It's been four weeks since we launched the PC Gamer Indie channel with an exclusive look at the next game from the creators of FTL, and it's been a whirlwind first month. We've published the winemaking diary of Geralt of Rivia (as told to our writer Ian Birnbaum and experienced through winery sim Terroir), and a conversation about death between Rachel Weber and the creator of A Mortician's Tale. Lauren Morton rounded up cosy games to play once you're done with Stardew Valley, Meghann O'Neill spoke to one of the creators of 2D RTS Forts about how their game has done so well in spite of not being covered by traditional channels (streamers didn't have as much of an impact as you'd think), and Christopher Livingston spent 10 horrific days in Frostpunk, then had a nicer time on the ski slopes of Carried Away.
We've also been looking to the past, beginning with Richard Cobbett's excellent overview of how the shareware scene led to today's indie games. We've also had Phil Iwaniuk's piece on the influence of synthwave music on games with that neon '80s vibe, and Giada Zavarise just wrote a thorough overview of RPG Maker and how it came to have a bad reputation.
There's plenty of good stuff still to come, too. As we get closer to Halloween we'll be talking about horror games and Giada's RPG Maker expertise will come to the fore again with a piece about the Yume Nikki phenomenon. Meghann subjected herself to adventure game "classic" Hugo's House of Horror for your benefit and I've been enjoying Tokyo Dark, and we'll also have a list of our 10 favorite spooky indie games for you.
Horror's a genre where indie games thrive because they're able to mess with our expectations. It's harder for big-budget games to shock us when we get familiar with their limits, and visual fidelity can actually be a bad thing when it comes to scariness—the gaps our imagination fills are more frightening than the moment the monster's revealed.
Austin got into PC gaming the way most '90s kids did: Runescape. A few thousand hours later, he heard a rumor there are also other games on PC. After confirming this for himself, he decided to make a career out of sharing the news. He built his first gaming rig, finished his journalism degree and, obviously, pitched PC Gamer a Runescape feature. He's since worked his way into our indie channel, where he spends his days fawning over 2D action games and anything with permadeath.
We'll also be publishing more reviews. Check back on Monday when Overgrowth comes out of Early Access for a review of the kung fu rabbit game that's been in the works for so long that Tom Francis covered it for us before he was an indie designer himself. (In 2010 he wrote, "never before has a wolf kicked a rabbit so hard in the face".)
We're excited to debut our first column next week, which will be written by Julian Gollop—creator of the original X-COM and now head of indie team Snapshot Games, responsible for Chaos Reborn and currently working on X-COM successor Phoenix Point. He's got decades of experience in independent game development, and will be sharing that with us every month.
PC Gamer Indie wouldn't be possible without our pool of talented freelancers, but I'd also like to highlight the excellent work done by Austin Wood. Our tireless news writer has been covering things like the meaty labyrinths of A Robot Named Fight and the strange new game from the creator of QWOP, as well as keeping our Indie GIF Showcase running. (If you're making a game and have some GIFs to show us, send them in.)
Finally, we want to hear from you. If you've got suggestions for games or trends or themes you'd like PC Gamer Indie to cover, comment away below. There are so many indie games out there it's impossible to keep up with all of them, so though we'll do our best to keep you up to date your help is appreciated too.
Be excellent to each other!