Indie – Independent. Self-motivated. Creative.
Game – Video Game, Mobile App, and the like
Magazine – Digital Media, collection of written articles
The Indie Game Magazine (IGM) is an independently owned Indie Game news outlet and monthly publication.
Indie Game Magazine is the original source for news, previews, reviews, and exclusive features showcasing the independent video game community. Our staff is dedicating to shining a spotlight on the noteworthy games and studios that don’t get the coverage they deserve anywhere else. From in-depth interviews to first-look previews, you can count on Indie Game Magazine to deliver an entertaining look at the latest and greatest independent games. Subscribe today and help us support the indie development community!
The mission of The Indie Game Magazine is to become the central pillar of the Indie Industry and Community. It is our goal to constantly improve ourselves, our technology, our quality and force our competitors to work really hard to keep up with us. In doing so, we will greatly improve the conditions and reputation of the Indie Industry.
Our vision is to build an infrastructure that inspires our industry. We are not satisfied with simply providing content that can be found anywhere on the internet. We are determined to be leaders in our industry and continue to develop different ways of demonstrating our leadership. The long-term goal of The Indie Game Magazine is to encourage and prosper the Indie Community through kindness, generosity and peaceful giving without expectation of receiving.
History of IGM
The Indie Game Magazine was originally a print and digital magazine which was started in October 2008 by Mike Gnade. It was the great initial surge of support from indie game developers and readers that led to The Indie Game Magazine evolving into a bi-monthly digital and print magazine. After about 18 months of steady growth and a successful ‘Pay-What-You-Want’ Promotion, the founders of IGM felt that it was time for an upgrade.
In May 2010, The Indie Game Magazine 2.0 launched with a brand new look for the website and magazine.
Near the end of 2011, IGM re-organized and established strong leadership, which caused the brand to surge into the stratosphere as the combination of improved marketing, quality content, and customer service solidified the publication as THE premiere source of Indie Game news and culture. The Three Chris’ teamed up with Mike to form a solid core which quickly caused the company to gain on the existing indie media sites. Chris Newton joined the team and established a publication presence on the website while Mike focused on the Magazine and site infrastructure. Once the website was stabilized, Newton promoted Chris Priestman to Editor-in-Chief and himself began developing a line of communication with developers and served as Business Admin. Chris Adkins was promoted to Marketing Director and began his campaign of company outreach, spreading the IGM influence to other indie related companies.
2012 was a year of growing pains for IGM as we split its content as the quantity of indie developers on mobile devices justified opening up a sub-domain strictly for these games. Thus the birth of our IGM Mobile Sub-Domain. Jake Brown was promoted to become the first Managing Editor of IGM Mobile. Late in 2012, we were sad to see the departure of long time friend and partner, Chris Priestman. Jake Brown was promoted to Editor-in-Chief of IGM.
Early in 2013, Jake developed a medical condition which prevented him from fulfilling his duties as Editor-in-Chief. With a sad heart, Jake departed the team, leaving a void which Tom Christianson stepped into and served honorably.
In November of 2013, Mike Gnade decided to sell his ownership of IGM to his partner, Chris Newton who had been with the publication since September of 2011. At that time, the publication of the print and digital magazine was discontinued due to cost involved in production and distribution. In December of 2013, IGM launched the first wave of a modernization campaign, updating theme and refocusing the company toward social and community programs. Most notably was the emphasis put on the IGM Forums and building a public arcade for the community. Long time Marketing Manager, Chris Adkins, was promoted to Managing Director, where he began controlling the everyday operations of the publishing and public relations for IGM. This relieved Chris Newton to focus on the development of the IGM infrastructure growth.
On January 1, 2014, the new look IGM was officially launched, marking a departure of the old theme that IGM gracefully wore for many years in favor of a more upbeat and friendly interface.
March of 2014 ushered in the promise of the return of the Magazine. With that promise, Vinny Parisi was promoted to Editor-in-Chief as a reward for his hard work in building the social relations and constant support of the writing team. Vinny’s first task was to tackle the re-release of the magazine and round up enough content to satisfy the hunger that a magazine publication requires.
Our Review Guidelines
It’s a topic that’s been discussed for years, that of whether or not we should score games, or review them without any scoring/rating/grade at all. For all the emphasis the mainstream industry places on Metacritic, you’d think by now there would have been some sort of push to standardize the system. But, in light of the wild west nature of the internet, no such luck. That being said, IGM has been reevaluating our scoring system, and as the indie community grows and evolves, so too must IGM adapt.
