The internet has done great things for indie gaming, as its easier than ever for new indie games to gain popularity thanks to social media and other networking tools. While the exposure that comes from social networking is great, that isn't all it takes for success. Indie developers need support in other ways as well, but boosting independent work isn't just about purchasing a game when it's released on Steam.
Checking game reviews right here is a great way to find independent work to support, but there are other avenues as well. Helping games through alpha and beta stages, promoting and playing quirky indie games, and purchasing from places that allow developers to set their own share of the profits all help indie developers keep producing new work.
Help New Indie Games Through Development With Alpha Beta Gamer
Though betas and early access might be contentious in the gaming community, they're also great for finding new and exciting gaming adventures. Thankfully, not all of these beta games are paid—there's a huge quantity of free new indie games in beta out there, helpfully cataloged by AlphaBetaGamer.com.
Alpha Beta Gamer updates daily with new indie games (and some AAA games) in alpha, beta, and early access, as well as links to game jam and student games to give a little spotlight to projects that might otherwise go unnoticed. They feature games that are currently in development, which can be great for developers looking for the little extra push of attention that can lead to donations or more support to help them finish their work. Some of these games may not be finished, but almost all of them are free, meaning it's a risk-free site to browse and check out some deserving new indie games.
Supporting these games is as easy as clicking the links and seeing how the creators best like feedback. Creating Let's Play videos, writing reviews, or just leaving comments helps these developers find bugs or make improvements, and you get to play free games—it's a win-win for everybody involved.
Finding Quirky Indie Games With Forest Ambassador
Like Alpha Beta Gamer, Forest Ambassador is an indispensible resource for fans of creative new indie games. What's special about ForestAmbassador.com is how they feature so many quirky games that tend to fall outside the traditional gaming themes—one of their submission requirements is that these games don't require a lot of familiarity with gaming conventions, letting people who aren't hardcore gamers see what the art game sphere has to offer.
Without divulging everything about the plot or gameplay, Forest Ambassador provides a tantalizing little tidbit to get you interested in these new indie games, as well as a reason to try it, author's notes, and recommendations for other games to try. It's not difficult to spend an entire afternoon browsing these unique games and trying them all out, as they're all relatively quick to play through and don't require extra software or equipment.
While all of the games Forest Ambassador features are free, many also have pay what you want options. Even better, the creators of these games frequently have other games up for sale—if you like their free work, consider supporting some of their indie games for sale as well. And there's always the option to share them with your friends; the more people see a game, the more potential that someone will toss a couple bucks in the developer's direction.
Itch.io Showcases New Indie Games With Ethical Sales Practices
Aside from being an excellent resource for indie devs, itch.io is also a wonderful website for fans of new indie games. The site hosts a huge variety of new indie games of all genres, and their developer-friendly policies mean that they're an excellent place to buy games.
Though not all of itch.io's games are free, they do allow for sorting by price, genre, and platform. Downloading one game also prompts the website to offer recommendations, helping you round our your collection of new indie games with unique titles. Itch.io also has pages for game jams, bundles, and featured games.
Best of all, the website's generous profit division with indie devs means that developers take home the majority of the profit (if not all of it), making itch.io a guilt-free place to shop for new indie games.
In addition to itch.io, many developers also offer the ability to purchase games directly from their website. That means that profits from the game's sale goes directly to developers, helping them keep producing work without worrying about fees or other service deductions like you might find through Steam.
Services like Alpha Beta Games and Forest Ambassador help bring small indie games to the public eye, and gamers can help support them by providing feedback and purchasing other work through services like itch.io. These services are invaluable to small developers who don't always have the reach of indie studios like Telltale Games or Klei Entertainment. While not every game featured will be to everyone's taste, consider showing indie games a little love—these developers might just become new favorites with your support.