OnLive, a cloud gaming service over in the US, has announced it will make its SDK available to independent developers, so they “can bring their games direct to market, bypassing traditional retail channels in the process.” And presumably, so OnLive can have some more interesting games as well.
As their blog post states, it’s not exactly lacking in good titles at the moment. World of Goo is there, as well as Trine, and The Maw. And of course, OnLive supports bigger, triple-A games as well.
But being a cloud gaming service, OnLive streams the video content onto your TV, while you send your inputs away. All computing is done server-side – which means a bit of lag, or graphical distortion is still expected in the big games.
“‘Indie’ game developers are known for being a creative bunch who push the boundaries of game design, which is why we’ve always made it a point to support them on the OnLive platform.”
Gamasutra also reports that OnLive has had success experimenting with a spectator system, where users can jump into someone else’s game and watch, even though they don’t own it. So far this has acted as a passive demo for people making purchasing decisions – the equivalent of popping onto Youtube for some gameplay footage.