Why AAA Indie?

published Friday, 15 May 2009, 12:30 by DaBoss

So what is this AAA Indie thing, why should you care, and what does it all have to do with Zero Point Software and INTERSTELLAR MARINES. Get our take on the future of the games industry right here. Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more articles about it.

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So why should you care about AAA Indie?

  1. Gamers get a say in what games get to the market
  2. Gamers can get behind the scenes of the development of games they fancy. No more closed doors development 
  3. Games can be priced and distributed much more liberally
  4. It adds to the diversity of games available
  5. It breaks down barriers of entry, opening the games industry up to a new and independant generation of game developers

What is AAA Indie?

  1. AAA Indie is AAA games done independently from publishers
  2. AAA Indie is the gamer and the developer, no one else
  3. AAA Indie is development with open doors, so gamers can track games in development
  4. AAA Indie lets the gamers 'vote' for the games they want to play - simply by expressing their interest
  5. AAA Indie is open for anyone with a dream a the will to deliver on that dream

Why is Zero Point Software doing AAA Indie?

AAA Indie is how we got here, and you've been a part of it some time already.

When we launched the theatrical trailer for Interstellar Marines back in 2006, Zero Point Software was four guys in a basement with no track record, no tech, and no funding. The trailer, however changed all that. It has since gone on to download more than three million times, and it had been the main driver in our efforts to fund the development of the game.

It is in other words you, who've enabled us to be where we are today. Had you not shown the interest back in 2006, Zero Point Software most likely wouldn't have been around today.

Take a minute to think about that. The implications are huge. The lesson of the trailer is that gamers, through their interest, can leverage the development of a game. In principle a game of any size, if only the interest is big enough.

What can you do to support AAA Indie?

You can support our AAA Indie efforts on three levels:

  1. You're doing it right now! By visiting the website you've just shown your interest in the project, so keep coming back, invite your friends, and spread the word, to generate traffic at InterstellarMarines.com
  2. You can enlist as a Marine. By enlisting, you're showing a stronger commitment to Interstellar Marines, and the stronger your commitment is, the more value it adds to the project.
  3. You can upgrade your Marine. We will give you loads of benefits, but really you're showing the ultimate commitment to Interstellar Marines. The dollarsthe community spends on Marine Upgrades go straight into the development of Interstellar Marines. And funding, of course, is the condition for independance.

What does the future hold for AAA Indie?

AAA Indie can go anywhere the community decides. The community is more powerful than any game publisher and through their support any crazy idea could take off. AAA projects simply depends on AAA interest.

AAA Indie is the dream that anyone with a great idea for game, and the ability and will to conceptualize it, can approach the community and find out if there's and interest (and a market) for his project.

There's an old fashion notion to it. Two guys in basement asking friends and fools for money to develop the game of their dreams. AAA Indie is no more than that. Only now, friends and family can be anyone in world who shares the vision to make a great game.


Comments

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5 years, 5 months ago

AAA Indie rocks!

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5 years, 5 months ago

This is fascinating. I can’t think of other AAA indies out there... I just made a google on it - and nothing really. I take it you guys are starting something new here?
This might just usher in a new era of game development – let’s hope it does. We could do with some competition to the big publishers out there. Handing the gamers and the developers the power to create the games that they want!
Re-reading this makes me sound like a fanboy – but I really see this as a great step in the right direction… Welcome to the 21st century. And let’s all make this possible!

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5 years, 5 months ago

I know graphics isn't all, but I easily recall your "demo trailer" back then. And I was proud, it was danish. And indie.

Now when I see your "in game" photo session, and the thoughts you've had on how to keep the community informed and in on it, I'm very interested in following this closer.
Hence the Spearhead donation, which I hope counts as double for a broke student! :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

I think the Spearhead-idea is brilliant and I can only hope that this form of promotion will pay off - I've done my part! Whatever can be done to get rid of the evil publishers! :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

You want gamers to act as venture capitalists but without paying them back as if they were venture capitalists? Wow, nice scam.

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5 years, 5 months ago

@Zoot, Our investment in the game is a pre-order with an up-front payment and our return is what looks to be an awesome game at a great discount! So, we're not venture-capitalists expecting a pay-off, but gamers making a great deal (hopefully). That's at least how I look at it...

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5 years, 5 months ago

@Zoot - it's absolutely NOT a scam in any way, I've known a few of them from Online-Graphics Forums, these are HARD working artists that BELIEVE in something, one of them - have been working on an animation project for years, and never gave up on it - THIS is the kind of people you'll find in Zero Point Software

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5 years, 5 months ago

http://www.aaaindie.com/

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5 years, 5 months ago

Zoot, call it a scam if you like... Of course they can't make empty promises of paying back, if the game won't be finished. It's better to play with open cards and be honest that part of the deal is, that we get the game IF it gets released.

