TIGdb – The Indie Game Database

By: Derek Yu

On: March 24th, 2008


Hey, guys, I’m happy to announce a new addition to the TIGSource family: TIGdb, the indie game database! It’s a searchable, sortable compendium of independent games and independent developers.

Jeff and I have been talking about this for a while, and this weekend we finally got together and just set the damn thing up. 14 hours of video game music, disgusting energy drinks, and designing/hacking later, we came up with what you see here!

One thing that’s pretty cool is that we have a rating system. Anyone can sign up for an account and start rating games (out of five stars). Eventually, these accounts will let you do more, like keep track of your favorite games or submit games to the database. The task of populating the database is a monumental one, so it’d be great to crowd-source this… but until we have some controls in place, me and Terry (and perhaps a few other people) will be adding the games. I will, however, take submissions/suggestions very seriously! See this thread for details.

So yeah, this is a very early version of the site, but it’s a great start, I think. Once the site levels up a bit, there are a lot of things we could do with it. In an earlier post, we briefly discussed the idea of alternative business models for indies… well, once we have them all organized and sorted in one place, I’m sure there’s a lot you could do to that end…

But for now – sign up, rate games, and excuse any errors, unfinished bits. It was kind of a mad rush today to get the current 40 games/26 developers up so we could make the site public. I hope you like it!

  • http://26k.org/dev/zero lowpoly

    *make sure to push a small like few sentance “review” when someone goes to add a star, stars are not very personal, infact they kind of miss the point sometimes.*

    This is a great idea. Maybe you click the rating and see the breakdown of why each person rated the game the way they did (make it mandatory). The game’s main page will have the aggregate score but if you want to find out why people love or loathe a game, you can get some idea of where they are coming from.

  • Al King

    If you had a commenting system, it should probably be anonymous (except to admins) to encourage honesty, and have a reporting system for spammers. It does seem a good idea to ‘require’ people to explain things, so they don’t vote on a grudge.

  • bateleur

    In my experience anonymous commenting is not a good way to encourage honesty. Almost the reverse, in fact, because the commenter has no stake in the accuracy of the comment whatsoever.

    But more importantly than comments or ratings is the existence of the database. Hurrah!

  • Cas

    Anonymous commenters are cowards.

    One more thing – would be good if the database was hooked up to the forum userid/password, PITA having to create another one.

  • http://magazine.divineabomination.com chrisk

    Not a bad idea. Will certainly help promote independent games.

  • Paul Eres

    Thanks for the reply; I didn’t really mean that ratings are subjective, just that they are an objective measure of this particular community’s tastes, which isn’t that useful to people with different tastes.

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing how it develops.

  • Al King

    Cas, my point regarding anonymous posts was that it would be easier for someone to disagree with the community opinion – rate Cave Story as poor, for example :P ; outright abusive posts could just be reported. On second thoughts, though, bateleur is probably right; it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

  • Tigger

    Cool, yet another outlet for Tigsource to exclude my games from. I’ve still to find out why since I’ve released a few quite popular games.

    I’m afraid I’ve got to side with Notderek. Not just for my own projects but several other indie projects too escape the radar.

  • Nu

    Glad to see that the 1-5 ratings are just there as a basis for now, and that it seems there will be a lot of effort put into the site. As someone relatively new to the independent gaming “scene” (or whatever I should call it), a site like this would have helped me learn about certain games and developers much faster, and hopefully will help in the future too.

  • haowan

    but Tigger, you could post about your games in the forum… oh wait.


  • Tigger

    So we need to point out our games here? I suppose that gives Indiegamer the +1. Some kind of journalism could be good for this site instead of the self inverted clique it is now.

  • xerus

    owls, monocles, and cliques, oh my!

  • Lim-Lud

    Lim-Dul you have a weird way of looking at things.

  • haowan

    Tigger, this site is (imo) heavily community-based, in a good way rather than a bad way – it’s not exclusive at all as Alec points out, but there are a lot of in-jokes that most people won’t get because they didn’t go to GDC or whatever. I don’t think the place is particularly impenetrable. If you go introduce yourself in the “introduce yourself” thread, point out your site and games there, people will be able to see them and play them.

