky will be a timed exclusive for PS4 and PC, and is rumored to eventually support VR headsets like Morpheus and Oculus.
Klei has proven they have what it takes to create addicting games with each title they release. From Mark of the Ninja to Don’t Starve, this passionate developer has given us some of the best the indie scene has to offer.They are now working on Invisible, Inc., a turn-based tactics game with rogue-like elements and procedurally-generated levels. Needless to say, Klei’s next title will no doubt be as fun and enticing as the last few.
After losing his 5 year old son to cancer, Ryan Green took on the difficult but inspiring task of creating a game centered around his tragic loss. Demanding more emotional investment that perhaps any other game we’ve played, Ryan and his team promise to reward us with more than it cost by providing a sad yet relatable and thought-provoking adventure. That Dragon, Cancer is due to release on Ouya, as well as Steam for PC and Mac, sometime this year.
Dennaton‘s Jonatan Soderstrom and Dennis Wedin are the duo responsible for the Hotline Miami series, games that have garnered a large fanbase with their satisfyingly violent gameplay. Initially wanting to work on a completely new IP, Wedin and Soderstrom instead decided to create Hotline Miami 2 as the grand finale to their series. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will be available on several platforms, including PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and Steam for PC, Linux, and Mac.
Yacht Club Games
It’s hard not to include Yacht Club in a list such as this one, especially after creating the standout platformer of 2014 that won as many Game of the Year awards as you’d expect from a big-budget AAA title. Shovel Knight combined everything we want from a game, including hilarious dialogue, incredibly polished gameplay, familiar yet fun mechanics, and more. If their next game is anything like Shovel Knight, there’s no reason not to be excited about whatever these talented developers in the process of creating.
What first started as a Global Game Jam title in 2012 has turned into one of the most awaited indie titles of 2015. Lovers lets you and one other player explore a vivid galaxy while manning a battleship complete with shields, lasers, thrusters, and more. Demanding plenty of teamwork and customization, players can’t wait to take on this colorful adventure on their Xbox One, PC, or Mac computers.