December 12th, 2012 | By Mark Isaacson
Which do you prefer: a good story or something with visual panache?
Of course, there’s always a game that perfectly combine both elements into one expertly crafted video game. But which gets your attention first? Is it a compelling narrative that sucks you in with character development, twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat? Or is it a game that surprises, shocks or stuns you with its graphical flair or unusual appeal.
From an indie perspective, there are so many games designed to be short and sweet, built for iOS or portable devices that only get so much time to prove themselves to you before you get distracted by the next big thing. On the other hand story plays an important part in the likes of Hotline Miami, Fez and Journey, though all in very unique ways.
To put things into perspective, our 2012 IGM game of the year awards has an award for best visuals, but not best story. Sign of the times maybe?
So what do you prefer? Tell us by posting on our official forum thread, tweeting us (@indiegamemag) or posting in the comments section below. As usual, the best answers will be added to next week’s IGM Debates, so be sure to check in again to see what the community thinks.
Last week I asked you what you thought of the Humble THQ Bundle. Most seem to be in favour of the idea, supporting a company in need whilst continuing the important task of raising money for charity. That’s an important element for sure, it’s hard to argue against raising money for a worthy cause. Here’s what a few readers had to say:
“It really is hard to say to what will such move lead. I don’t like to take radical opinions when mainstream and indie games cross each other, since in the end everything could look as if they envy each other. If a mainstream website starts publish Indie games then you hear some “mainstreamers” complaining but if the roles change its vice versa. Both groups game producers and publisher have one in common, selling well and make a living plus satisfy costumers enough to convince them to buy again from their shelves.
The Humble Bundle is somehow becoming a mainstream way of selling stuff including indie games which obviously sound ironic. We could for sure fear that someday it’ll stop featuring indie games or it’ll at least push them to the side because the business world is led by the money and it goes where you can find more of this green stuff. There is also a possibility that this move is a little experiment to see how mainstream games will sell and if that’s true we can for sure expect more of such “experiments” as we have seen in the past. Still if John Graham is honest and this really is a little distraction then we don’t need to worry about anything. I don’t care about those small distractions as long as they are kept small.”
“People crying foul about the Humble Bundle producing the THQ bundle, need to get their priorities straight. Humble Bundle has always been about helping people, and THQ certainly needed the help.
The bundle raised, what, $4 million? THQ stock prices rose 40%, and we get a bunch of great games at a steep discount. What is there to hate?”
- Tom Christiansen
“As Humble Bundle grows, they should branch out into less popular games or AAA games or whatever. Something.
I think that it’s annoying though that John Graham has to say that it’s a temporary departure. If he’s going to open things up, he should open things up. Things get messy when you imply that it was a “one time thing.”
As for the DRM and PC only aspect of the bundle, if it’s an AAA game, I understand why it can’t be DRM-free, but since it’s something that people buying the bundles expect (and I am one of those people), this just proves that Humble Bundle is better geared towards Indie games. I’m not worried about the PC only part. That’s only really there because of the DRM.”
“There’s nothing in the bundle that says it’s indie. I do not get the hipster attitude of some people.
It’s called a Humble THQ Bundle. It’s humble because they let you pay anything you want as long as it qualifies for Steam. It’s humble because they’re letting you choose how much you can give to charity. It’s humble because they’re putting it up on the Humble Bundle even if the titles are big budgeted.
As far as what the Humble Bundle can or cannot sell, just let the customers decide. It made some money, that’s good for charity. If it didn’t make enough money, then that’s what you get for putting things up on game bundles. You can win big or give your games away for peanuts.
Either ways, everyone wins.”
- Mark Vincent N. Cocjin
Don’t forget to head over to the forums now and weigh in on whether you think a compelling story is paramount, or if you are happy to forgo a great narrative providing the game does deliver the goods in a graphically rich way.