I will take the chance. Even though it takes 10 companies to try this model, before one succeeds. I won't to support the idea. Not bash it with pessimism.

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5 years, 5 months ago

I must admit, whether the game comes out or not, I'm glad I supported a good cause.

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5 years, 5 months ago

If its not real, its not in the game! Thanks Hicks for the link - Awesome!

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5 years, 5 months ago

hi, very cool....
i am trying to find the video where the small "auto support shooter" is walking /shooting in the office!!!! where can i find it?

pleaseeeeee

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5 years, 5 months ago

Hicks postet a link above: http://www.aaaindie.com/ <-- thats what you are looking for

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5 years, 5 months ago

I love how the litle robot blows holes in the file cabinet and he's like "whoops". :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

I think of it this way.

If this doesn't pan out for whatever reason, I've cost myself maybe an hour or two of working. I've lost about $30.00 USD. Shame on me, I've learned my lesson.

If it does pan out, and I admit this does take a bit of a jump of faith and trusting people that you have no personal history with, then I've supported a business model I hope to see succeed and get a game that I will hopefully get a lot of enjoyment from.

It's up to the person to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks in this case and there probably isn't a 'right' answer.

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5 years, 5 months ago

@Ghost1800:
This is what makes us try this against all odds! - you (the community) believing in us. We obviously cannot guarantee success, but we can promise you that we will live/die trying! - hint: watch the "For the Love of the Game" video and tell me that Nicolai's "nervous" grin at the end dosen't say it all!
Spread the word - Spearheads!

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5 years, 5 months ago

Well, that's the plan :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

If you've donated, or have doubts about a possible donation, then tell your friends about it, spread the word, thats the only way to guarantee succes. Sure, you donated 220DKr, but if no one spreads the word, theres a dead end to it..

So its really up to YOU to make this happen :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

If I had a credit card, I would really donate, don't want ads here in the site, want the game to be excellent (but I'm aiming at the PS3 version, my PC is horrible), and no need to give me anything in excange, just want the game to be great. About telling to my friends, I bet they would like the game but they're not the type of person to go to game sites and not even donate, wish they were more open-minded.

Keep working! I'm going to buy as soon as it comes out!

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5 years, 5 months ago

I always want to support whats danish :D, and the game looks so damn cool! I hope the game is released so I can say I am proud to be danish!

Held og lykke! det ser satme godt ud!

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5 years, 5 months ago

I've already spread the word about this site as much as I can. So hopefully more people can take a look and maybe register and donate. :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

Nice bussines concept. I realy like how u guys think of "new-open-door-development"! JUST GREAT!

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5 years, 5 months ago

This game looks great !!! and the business model is also very innovative !

Some of my favourite memories of gaming are surely FPS Coop, first with Doom, Quake with various mods, one mod which allowed quest coop mode witg level gains. Halflife 1 with the awesome SVEN coop mod ! latest coop with my National Guard group in Battlefield 2, which took it to a new level. I have only briefly tried Left 4 Dead, but coop features are one of their Unique Selling Points, and it seemed quite good
I am therefore thrilled to see a Danish developer making a scifi FPS game with a strong focus on the coop part. Good teamplay is such a joyful fullfilling experience.
With a game that creates the structure for that, and with a transparent open development process I can only hope that 31/12/09 the game will ship and be absolutely awesome, see all of you Spearheads in approx. ½ a year ingame :)

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5 years, 5 months ago

@ Hral

I'm not sure where you got that release date but if you go to "The Game ? INTERSTELLAR MARINES - An overview" it says "Release Date: N/A".
I’m sure this means as soon as possible, but 31/12/09 sounds a bit premature with the knowledge I have of the project.

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5 years, 5 months ago

@Hral - Bulldog is correct, we are looking at 3-4 months before we have a "playable-beta-tester" (only for Spearheads), which is the pre-amble, leading up to the release of the IM Prologue (see more elsewhere) in Feb 10.
It's a long process, when you only have 20% of the resources that you actually need (we appreciate your patients), this is Indie, still low budget, not to mention the small matter of paying nearly $2 mill for a Commercial Licence for our Engine - hence we will be gearing up our efforts to Commercialise in the IM Shop, get more paid Support via this Community and selling more ZPS Shares - all with the ultimate objective - to make our dream happen!
g

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5 years, 5 months ago

@ Gert, I stand corrected :)

What about a Facebook fansite/group whatever, seems like a nice free way to promote yourself.
I just went in to check the danish stock market, it seems you aren't there, being partially userowned would be nice for a company like u I guess, no conflicting incentives.
But there may be stock market fluctuations which will prove undesirable for the company's operation...
I for one would welcome a small high-risk stake in Zero Point Software.

