Indie development is back in a big way – an abundance of small-scale, short-play games now floods XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, iPhone and web portals. But while certain barriers to entry have come down, others have shot up. How do you get noticed in such a swelling sector – first by publishers and distributors, and then by the buying public? As a one- or two-man team, do you have the resources to commit time to marketing and self-promotion?
With platform holders doing a poor job of filtering downloadable content, publicity is one of the largest hurdles between a bedroom coder and a successful game – but it's not the only one: all kinds of issues stymie small developers, from a basic lack of business experience to gaping holes in a team's skillset. Blitz Games' new 1UP scheme hopes to break down those remaining fences between the market and ambitious indie devs – and it's a programme which reflects bigger changes in the way the industry is approaching development for small and large games alike.