It’s the very definition of a first world problem, but the amount of great mobile indie games out there is kind of overwhelming. Finding time for them is part of the issue, but locating them in the first place can prove just as troublesome. While the newly launched Thumb Arcade can’t help you with the former issue, it can most definitely help you with the latter. We recently spoke with head honcho Andy Rosic to learn what makes the site tick, as well as what users can expect from it in the days/months/years ahead.
If Rosic’s name rings a bell, that’s probably because we interviewed him back in June of last year. That time it was about Selfpubd, a publishing service that assists indie developers with bringing their games to market. The service also promised (and still promises) to help out with the issue of discovery, which is where Thumb Arcade comes in.
“The idea is that Thumb Arcade is full of fun, creative, quirky content that is not hidden beneath big behemoth game brands who can outspend them to occupy your field of vision,” Rosic told me in an email. “That, and TA and its member studios value each and every fan. Players are not numbers to report back on a chart. They are fans of our art, and we treat them as such.” If Thumb Arcade manages to cultivate a relationship of that nature between fan and creator, the end result could be a hugely positive working environment for developers. It could also make discoverability, arguably one of the biggest problems in mobile game development, much less of an issue.
Speaking of discoverability, Thumb Arcade is taking a very unique approach to it. Rather than classify games by genre — puzzle, platformer, etc. — content is listed under categories like “Mastermind” and “Conqueror.” The former of those two examples is home to games with a more intellectual angle; the latter features games with an action slant. Given the frequency with which games feature concepts from multiple genres, this could prove to be a very clever way for the site to more accurately categorize its content.
Having discussed the core idea behind Thumb Arcade, I asked Rosic to talk a bit about Selfpubd’s relationship to it.
“The games are all by members of Selfpubd. To be a member of SP you have to be an “indie” developer by our definition: publishing games under your own brand,” Rosic told me. While that may sound exclusionary at face value, becoming a member of Selfpubd sounds pretty simple. “We’re accepting free sign ups right now at http://selfpubd.com. You can get your games on TA right away!”
Be warned, however, that games are screened for content like porn and gambling before showing up on Thumb Arcade, which puts the kibosh on my plans to release a sequel to Peek-A-Boo Poker.
Rosic ended our discussion with a summary of what makes Thumb Arcade such a potentially great tool for player and creator alike.
“The number one thing that people complain about [in mobile games] is how hard it is to discover good apps or games. Not surprisingly, the number one thing developers complain about is getting their game discovered,” Rosic said. “Thumb Arcade is a place where thumbs everywhere can discover incredible indie games on mobile or online.” By that last part, Rosic means the site can be accessed from pretty much anywhere you like. It looks great on a good old fashioned computer screen, and the mobile version is easy on the eyes as well. It’s a site worth visiting if you’re in the market for some new, promising indie titles, and budding developers may want to give it a glance as well.