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5 years, 5 months ago

@Hral

There is a Facebook-IM fan site:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Int
erstellar-Marines/80174683431

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5 years, 5 months ago

hi gert, are you allowed to tell us what engine you are using? :D
was also wondering where you are getting financed besides community support? looking at the new "meet the team" page i can imagine running the whole thing costs quite a lot pr month...even if people are working for very littel. The team is a lot larger then i thought at first heh

Have to admit the main reason i havent jumped onbord and joined the spearheads yet is because, as i posted elsewhere, i would consider it an investment as there is no real product yet... as with any investment its always nice to get a general idea of the risk involved ;)

I understand if you cant/wont answer... but would be awesome if you could!

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5 years, 5 months ago

I didn't have the spare cash earlier (stupid textbooks cost so much) but I got paid today and now I'm a spearhead to help support you guys. I'm really excited about watching this project develop :]

I also am kind of hoping I can play the game in Danish. I don't know any Danish at all but hey that doesn't mean I can't start learning it!

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5 years, 5 months ago

Heck, if it had subtitles I'd love to hear the characters speak any number of languages. Would spice things up a bit.

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5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah I second the subtitles idea. I've been playing the Half Life 2 Universe games (HL2, EP1, EP2, Portal) in spanish w/ subtitles. Was good practice for me, although now I've done it without subtitles to get a better grasp of the natural quickness that a native speaker has.

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5 years, 5 months ago

I Will, and i am alrady spreading the word. Abaut this great game. Looking forward To the Beta/Demo version.

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5 years, 4 months ago

Wish I had a creditcard, otherwise I'd definitely purchase a Spearhead upgrade. Maybe someday in the future if they're not all taken up by that time.

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5 years, 4 months ago

Great project! Glad that I could support.

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5 years, 3 months ago

Man I can't wait to play this game! I hope there is an online skirmish mode. I'll be donating to this one!

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4 years, 11 months ago

Funny This is close to what our mission statement is as Caffeinated Games. Completely different type of game though. We were hoping we could ramp up to a AAA product but it looks like you guys are on the mark.

http://www.caffeinatedgames.com/profiles/blogs
/the-new-indie-is-aaa

The new Indie is AAA so welcome to the future I guess :). We are upgrading our title now to AAA. Time to bring on the reflection, bumped, parallax, specular maps :).

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4 years, 8 months ago

This game is gonna be great.

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4 years, 6 months ago

This game is great

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4 years, 2 months ago

Who else publishes this way? Tbh, haven't heard about AAA Indie before, although I'm a big fan of indie developers (S2, Unknown Worlds, Tripwire).

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3 years, 11 months ago

Although I'm a bit hesitant to pre-pay for games, I am 100% sure I will buy this game when it is released. If I think it's a worthwhile investment, I will buy another copy for my brother. Depending on whether or not it is made available on consoles, I will buy a copy for my nephew. I haven't pledged any money to the project yet, but I LOVE the idea, the atmosphere that seems to be present, and the production quality seems to be top-notch from what I've seen so far.

PLEASE don't let this game end up like Duke-Nukem Forever! I've sworn my support, for what it's worth. There are far too few worthwhile games hitting the market these days, and gamers seem to just settle. I'm tired of settling!

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3 years, 11 months ago

Go Make your Dream come true ^_^ Best Hopes.....
I am really going to support you guys because I also have a dream to be a Game Developer ^_^

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3 years, 9 months ago

Go!!!!!!!

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3 years, 9 months ago

I am in full support and the development looks awesome! Keep up the great work Zero Point!

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3 years, 9 months ago

i have really high hopes for this game. it looks great

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3 years, 9 months ago

So, im finnally back here after a year, AAA Indie is a good idea so work it out guys

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3 years, 8 months ago

Even though it's $50-something, it's just €40; a nice deal, if you'll ask me. I'm looking forward to this and willing to take the chance. Since I might become a game developer in the future (as in, in about 10 years or so), I'm support AAA Indie to get to know better how things work. I also trust you guys that this cash goes to the game's development, so I fully support it 'cos I wanna get to play this game ASAP (no pressure, guys; just saying :P)

Anyways, despite all the people who think this is a scam, I fully support AAA Indie.

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3 years, 8 months ago

Wow, I got here through the Kongregate version of Bullseye and I must say I am very impressed! What you guys are doing here looks absolutely fantastic! I was never a fan o Sci-Fi shooters but maybe you can change me??
I think you should go out to the public a bit more with this project. Have you tried contacting video-games magazines???
Keep it up, might buy Spearhead in some time.
Cheers

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3 years, 8 months ago

as a softmore I had a friend in High School who has started the drawings of a RTS game he made up. and in Junior we got a group of tech heads to make the drawing come to life. and at the end of the senior year everything just dropped. there was no support or anything after that.

so I am a huge fan of supporting people and groups like this. I BELIEVE in things like this. and i am currently not working. but i am still going to give full support and donate what i can.

when i posted this FEB 17 i didn't even have a badge. but I will give the max.

