There are festivals dedicated to independent film. Indie musicians are celebrated. But what about independent game developers?
Indie games have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. Downloadable game stores on modern consoles like the PlayStation 3 gave developers the ability to publish their own titles - without the risk and expense of manufacturing physical copies.
It also gave them a new platform. Twenty years ago, independent games were virtually limited to the PC. Now developers can easily put their games on home consoles, handhelds, tablets and smartphones. It has allowed a much wider audience to experience indie games, making hits out of quirky titles like Minecraft and Braid.
And it has allowed people like Brian Provinciano to make the games they wanted to make. Provinciano quit his job at a major studio to pursue his dream project. He wanted to make a game that played like Grand Theft Auto, looked like it came out in the 1980s, and was filled with tributes to all the movies, TV shows and games that inspired him - and he wanted the freedom to make his own decisions about how his dream game would play. That game is Retro City Rampage.
Provinciano says the game was created by a team of just five people, which proved challenging. Sometimes he'd be stuck answering business emails all day instead of actually creating the game. But if the creative freedom wasn't enough of a consolation, there's also the financial success. Provinciano says Retro City Rampage has sold over 115,000 copies since its release. That's enough to kickstart development of their next game.