The decision for this stems from the fact that, given all of the innovative, quirky, or otherwise imaginative experiences the indie space has to offer, it’s become increasingly apparent that judging games based strictly off of Gameplay, Graphics, Sound, and Lasting Appeal no longer works. What about the audio-only games? What about the story-driven experiences that you only play once, but hold emotional weight? Sticking to a rigid score system, or static primary qualities, is detrimental in an industry that embraces thinking outside the box. With scores being comparative by nature, and the indie community’s desire to be unique, the two ideas are no longer compatible. So, effective immediately, we will no longer be scoring our reviews. (This change will go into effect for the Magazine as well, beginning with the May 2014 issue.)
With that in mind, here are the questions and notes our writers will be asking themselves whenever they prepare to write a review:
- How does the game play? What are the mechanics and features? Detail the mission structure, collectibles, upgrades, etc.
- How does the game look? Cel-shaded, voxel, photorealism, etc. what is the intended aesthetic, and does it fit within the context of the game?
- What is the story? Is the narrative cohesive, or does it fall apart? Which parts stand out, and where does it go wrong?
- What about the soundtrack? Does the score evoke the proper emotional response to match what’s happening on screen?
- How long or short is the game? Does it have replay value? If not, does it stay with you long after you’ve stopped playing?
- Was it fun? Is there a steep learning curve or difficulty spike? What was your personal experience with the game, and how much experience do you have with the genre?
- Does the game innovate within the genre in any way? Does it refine an age-old style or mechanic? What does it bring to the table to make it stand out from the many other indies out there?
- What is the price point? Is there enough value to justify the cost, considering all of the above?
If writers can answer these questions thoroughly, and justify each of their answers, the review will speak for itself, which is exactly how things should be. If you read a review and still don’t A) Have enough of an understanding of the game to make your own informed decision based on personal preference or B) Have a sense of how the writer felt about the game, than the author of that review failed at their job. For those in a hurry and want a quick rundown of the good/bad of a game, the Pros and Cons list will still provide a brief outline of the experience, highlighting what works and what doesn’t.
Submit Your Game
If you have a game that you would like to have reviewed, send a press release and media kit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
At The Indie Game Magazine, it is essential for us to work with the community and indies out there to create great content. Our#1 goal is to have direct interaction with our readers and indie game developers. We rely on our readers and developers to support our site by suggesting great content, games to review, supporting our advertisers/sponsors and generally spreading the word to your friends and family.
The IGM Promise
At The Indie Game Magazine, we promise to never “sell out” to earn a few dollars or jeopardize our credibility or brand value.
Transparency with our community is very important to us and to begin our line of communication, we promise to never — ever — take advantage of our developers or readers. If at any time, you feel that we are crossing that line, I ask that you inform us right away and it will be corrected. We also promise to do our very best to combat other entities that we believe are ripping off the community.
What are Indie Games?
The video game landscape is constantly changing. With that in mind, it’s becoming harder to define exactly what “indie” means. In the age of crowdfunding and indie publishers, that old rule of “self-funded, self-published = indie” no longer applies. At IGM, we do our best to define indie gaming as a state of mind more than anything else these days. What does that mean exactly? Well…
IGM Defines an Indie Game as…
Video games which are made by passionate game developers who typically publish their game. But the most important aspect of being indie is to be unshackled in your creativity, to never let financial investment dictate the terms of your own vision. Indie Games will typically stretch the boundaries of what has been done already and sometimes even what is commonly accepted as normal practice. They’re quirky, experimental, nostalgic, and almost always, fun. The one thing that they all have in common is the level of passion poured into the game by their developer, as these games are made of a desire to make a great game, rather than making money.
IGM Defines an Indie Developer as…
A Developer who is focused on creating a game that matches their vision, without fear of buckling under the pressure of outside investors. Indie does NOT have to mean “developed in my basement.” As indies move more and more into the mainstream spotlight, and attract the attention of traditional AAA gamers and outlets, it’s only natural that indie games begin to become more successful.
With that in mind, it should be noted that an indie game or developer who makes money does NOT cease to be an indie. Rather, those games should be the success stories that other indies study and try to emulate. Games like Minecraft do not lose the indie status because they grew into the corporate stratosphere. That is, after all, the goal of every indie developer — to be able to support yourself, your team and your family through the passion and love that is indie game development.