[In this in-depth Gamasutra analysis, casual game veteran Gril looks at the state and evolution of independent gaming, from PC to console, from Desktop Tower Defense to fl0w and beyond...]

Independent development is one of the hottest trends right now within the game industry. And fortunately the public is responding well (but not necessarily responding to an "indie" trend, as we'll see below). N+ is a success on Xbox 360. Kongregate's traffic is growing steadily. Pixeljunk Monsters and particularly flOw are doing well on PS3. If things continue this way, by the end of 2008 most innovation in gaming is going to happen in independent games.

But are they a viable venue for developers? Leaving aside the fact that for every N+ there are a lot of failures (that happens everywhere else and it's a redundant point) in order to make a game that finds its audience you need to be careful about the platform the game is targeted to. Let's look at the market analytically.

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