    There’s discussion about why there’s no announcement forum at TIGS in one of the links Cas posted above. I look at it like this – Tim’s blog is concentrated, unadulterated news, whereas TIGS is selective and community-focused news.

  • MrBig

    You’re all talkin out your arses and there just aren’t enough surgical masks to go round. Get over yourselves (“TIG is a place, TIG is a community, TIG got me pregnant”)… Stuff it and move on you winded blow-hards.

    Derek and Cas can handle this themselves. Both seem like really nice guys.

    The rest of you,

    Lim-Dul, haowan, Alec, Xeres, etc. etc. Feck-off… Derek and Cas are big boys and will get over this. We don’t need some geeky internet posse going on here.

    The rest of the so-called community can STFU on the subject now including me. Let’s discuss the database and the pros and cons of some of it’s features but lets not bash on each other (and no, the above wasn’t bashing, just a polite request that we all shut up regarding Derek and Cas… they’ll get over it, so should you).

    There, now it’s time to Feck-Off and play some Cave Story! The greatest indie game ever made – and it’s free suckers!


  • Alec

    I’m just expressing my opinion, and what I believe to be true. If you want to hate me for it, go right ahead.

    Tigger, why are you posting anonymously if you want people to know about you and your games? Why not link to them if they’re worth posting about?

  • Cas

    Yeah, we’re already over it.

  • MrBig


    I don’t hate you, I don’t even hate that funny lookin kid named Lim-Dul. ;-p I understand what you’re saying and your opinion. I just don’t want to see everyone getting a knot in their faces because of a silly situation. This site and it’s people (the users, browsers, perverts… whatever) can be fun and funny. I just figured that you’re a dev, Cas is a dev, Derek is a dev etc. etc. But you guys aren’t just mainstream developers or big companies like Sony and Microsoft, out to eat each others prey, you’re indie developers and as a community you need each other and should support each other. This is just one of those situations that has gotten a little outta hand because of everyone being so opinionated when really the community should see what they can do to move forward and help one another. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I enjoy the news, info, and comments left here by people and don’t want to see things become nasty or turn into a awkward situation when they don’t need to.

    Last thing we need here is a Romero vs. Wilson word war going on, it’s just silly and immature and also proves that those two have become retarded by their enormous egos.

    Anyway, with that said it’s time for me to get back to playing Diner Dash… er.. I mean Crysis… yeah, that’s it.


  • Alec

    I don’t think things even got nasty. I was just stating what I think is good about the community, and I still see nothing wrong with that. My point was essentially the same as yours. :)

  • Lim-Dul

    Hmm -“funny looking kid”? How do you know what I look like?

    Also, I don’t think that a 24-year old video game journalist and professional translator qualifies as a “kid” – who are you to feel better than everybody else?

  • Lim-Dul

    P.S. I don’t know what you were talking about when you mentioned some “internet posse”. Am I in any way affiliated with Alec? I posted some solid points about the whole DB and avoided any ad hominem arguments unlike you and some other people who only whined about it or went out to insult each other.

  • haowan

    right that’s it L-D. you’re out of the posse

    kick his shits in boys!

  • Lim-Dul

    Ha, ha. ^^

  • Lim-Dul

    By the way – I re-read the comments and I think MrBig is somewhat confused and labeling people without knowing what he’s talking about.

    The first thing I posted about here is that I find the TIGdb project nice – and I do – it doesn’t matter if Derek is implementing it – it would be just as nice if Cas or even MrBig were making something like this. ;-)

    The second thing I was talking about was the rating system in the TIGdb which some people seem to dislike for unknown reasons (they themselves didn’t say why it is so bad).

    Anyway – putting me into some kind of circle-jerk “posse” (and apparently that’s what MrBig is trying to do) only because I expressed the same opinion as several other people (with whom I might disagree on another occasion) is kinda weird or even dumb. Hell, I don’t even feel as if I’m part of any “TIGSource community” since I’m only commenting on games that catch my eye and post next nothing on the forums (except for some game projects or my famous jumping-physics rants).

