Being an indie developer can be a very liberating experience. You can make the games you want to make, and aren’t forced to explain every single design choice to a publisher or other such entity. The flipside of that, though, is that it can also be extremely difficult. Eden Industries knows this, and that’s why they’ve launched the “Garden of Indie” initiative.
Garden of Indie is a lot of things, but at its heart it’s a project which seeks to provide answers and tangible solutions to the problems that indie developers encounter when working on a game. Unsurprisingly, Eden Industries founder Ryan Vandendyck puts it best:
“It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a tailored, strategic partnership designed to bolster other indies wherever the things they need and the things we can provide intersect… [T]hings like a game engine tailored to the kind of game you want to make, not an off-the-shelf solution that you have to cram your game idea into. Maybe you need help nailing down an art style in order to inform asset production and help ignite creativity. Perhaps you need some help exploring the depth of the fun in your game and could use some help building out levels.”
Vandendyck also noted that the initiative’s definition is nebulous, and has the potential to change on a case-by-case basis. While it may provide some much-needed help and answers to struggling indies, its tools won’t be of use to everyone. But as an example of when it proved useful, Eden Industries partnered with several local game design students to improve their skills in a real-world setting. It was a beneficial relationship for both sides, as the students were provided a chance to learn, and Eden Industries gained additional help with creating games.
To offer another example, the studio also provided Waveform lead designer Robin Vincent with a custom-built game engine based on Eden Industries’ own, enabling him to develop a strategy game with his own team.
But the initiative is still in its beta stages, so who knows what kinds of crazy things we’ll see from the initiative. Whatever it turns out to be, though, the end result ought to be the same: more great games for us, and more developers able to live out their dreams.