The independent video game market is constantly growing. Indie games became much more recognized when the ability to release them digitally came about in the 2000s. Now, indie titles make up a huge portion of today’s video game market. PlayStation Network, XBox Live, Nintendo eShop, and Steam each have extensive indie libraries. Games like Minecraft, Cuphead, and Super Meat Boy have all made massive splashes in the gaming world, and that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for this rise in indie game visibility.
This visibility is perfect for those looking to create their own games and make their way into the gaming industry, as it helps them get their projects developed and noticed. That Indie Studio, a small game development studio located in Rochester, NY, is taking full advantage of the hyper-visibility of indie games to create fun games and share their ideas with the world.
That Indie Studio is technically just comprised of one person: Luigi Guarnuccio. However, he does have the help of co-designers depending on the game. He has also contracted local artists, developers, and musicians depending on his needs for a project.
Luigi has always been a gamer and has always been into the tech side of things. His formal education is in art and imaging systems, and he fell into programming through his career. Being a big fan of video games such as Final Fantasy, Bastion, and countless others, he figured he could use his skills to make a game of his own. Now, he’s been making games for roughly four years, and has been creating interactive pieces for tradeshows and apps for even longer.
The primary game developed by That Indie Studio is The Last Hex. The Last Hex mixes card game and RPG elements as players choose their desired class to venture forth and save the kingdom. On their adventure, players collect cards and obtain equipment that make them stronger as they make their way across the hexagon map to take on the final boss at the Last Hex. It’s based on ideas found in board games and Dungeons & Dragons, making it perfect for fans of that style of gameplay, but it remains approachable for those who may not be familiar with such gameplay mechanics. The Last Hex is currently available for purchase on Steam.
That Indie Studio has a couple of Game Jam games floating around out there, as well as some apps and games made for various companies, but The Last Hex is the first large game that Luigi has developed. The prototyping for That Indie Studio’s next game has begun. This phase is being used for testing out mechanics and ideas to see if they are feasible and fun to play.
Luigi is still learning about the business aspect of the field, but relishes in the fact that there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from creating something to share with the world and having his own company. Neither of which may have been possible if indie games hadn’t risen in popularity or made such a large splash in the gaming world.
If you’re also someone looking to jump on the indie video game train, don’t shy away from giving it a try. The industry is perfect for it right now. According to Luigi: “Don’t think that just because you can’t do a certain aspect of the process, that it’s impossible. I am a programmer, all my art, music, sounds, and animations come from others.”
WNY is home to That Indie Studio, creator of The Last Hex. If you’ve got a good idea for a game, it can be home to even more independent gaming studios. Anyone that wants to know more about That Indie Studio and what games they have in development, visit their website at thatindiestudio.com.