Hopping for a PS3 version of this game. can't afford a new Desktop. Good luck guys

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3 years, 8 months ago

I've just heard of this game... Reminds me about another Indie game that used to be a one-man job and made him a millionnaire.

I hope you reach such heights, I'll need more convincing tho. Multiplayer maybe ?

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3 years, 8 months ago

I really hope that this game as well as minecraft can push to what will be a high point in gaming: Games that are in all essential ways made by the gamers, other than literally of course. Also like minecraft, I really hope we can have ACTUAL PEOPLE working on this game, sure I like "zero point software", there's nothing wrong with that, but I would love if we had "the interstellar marines guy" sort of like how Notch is "the minecraft guy". Someone to look to for info one the game; someone who, when something new in the development of IM, we all look to for a news message that isn't just "this thing came out", but has a certain flair to it, like Notch' tumblr page. In short, Interstellar Marines needs a Notch.

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3 years, 4 months ago

Hmm. The problem will this AAA Indie thing is that it...it's simply unrealistic.
I'm writing a movie right now and have a production company with my friends, yes. But we aren't a bunch of rich guys from Hollywood, nor do we know any. I can tell everyone that my movie is going to be an amazing and theater-ready film, but I'm not going to gross millions of dollars from it. I'll be lucky to get $100 total from selling DVD's and Bluray to people (and that will probably just cover the cost of all the discs!).
This game is cool, yes. Minecraft is cool, yes, one of my fav games (and I'm usually not a casual gamer, mostly playing online FPS and stuff). But Notch is lucky. Most indie devs don't get lucky like he did, to not even need a multi-million dollar publisher to back them.
The idea of open-door development is cool, and something I like. The idea of taking what players want and putting it in a game, rather than forcing them to have 2 weapons at a time or regenerating health when they want otherwise (I'm looking at you, Duke Nukem Forever) is an awesome idea which I endorse. But it doesn't make me feel better when I see how proud you seem to be that you don't have a big publisher helping you.
Activision essentially murdered the Call of Duty franchise by churning out new games at the expense of...well, fun. Now, if a game they publish isn't going to make millions and have a new one out every year, they just let it die (see ET:QW, an online-only game where they actually shut the servers down). Activision is a bad publisher, but that doesn't make all publishers evil. There are bad companies in any free market, and usually they just die off and when something better comes along (Battlefield 3 maybe?) and dethrones the CoD series, Activision will be throwing money into all sorts of new projects to try to get back to where they were, and maybe they'll start backing some good games again.

Basically what I'm saying is that profit is an excellent motivator. With the funding of a big or big enough publisher, this game could be done by now, and just as awesome. Also, y'all deserve to be paid for this game. It's neat-tastic. But this "AAA Indie not-tied-down-by-money" thing that seems to make other people happy makes me, a business-oriented person, rather worried. I can foresee the attitude of you guys changing when you find all isn't golden with this philosophy.

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3 years, 4 months ago

Well when the Multiplayer will be disponible, I believe make new MP maps, Campaings Solo or Collaborative could call new players.
I Believe in This Game, is excellent theme, scenarios, has great potential to expand the universe to include new alien races, mutagenics creatures, and need to build a great villain to make the things more interesting.
Sagas is other aspect that could improve this game, I don't believe in games with end,but I believe in a Universe Continuum ever offering new challenges and more ... because the creativity is infinity in sci fi games, we can merge many themes including paralel universes and alternative realyties, time travelling, time paradoxes.
Soon great investitors could appear, they hunting profitables projects, and Interestellar marines has a great potential.
Merchandising products ( Miniatures collectables, Boardgames, Comics, Books, Posters, Indumentaries, memorabilias, clothes, and why not CG Movies and episodes series).
Go Ahead, The Impossible is a limit imposed by ours minds, Maria DB is a great example the opensource company, and employ thousands of independents developers, the same could be make with this project.

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2 years, 11 months ago

GO!!!

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2 years, 10 months ago

can i get free membership for the one day ?

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2 years, 5 months ago

The Game Is awsome And I am earning money to upgrade to spearhead.
Good Work Zero Point Software. :D

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2 years, 1 month ago

I do hope that this succeeds, but I am skeptical of AAA indie. The reason that publishers are the ones that often bring games to market is because they can do so in an efficient and economically sound manner. Interstellar Marines, however, is in a very difficult place in terms of funding and publicity. I hope I can continue to support this game, but I am doubtful of the effectiveness of this business plan.

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2 years ago

very cool

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1 year, 3 months ago

I want this game for free.

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