It’s a spir­i­tual thing. A body thing. A soul thing


Ask any in­de­pen­dent de­vel­oper about Keita Taka­hashi or his games and they’ll tell you a dif­fer­ent story. Capy Games’ Nathan Vella has a run­ning joke with him, for in­stance, which in­volves the Katamari Da­macy man (and co-de­signer of this is­sue’s cover) beg­ging him for a job ev­ery time he sees him. Tommy Re­fenes, co-cre­ator of Super Meat Boy, re­calls the night he popped his Katamari cherry; vis­it­ing a friend in Amsterdam, he’d sam­pled some of the lo­cal herbal reme­dies when he sat down to play Taka­hashi’s bonkers roll-’em-up. He laughed his head off. The next morn­ing, sober as a judge and scep­ti­cal, he loaded it up again – and had the ex­act same re­ac­tion.

Taka­hashi, Vella and Re­fenes are just some of the in­de­pen­dent game makers we spoke to while re­search­ing a very dif­fer­ent kind of cover story. It is about Taka­hashi’s new game, Wattam, cer­tainly. Yet it is also about the state of the in­die scene more broadly – and how it fits into a wider game in­dus­try and a world that, we be­lieve, have never needed small, ex­per­i­men­tal, mean­ing­ful, hon­ourable games more.

The year 2017 was a cracker for videogames, cer­tainly – some­thing we cel­e­brate else­where this is­sue in The Edge Awards. But it ended badly, and left us ques­tion­ing our own ed­i­to­rial stan­dards. At the pos­i­tive end, Odyssey and Breath Of The Wild re­minded us of what games have to do in or­der to earn an Edge 10. But in hind­sight, were we right to de­vote valu­able magazine space to, say, Star Wars Bat­tle­front II at the pre­view stage, when the fi­nal prod­uct turned out so badly? How might we have used that space in Hype to bet­ter serve our read­ers, bring­ing you word of a game you’d never heard of that we be­lieved you’d be ex­cited about?

It’s a ques­tion we’d been think­ing about for some time, even be­fore a host of in­die lu­mi­nar­ies told us that the big­gest prob­lem fac­ing them to­day is sim­ply get­ting the things they make no­ticed. We re­alise we can play a role in fix­ing that – and so, as ed­u­cated game-play­ers, can you.

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