As a chronic overthinker, I never put projects together quickly, nor do I attempt year-long projects lightly. However, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday talking with folks in the Blaugust Discord, and I really feel like this is a project worth pursuing, even if it’s born from some grumpy industry veteran’s throwaway tweet. I am, of course, reserving the right to tweak the project as I go – if I find some of the structure is impeding my ability to proceed, or that some of what I choose to include (or exclude) isn’t really working within the scope of the project, I’m not above making adjustments.
My Project Structure
At its core, the #JustOnePercent project is simple. I’m going to play at least 100 indie games that have released within the last year. Since the project is starting on February 1st, that gives me the option of playing games released anytime between February of 2021 and January of 2023, when the project will conclude. As long as the game has been out less than one year in full release when I post about it and was created by an indie developer or studio, I’m considering it to be a qualifying game. The game also must be available for purchase or for free on Steam, but I am not going to require myself to play the Steam version if others are also available.
I’d like to start off by covering some of the main ways I’ll be choosing what I feature over the next year as part of this project. I’ve already done a little shopping, and started a spreadsheet of games I already have access to that – as of February 1st – fit the project parameters. If I played every game in that list, I’d be almost halfway there without spending another dime, but I definitely want to give fair coverage to deep dive discoveries.
- I’m going to play things that I already own that are qualifying games, including games that receive a full release from Early Access during the project period. Since I won’t be talking about games that are still in Early Access, I feel like this is a good compromise – while I’m a big fan of Early Access as a concept, I feel like this series is better suited to full release games.
- I’m absolutely going to shop my wish list for titles that release / have released during the project window.
- I am actively going to seek out more obscure titles; things that haven’t gotten a lot of notice, and will likely never show up on the front page of Steam. I like to think I’m pretty adept at tag-surfing, and don’t doubt that I’ll be able to find at least a handful of sparkly gems in there. However, I’m not going to reach super-far outside of my preferred gaming genres – not all media is to everyone’s taste, and since I’m only looking at a single percent of the new indie games typically released in a year, I don’t feel like I must play games in genres I don’t enjoy.
- I will definitely be playing some indie games that show up on any subscription gaming services I’m subscribed to. I have an active Utomik subscription that’s paid for through most of 2022, and I’ve been keeping my GamePass subscription active more often than not. I will be consulting Steam’s release date to determine release date qualification.
- I will not be excluding free or free-to-play games, and I expect to be taking advantage of demo builds when available, provided the games/demos meet all the criteria of the project.
One of my initial concerns in taking on this project was the sheer cost of 100 recently released titles, and I’m looking at a couple of methods of mitigating some of that. First will be seeking review copies / press copies from developers, and to that end, I plan on writing up a little blurb about my project. I realize I probably don’t have anywhere near the readership to convince most developers to part with a free game key, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t at least a handful that would get on board. I’m also planning to attempt to solicit a couple of “sponsored games” per month – where someone picks out and purchases a qualifying game for me.
I will play each game for no less than one hour (unless the game in question can be completed in less time), and I will talk about it in a Quick Look (or Game Over if I manage to play to completion and/or satisfaction). For the purposes of this project, I will be the final arbiter of what is and is not an “indie” game, but my basic guideline will be as long as it’s developed by a non big-budget studio, it counts.
What I won’t be doing is hard math – I’m using the rough estimate of 10,000 new indie games per year as posited in the original tweet, making my one percent 100 games. If I do more, great, but 100 is the goal. I’m far more interested in the spirit of the thing than the letter of the law.
Ways For You To Get Involved
First of all, if you want to take this idea and make it your own (like Magi did, detailed in this blog post), I am all for it! Take the name, the hashtag, and my cover image, with my blessing, and shed some light on indie games in whatever way you like. I’m not here to tell you how you should do your thing. Most people don’t even play 100 different games in a year, never mind 100 new ones!
If you happen to be doing blogs, podcasts, streams with VoDs, or other videos highlighting games that fall within my qualifying parameters, but you don’t want to make it a Big Thing you feel compelled to do, please leave me comments or poke me on our shared socials, and I will gather all of those things into a big post once a month to highlight those games and acknowledge your interest in playing indie games.
If you’re not normally a blogger, but you’ve found something awesome you want to write about and share with the world (or at least the 50 or so people who follow this blog!), I’d welcome you to write a guest post on Nerd Girl Thoughts, and we’ll figure out how to make that happen.
If you just think it’s a kind of cool idea, and you want to share around links to my posts, I won’t say no to that either. Or if you just want to post on social media with the hashtag #JustOnePercent when you’re talking about a new indie game you’re really digging.
If you have a game (or a few games) in mind that are either recently released or about to release, and you want to make recommendations (or sponsor a post), please do that!
If you have other collaboration ideas, hit me with them. I love a good collaborative effort.
In other words, take the spirit of the project, and do with it what you wish. I’m putting it out there for anyone who loves indie games, and wants independent game creators to go right on creating!