Top 10 Independent Games
"There are two kinds of games, finite and infinite games. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, and infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play." James P. Carse

This list was featured on Slashdot a few days ago, so its hardly a secret, but having read through it (and I am even trying one), I have to say that this list is a breath of fresh air in gaming news.

I had no idea that the independant market was so alive and kicking. Like so many things, these games are obviously widely known online, but if you don't know where to look, its as if they don't exist.

I have always enjoyed playing computer games (sometimes too much), but I am tired of having to invest hours of my time to do so. I am also (like so many others) tired of the same old five games (i.e. current versions of Doom, Ultima, Warcraft, Atari 2600 Football, and Solitaire). Many on the list appear to have a low time investment offering light versions of these types of games, or even breaking from these retreads altogether

Since my first exposure to programming (my first computers were the Commordore 64, Commordroe Super PET, and the Amiga (A2000)), I've always wanted to write a game. It seems kinda strange that having been working with them for most of my life, I have never done so (not even something simple). Part of that is just laziness, but also its a daunting task, its a creative effort (at least as hard as writing a book), graphics programming is not trivial (on the Commodore it required that you work in machine langague, not Pascal, Comal or Basic like I was learning to do), and -- most importantly -- to invest that kind of time seems pointless in light of the sophistication of today's games where it seems you need an art department, actors, and a degree in physics to achieve anything even remotely professional. Why write a game if no one will play it?

While some of the games on this list appear to be made by people with at least (and in some cases better) skills in these areas than the mainstream title builders, there are many that are emphasizing game play over eye candy. That makes me happy as a player -- but also as a programmer. Maybe someday after I write a book, make a budget, go get a checkup, and take care of the other 98 things on my todo list, I'll finally write a game.

While you're holding your breath, check out that list.