  • MrBig


    I guess you’re right.


    Can’t seem to find all the right words to post it in a single comment huh? Didn’t you read what I read? You either have deaf eyes or you just can’t take a joke… or you look for confrontation that you can’t handle… either way, lets move on.

  • Zmann

    And once again I’m quickly reminded why I don’t usually look at the comments on TIGsource.

  • Jub Jub the adorable space seapony

    Did you turn to stone, honey? T_T

  • Tigger

    Alec: But it’s not just my games. I’ve seen a really awesome Metroid like shooter with some really stunning concept art, but hey the person obviously didn’t post on the forum so they’re discounted.

    Giving the site a motto including “unfiltered” does not describe Tigsource. “Post your games in our forum in lieu of explorative journalism” would be more apt, albeit not as catchy.

  • JrSquee

    TIGdb. luv it!

    That said, I don’t think that star or numerical ratings are the way to go either. They usually end up in flamewars and whatnot. “Why didn’t X get a score of Y?! u sux0r i hat u all” While that is somewhat mitigated by community effort and various laws of averaging, you might be able to avoid it somewhat with some sort of ‘favorite’/binary system. Think Flickr or dA or Digg or Rotten Tomatoes (with their fresh/rotten system). Combined with a provided comment field (I think Farmergnome mentioned this), it might be a system worth thinking about.

    I’d really love for the db to be super-searchable by rating, developer, date, genre, whatever.

    Anyway, I’m sure whatever you choose will work fine. It’s gonna be awexome!

  • JrSquee

    Oh, two more things:

    – The site design is stylin’! The game page layout clear and easy-to-read. I like it better than something like Mobygames.

    – I’d like the db login to be tied to the Forum login. It’s a real pain in the neck to sign up for yet ANOTHER internet account, especially when it’s pretty much part of another site with another account.

  • Dan MacDonald


  • Derek

    Tigger: that’s not my intention! Really, it’s just a time/manpower issue… I’d post about every game if I could, but I’d have to play them all first, and then find time for the write-ups.

    I agree the site’s content ends up being skewed toward my tastes. But without more editors, there’s not much I can do about that, since… well, since I’m me. :'(

    With TIGdb, though, I’ll try to be more inclusive.

  • Sigvatr

    <3 derek

  • http://www.the2bears.com the2bears

    As far as a rating system goes, I think they’re a curiosity more than anything else. Netflix is currently having a contest to improve their recommendation system… trying to come up with a means of guessing how you’ll rate a movie.

    Their current system is ~0.8 “off the mark”, meaning if you rate a move “4 stars” then they’re within 0.8 up or down. Not too good I guess… but a difficult problem. Their contest looks to improve that by only 10% (so they’re within 0.72 up or down).

    Note the numbers I quote might be wrong, but you hopefully get the point :) Which is that any rating system likely is of little value because people have such different tastes. I guess you have to start somewhere, though.


  • Jeff Lindsay

    I actually helped build the Netflix Contest website.

    My ideal is a rating system that is not just an average of everybody’s rating, but a personalized rating based on who you are friends with using a multiplier based on how popular their opinion is and how many hops away they are from you.

    But I’m not set on anything. I’m an empiricist and I’m willing to experiment to find what works best.

    I think that some sort of rating system is useful because whether or not they’re as objective or accurate as they should be, they’ll help newcomers get a rough idea of what is “good” or “classic” so they can more easily get hooked on the indie side of games.

  • Jimbob

    “My ideal is a rating system that is not just an average of everybody’s rating, but a personalized rating based on who you are friends with using a multiplier based on how popular their opinion is and how many hops away they are from you.”

    That sounds pretty awesome. One other way (and something which they do on DrownedInSound and last.fm for bands) is to have ‘neighbours’ who have similar tastes to you (you click to list/rate your ‘favourite games’) and then you can see a list of games you haven’t rated, but your neighbours/friends have…

  • Andiaz

    Awesome, I love it.

  • gameboy

    Nice, would like to see working/linking with


  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It saddens me that this is gone.

  • Cybear Tron

    For me the tigdb doesn’t work D: