After dreaming up the idea since March, I'm excited to announce the Indie Circuit (www.indiecircuit.org):
"The Indie Circuit is a website and community created to give you the best experience with a small, handpicked set of multiplayer indie games. Soon there will be players to meet, tournaments to attend, streams to watch, developers to chat with, and all kinds of interesting features to experience. After a period of time, the games will be rotated out."
I wanted to start the Indie Circuit mainly because I like deep games that require and reward digging into them. I've never been a sultan of sampling. I'd much rather take one game at a time and put in the time and energy to deeply understand it. But what if the game is terrible? It's true, there are terrible games out there. But a terrible game can have beautifully designed parts even if they're not put together well. Furthermore, I'd rather assume a game can be great and put in the time to find out it's a flop than toss a game aside assuming it's shallow and miss its deep secrets.
I also started the Indie Circuit because of Puji, and DigiDrive, and Pikmin 2 Battle, and Zelda Spirit Tracks battle mode, and Monkey Fight 2, and so many other games that I've dug so deeply into in isolation. With these games, I've practiced techniques and strategies few will ever know. I've made discoveries no one will ever talk about. And I did it because these games are good. Quality, deep game design is a vauable experience in itself. But a multiplayer game is practically nothing without its players. With no one to talk to about these games, few who knew of them, and fewer still who could challenge me, my investment and appreciation of these games failed to reach its potential.
Last GDC (2014) I became wrapped up in a Pikmin 2-battle-mode-secret society-showdown, an event composed of the game's few remaining fans and competitive players. Just kidding. I actually attended a BBQ party hosted by the Campo Santo/Idle Thumb guys, most of whom are crazy about Pikmin 2 battle. We competed. We laughed. We coached. We even got a bit salty all in good fun. Though we only played a few games of Pikmin the gathering was memorable. I can't help but wonder how many other Pikmin 2 Battle fans are out there. I wonder how much more I would appreciate Pikmin 2 Battle if we had organized our playerbase years prior.
So moving forward, I want to do things differently.
I believe with a bit of organization we can amplify the energy we put into playing and enjoying local multiplayer indie games. We'll dig deep into these indie games and build a community around playing together, competing with sportsmanship, and voicing our thoughts. This new approach to making, playing, and talking about games falls under the Game.Play.Critique philosophy (www.gameplaycritique.com). I have the support from the developers of the Indie Circuit games and a team of friends ready to make this dream happen. There's a better way to enjoy games, join the Indie Circuit, and let's be a part of something amazing.