The biggest challenge facing the growing number of independent video game creators — those risk-taking tinkerers who self-publish their own quirky titles — isn't making, distributing or even funding their creative visions. It's persuading people to buy their games.
Ultimately, an indie's success comes down to the same query vexing all forms of entertainment: Is it any good?
"It's tough," said Jun Iwasaki, president of "Puzzle & Dragons" publisher GungHo Online Entertainment America Inc., who was meeting with prospective developers at the nearby Game Connection conference. "The most important thing is the first 10 minutes of a game. If I want to keep playing, those are the games I want to work on."